Pistons-Warriors Preview

After a slow start, the experienced Detroit Pistons are starting
to hit their stride. The younger Golden State Warriors, meanwhile,
have slowed down especially without starting forward David Lee.

The Pistons will try to add to their momentum Monday night by
taking advantage of the Warriors, losers of two straight since a
6-2 start.

Detroit’s lineup includes veterans Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun
Prince, Ben Wallace and Tracy McGrady, but they couldn’t help the
team avoid an 0-5 start.

The Pistons, though, have bounced back to win four of five since
then while getting a little healthier. At the start of that 4-1
stretch, starting guard Hamilton returned from a sore right foot
and reserve Will Bynum came back from a sore right hamstring.

With 13 points, Hamilton was one of five players in double
figures in Detroit’s latest win, 100-94 over Sacramento on Sunday.
Rodney Stuckey led the Pistons with 17 and Ben Gordon helped hold
off the Kings with a late 3-pointer, part of his 16 points.

“We thought we could have won all five of those games,” Gordon
said. “Now we’re finishing games out like we know we can.”

While Detroit has gotten back on track, Golden State averaged 81
points and shot 37.9 percent during two losses to end a five-game
road trip. During their strong start to this season, the Warriors
(6-4) averaged 106.5 points on 46.8 percent shooting.

One of those two losses, however, came in Detroit, 102-97 on
Nov. 7. Hamilton scored 27 points and Stuckey had 21 points for the
Pistons (4-6).

Golden State enters this matchup after recording its season low
for points in a 79-72 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday. With 24
points, Monta Ellis was the only player to score more than 11.

Starters Stephen Curry and Dorell Wright, meanwhile, were a
combined 5 of 28 for the Warriors, who shot a season-low 34.1
percent. It was probably not the debut the team wanted for its new
ownership group, led by Joe Lacob and movie producer Peter
Guber.

Those owners will try to begin making their record $450 million
pay off Monday at home, where Golden State is 4-0 this season. The
Warriors, though, have dropped four of six there to Detroit and six
of seven overall.

They’ll also likely play without David Lee, who had surgery
Friday to eliminate infection in a cut he suffered earlier in the
week. The starting forward, averaging 14.3 points and 11.3 rebounds
in his first eight games with the team, cut his left elbow when he
inadvertently struck New York’s Wilson Chandler in the mouth during
a 122-117 win over his former team Wednesday.

“His presence is definitely missed on the defensive rebounding
and his toughness,” Wright said. “We just have to find a way. Guys
have to step up and fill his spot.”

Curry scored 27 points to lead the Warriors to a 95-88 victory
over the Pistons in their previous matchup at Oracle Arena on Feb.
27.