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GAME 23/82: at Detroit, Open Game Thread

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Q: What's the easiest way to end a three-game winning streak?

A: The Detroit Pistons.

I'm not predicting a loss or anything - I mean, I had Rick Adelman getting fired three days ago, for Jordan's sake. I'm in no place to be predicting what's for dinner, let alone what's going to happen in the Palace.

But, damn. I mean, it's like getting away from a psycho, crazy, evil girlfriend after a few miserable weeks. Suddenly, you're enjoying the presence of a nice-looking lady, doing some mild flirting, checking out the goods. And when it's reaching a cusp, when things are finally starting to look up - WHAM! Someone turns on the lights and you're standing in front of a gangly 6-foot-7 chica with a bald spot, buck teeth and a mole.

From there, it never ends pretty.

Oh well. It's the last time you have to look at that broad all season, right?

Your starting lineups....
DETROIT
PG - Chauncey Billups, underrated player.
SG - Richard Hamilton, wearer of seemingly unnecessary protective gear.
SF - Tayshaun Prince, Kevin Martin's long-lost twin, who happens to have gotten the tremendous upside potential gene.
PF - The male Rebecca Lobo - scary game, scary hair, scary face.
C  -  Big Ben Wallace, purveyor of stylish hair.

SACTOWN
PG - Historically Clutch
SG - Superclutch
SF - Way Unclutch
PF - Surprisingly Clutch For a Cursed Guy
C  - Clutcher of Fine Tobacco Products

The line: +10.5. If I was a betting man, I'd be out on the $20 I laid on the Chargers last weekend. Also, if I was a betting man, I'd probably throw a few on the Kings tonight. I know all about Detroit's frontline defense, but still. Bonzi and the Reefer are on mission. Mission from God. (Or Allah, in one man's case.)

Fun bet o' the night: For the first time ever, this is an actual bet from Bodog: Ben Wallace rebounds, +/- 11.5. Seems like an absolute no-brainer to me. I'll definitely be keeping track of that one.

Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: Peja Peja Peja. The thing is, with Tayshaun (does he have an acceptable nickname?) and Bruce Bowen in the next two games, the Assassin may shoot sub-30 percent on the roadtrip. Does poor performance from him in the next couple weeks make a trade more or less likely? I think on one level, Peja shooting poorly hurts the team, causing losses, causing the need for a fix, causing a trade. On the other hand, Peja shooting well could raise his value a tick, presenting more attractive packages, causing a trade. One thing I do know, though: I dislike airballs greatly.

Best matchup: Defensive stalwart Shareef Abdur-Rahim vs. toothy veteran Rasheed Wallace. Reef. Sheed. It's the NBA on Comcast SportsNet!

Pregame haiku:

The best of the East,
Detroit will be a tough test.
End of winning streak?

*BONUS* Pregame haiku:

Sheed's bald spot is cool.
Has it ever been explained?
No, though it 'splains much.

4:30 p.m. start, left-coasters. Let's gooooo Kings!