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Open Thread and Contest: Game 42

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Regular Season Game 42
Wizards (24-17) at Pistons (24-16)
The Palace at Auburn Hills
7 PM
ESPN

Previous Results: Pistons 100, Wizards 91, Pistons 115, Wizards 111.

Before we preview this thing, you may notice that there are a couple additional links in the menu bar.  Please take the time to read the community guidelines.  Don't worry, they aren't too numerous, and they basically boil down to "respect  each other and respect outside sources."  Also, I put the trade primer from the other day up there as well.  Be sure to check those out.

The Wiz travel to Detroit today to take on the Detroit Pistons, who have risen to the top of the Eastern Conference.  Chauncey Billups is back in the lineup after missing a number of games, and Richard Hamilton is having the best season of his career.  On the flip side, Rasheed Wallace is struggling and feuding with coach Flip Saunders, Nazr Mohammad has been horrible, and Tayshaun Prince has not raised his game much from last year.  Chris Webber was recently signed to stop the bleeding up front, and another trade involving Mohammad or Dale Davis is certainly on the way.

Despite their record and 2 wins over the Wizards, I'm not sold on Detroit.  The loss of Ben Wallace is hurting their defense, and they lack depth in the backcourt.  More importantly, for this game's sake, they lack a guy in the middle that can be an intimidator in the paint for the Wizard slashers.  Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler need to get to the rack tonight, because I don't think there's going to be much resistance.  

In the last loss, the Wizards allowed Detroit to shoot 40 free throws.  This cannot happen again, and if Detroit wins the free throw battle, Washington is toast.  They need to get to the rack, draw fouls, and get easy points at the line.

Pistons blogs: Detroit Bad Boys, Need4Sheed.

Your lines for tonight:

Wizards at Pistons: Pistons by 6.5.
Over/Under on Big 3: 69.7 points.

This is an open game thread, so any reminiscing about former members of Les Bullez (Hamilton, Sheed) goes here.