The Detroit Pistons looked awful in their opener.
As I said in a recent article, part of that was the fact that it was the first game of the year. And some of you agree.
But that doesn't explain away every aspect of how bad they looked.
Today's game will be a true test of whether or not this team is as bad as I think they are based on their first game.
First off, this is a home game. New owner Tom Gores will no doubt be excited to show off his new team, and if his recent changes to the Palace of Auburn Hills are any indication, look for some new wrinkles in the way the game is presented. That should at least supply some excitement for the players.
Secondly, they know this Cleveland team well. They have already played twice against them this year, and while they were exhibitions, they were important exhibitions due to the length of training camp. This should provide for at least a marginally close game.
Lastly, Cleveland is not nearly as long as Indiana, and Greg Monroe likely will not be in immediate foul trouble. The Pacers pounded Detroit inside, and their guards got to the hoop at will. Cleveland's bigs are not nearly the inside threats that the Pacers have, and Detroit should have at least a puncher's chance down low.
This game is more important than you think. If the Pistons come out and lay an egg in front of the home fans, they may lose them for the year. This game sets the tone for the whole season.
Here are five things to watch for tonight.