Detroit Pistons vs. Miami Heat: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIMarch 20, 2013

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 25:  Norris Cole #30 of the Miami Heat drives against Greg Monroe #10 of the Detroit Pistons during a game  at American Airlines Arena on January 25, 2013 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With the Miami Heat's legendary winning streak on the line, the Detroit Pistons will come to Florida with an upset on their minds.

Thus far in 2012-13, Detroit is 23-46 and 8-25 on the road. Although they will be playing the role of an extreme underdog, the Pistons do own a victory over Miami in 2012-13.

They won 109-99 on Dec. 28, 2012.

As for Miami, it's currently 53-14 and 30-3 at home. The Heat are also in the midst of a 24-game winning streak.

Will they secure yet another W against Detroit?


Time: Friday, Mar. 22 at 7:30 p.m. EDT

TV: FxDT and SUN Sports

Records: Detroit Pistons (23-46, 8-25 road) at Miami Heat (53-14, 30-3 home)

Betting Line: N/A


Detroit Pistons Injury Report

Jose Calderon, Flu, Questionable

Andre Drummond, Non-Surgical Stress Fracture in Fifth Lumbar Vertebra, Doubtful

Brandon Knight, Sprained Left Ankle, Doubtful


Miami Heat Injury Report



Key Storyline: Preserving the Streak

The Miami Heat have won 24 consecutive games. They're nine games short of the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers' record streak of 33 straight victories.

Can they preserve the streak and extend it to 25 against the Detroit Pistons?

According to the numbers, the Heat will extend their streak. Not only are they the superior team in every significant statistic, but the Pistons have a streak of their own.

Nine consecutive losses.


Key Matchup: Chris Bosh vs. Greg Monroe

Chris Bosh is an eight-time All-Star. He's established a reputation as one of the best players in the world, regardless of whether he's playing power forward or the 5.

What better stage for Greg Monroe to step up and make his case for next year's All-Star Game?

In terms of the offensive end of the floor, Monroe is one of the game's top big men. He's averaging 15.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Going up against Bosh, Monroe will need every bit of that production to give Detroit a W.

As for Bosh, he continues to produce on both ends of the floor. While Chris Andersen has become Miami's defensive anchor, Bosh is more than capable of slowing down Monroe.

How well he does just that could determine how close Detroit keeps this game.


X-Factor: Rodney Stuckey, Detroit Pistons

To bestow the label of "underdogs" upon the Detroit Pistons would be understating just how much of an uphill battle this will be. In order to do the unthinkable and pull off an upset of the Heat, the Pistons will need to score the basketball.

That burden rests upon the shoulders of shooting guard Rodney Stuckey.

Over the span of his past five games, Stuckey is averaging 17.0 points per game on 50.0 percent shooting from the floor. With that being said, averages are often deceiving, and this is a perfect case of that.

Stuckey has scored seven, 10, 15, 22 and 30 points during that span—the Pistons will need something in between the latter two to win this game.

Stuckey will have a rough positional task going up against Dwyane Wade. If the 26-year-old Stuckey is truly a star, however, he'll relish this opportunity.

Can the former Eastern Washington star lead Detroit to an upset?



Despite the fact that the Miami Heat have been approaching records, they are not an invincible team. They've allowed games against inferior opponents to end closer than expected in the past, and this game could end in the same manner.

Just don't put your money on it.

Detroit has been devastated by injuries to key players, including point guard Jose Calderon, shooting guard Brandon Knight and center Andre Drummond. As a short-handed lottery team going up against the NBA's elite, the numbers speak for themselves.

Miami should win this game comfortably—key word, should.

Miami Heat 103, Detroit Pistons 94


    Heat Will Wear a Patch to Support Marjory Stoneman Douglas

    Miami Heat logo
    Miami Heat

    Heat Will Wear a Patch to Support Marjory Stoneman Douglas

    Anthony Chiang
    via Heat Zone

    Biggest Question for Every NBA Team to Answer During Rest of Season

    Miami Heat logo
    Miami Heat

    Biggest Question for Every NBA Team to Answer During Rest of Season

    Grant Hughes
    via Bleacher Report

    Cavs' Best Options to Be LeBron's Sidekick

    NBA logo

    Cavs' Best Options to Be LeBron's Sidekick

    Scott Sargent
    via Bleacher Report

    They're the NBA's Most Surprising Offensive Juggernaut

    NBA logo

    They're the NBA's Most Surprising Offensive Juggernaut

    Adam Fromal
    via Bleacher Report