Lance Stephenson is a street-walking cheetah: Pacers vs. Pistons preview

By Dave Searle (@DaveSearle)

It hasn’t been easy going in Detroit the last decade. A truly sad situation is happening in the city itself. We could poke fun of a city in bankruptcy decayed from decades of urban flight, but the problems are real and so are the people. Detroit deserves better.

But the basketball team? Sure! Let’s make fun of them!

Jon asked me what this version of the Pistons should be called. The classic, Thomas-Dumars-Laimbeer Pistons were the Bad Boys. The Wallace-Wallace Pistons were creatively called the Bad Boys Part Deux.

With the acquisitions of Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith, we thought of a new one:

The Bad Shot Boys.

Did you know that Josh Smith is a career 28 percent 3-point shooter? Did you know he is shooting 27 percent this year? Did you know, despite these facts, Josh Smith has taken 22 threes this year? Did you know Josh Smith has taken as many threes this year as Chauncey Billups, Will Bynum, and Rodney Stuckey combined?

Look at this chart (from the 2011-12 season):

Image

Roy Hibbert is holding opponents to 28 percent shooting near the rim this season. I have a feeling we will be seeing a whole lot of “blue shots” from Mr. Smith on Tuesday.

Thankfully, Brandon Jennings will sit this game out. Watching both Jennings and Smith play on the same court might give poor Slick Leonard a heart attack.

Revenge Watch:

I’m always on the lookout for player altercations, and whether or not players seek revenge in-game. Remember this?

Will Bynum punched Tyler in the nuts. Let’s face it, Hansbrough probably did something to deserve it karmically. But punching someone in the nuts is a fate befitting of no man.

So will the Pacers try to knock Bynum to the ground? Probably not. Tyler isn’t on the team anymore. Even when he was, his own teammates took pleasure in taunting him:

See how I found an excuse to link to that gem? Gets me every time. Anyway, Tyler is gone and no one cares. But if things flare up on Tuesday and Bynum is involved, cover up your Bad Boys.

Motown

While I would argue Indiana music legends Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Wes Montgomery, Michael Jackson, and The Great And Powerful John Cougar Mellencamp can take on any state’s musical legacy toe-to-toe, Indiana certainly doesn’t have a major claim to a specific sound. Detroit has that in spades with the world famous Motown record label. Such a strong musical legacy has fostered a thriving music scene in Detroit for decades.

Here are a few great Detroit songs (not necessarily Motown classics) and the Pacers players the epitomize:

Roy Hibbert: The Four Tops – Rech Out (I’ll Be There)

Miss a rotation? Rodney Stuckey put the cross on you? Brick-walled by a Greg Monroe pick? Reach out. Hibbert will be there.

Lance Stephenson: Iggy & The Stooges – Search & Destroy

Take it to the rack, Lance! Don’t stop for ANYBODY! BE A STREETWALKING CHEETAH!!!

George Hill: Jackson 5 – I Want You Back

Oooh, Indiana and Detroit living together in harmony! Get well soon, hometown hero.

Bold Prediction:

Solomon Hill gets a little burn against the Pistons. He picks off a pass and takes it to the house and stuffs it home for his first SportsCenter highlight play in the NBA.

Final Score:

Pacers continue the under-90 defensive streak as Josh Smith lets it fly in vain. Pacers 91, Pistons 81

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