For a stretch now, Detroit has almost become (gasp) entertaining. Jose Calderon makes their offense much, much more watchable, and their pieces fall into place now. Without Andre Drummond, they don’t scare anyone (not that they would even with him), but they are capable of beating Atlanta on their home court. With that said, the Pistons are not particularly good offensively (17th in points per 100 possessions) or defensively (20th in the same category). Greg Monroe and Al Horford is a very interesting match-up of young bigs with nice skill sets, but I think this game will be won/lost in the backcourt. This is a rare spot where there is no defined wing presence for Detroit, so it’ll be crucial that Jeff Teague wins the PG match-up with either Calderon or Knight. This isn’t the easiest game of the week (it’s coming Friday), but this is a winnable spot.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks at Detroit Pistons
What?: Eastern Conference Showdown (Game #55, Road Game #27)
Where?: The Palace of Auburn Hills (Auburn Hills, MI)
When?: Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 – 7:30 PM (EST)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680 AM & 93.7 FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Devin Harris | SF: Anthony Tolliver | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford
PG: Jose Calderon | SG: Rodney Stuckey | SF: Kyle Singler | PF: Jason Maxiell | C: Greg Monroe
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Lou Williams (torn right ACL) is out.
Detroit Pistons: Brandon Knight (hyper-extended right knee) and Corey Maggette (flu-like symptoms) are day-today. Andre Drummond (stress fracture, fifth lumbar vertebra) is out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (31-23) … Detroit Pistons (22-36)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 2 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Won 3 … Detroit Pistons –> OVERALL: Lost 2 / HOME: Lost 2 / ROAD: Lost 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (13-13) away … Pistons are (15-17) at home.
Atlanta Hawks: Lukewarm. The Hawks have won two straight and four of their last five games overall. In the last two contests, Atlanta has dished out a total of 60 assists while committing just 17 turnovers, a 3.53 A/TO ratio.
Detroit Pistons: Cold. The Pistons have lost two straight and three of their last four games overall.
Season/Past Season Series
Atlanta travels to Detroit for the second time this year in the third-and-final game against the Pistons. The teams have split two games so far, each winning at home. The Hawks struck first with a 126-119 double-overtime triumph on 12/26 and Detroit evened things up with a 85-84 decision on 1/4. Josh Smith is averaging 25.5 points (.500 FG%) against the Pistons this season, while Al Horford is putting up 20.0 points and 12.5 rebounds (.643 FG%), and Jeff Teague 11.0 points and 10.0 assists. Will Bynum led Detroit in the first meeting with 31 points and Austin Daye had 20 in the second. Atlanta has dropped two straight road games in the series, with their last win in Detroit coming 1/27/12 (107-101 OT). The Hawks lead the all-time series 168-160, including an 80-72 road mark.
LAST MEETING — PISTONS 85, HAWKS 84 — (AUBURN HILLS, MI) — 1/4/13
Atlanta trailed by as-many-as-19 in the third quarter and by 17 with under seven minutes to play in the game, but put on a furious rally to take it down to the wire in Detroit. A 16-0 run helped bring the Hawks to within a single point late. After forcing a turnover with under six seconds to play, Atlanta had the ball with a chance to win but Lou Williams’ jumper was off the mark as the Pistons held on for an 85-84 triumph. Josh Smith scored 20 points to lead the Hawks, while Al Horford tallied 18 points and 15 rebounds. Williams added 17, including a career-high-tying five three-pointers, and Kyle Korver put in 10. Austin Daye came off the bench to lead Detroit with 20 points and Jason Maxiell had a double-double (10 points/10 boards). The Pistons had big advantages down low, outrebounding the visitors 56-38 (17-6 on the offensive glass), outscoring them 52-34 in the paint and 15-4 in second chance points.
Larry Drew is a former Pistons assistant coach, and played for the club in 1980-81 after being drafted 17th overall in 1980. Al Horford went to high school in Grand Ledge, MI. Will Bynum played his final two collegiate seasons at Georgia Tech. Brian Hill was a Hawks assistant coach from 1986-90. Anthony Tolliver (2009-10) played with Corey Maggette with Golden State. Pistons radio broadcaster Rick Mahorn is a former Hawks assistant coach.
Information was used from the Hawks and Pistons official gamenotes