Detroit Pistons (6-2) at Los Angeles Lakers (7-0)
This sure as hell promises to be an interesting game. Forget for a moment that over the past few seasons, LA has struggled against the Pistons, and look at the smaller, more intriguing stories that exist within the game.
Allen Iverson in a Pistons uniform. There’s a match I bet many of us didn’t think we’d see. The ultimate team concept with the ultimate non-team performer. Don’t get me wrong, Iverson’s a great basketballer – one of the best pure scorers ever… but he is a player who needs volume. AI’s never met a shot he didn’t like (Kobe detractors will point to Kobe now), and whilst Allen was a “good soldier” over in Denver, this is a contract year. I’m pretty certain that AI’s not going to maintain the even keel that Joe Dumars insists upon. For this season to succeed in any capacity, AI’s going to have to fit in with Detroit, not the Pistons fitting in around Allen Iverson.
For quite a while, the Pistons have had the ability to contain Kobe. At least slow him down. And up until recent times, beating the Lakers has been all about ‘containing Kobe’. Do that at your peril now – it’s more a case of pick your poison. There are 5 Lakers averaging double figures thus far. Kobe’s more than happy to pick his time, and he can rack up his 24 avg in very short shrift.
The Lakers. 7-0. Not only the record, but the way they’ve played to that tune. Highest scoring average (104.7) in the league. Lowest opponent average (86.7). Yes, only seven games in, and one thing’s for sure: sooner or later, LA will lose.
I just don’t see it being tomorrow. LA by 12.