For the last one hundred years, the automotive triumvirate of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors has dominated the Detroit automotive industry. They are not only an American institution; they are revered and hallowed major innovators and employers throughout the Rust Belt. Yet, with foreign competition growing, and the American economy in flux, the Big Three in Detroit are facing an unprecedented time of uncertainty. The dependable establishment is being shaken to its core.

Interestingly, the current day plight of the Detroit auto industry closely mirrors the fortunes of their NBA franchise.

Fixtures of the last six Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons (6-2) are a foundation of power facing imminent recession.

Last week the Detroit Pistons traded Chauncey Billups, their pump to impart motion, the Piston’s piston, so to speak, to Denver in exchange for a tank of Nitrous Oxide in the form of Allen Iverson. The dependable establishment has been shaken to its core. The emergence of the Boston Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers and most surprisingly the Atlanta Hawks have forced the Pistons to adapt and retool.

With Iverson replacing Billups and teaming with Detroit’s basketball Big Three of Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince, Team President Joe Dumars has attempted to rebuild his Pistons despite losing the engine that propelled them to the 2004 NBA title over the Los Angeles Lakers.

So far, the gamble has paid off, yet, with the uncertain contract status of Iverson and the progression of Rodney Stuckey still unfolding, it is unclear whether or not this tune-up was necessary.

The Lakers (7-0) are rooted in the elegant strides of Trevor Ariza, the graceful movements of Kobe Bryant and the agile Post ballet of Pau Gasol.

The Piston style of basketball is predicated by the workman like defense of Tayshaun Prince, the iron physicality of Jason Maxiell and the well-oiled shooting of Rip Hamilton.

If the Pistons are a muscle car, built from American steel and based on blue-collar ingenuity, the Lakers are an import tuner. An amalgamation of aftermarket parts and shiny bells and whistles that come together to form something poetic and beautiful in its patchwork mastery.

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • National: ESPN
  • Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Detroit: FS Detroit (George Blaha & Greg Kelser)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Detroit: WDFN 1130 AM (Mark Champion & Rick Mahorn)

Injuries -

  • Lakers: None to report.

Pistons:

  • Questionable: Rodney Stuckey (dizziness…no joke)

Storylines -

Waffle Iron Hands: Last year, while Kwame Brown continued his dreary existence as a Los Angeles Laker, I, at the behest of radio hero Petros Papadakis, made a crude approximation of what Kwame would look like if he indeed had waffle irons for hands. The results can be seen here.

I showed the haunting image to my 7-year old brother Jimmy (who will be attending the game tonight), and needless to say, he still believes that Kwame actually has waffle irons where his hands should be. Regardless of 7-year old enchantment, it is still important to remember where we all were a mere year ago, still at the will of a Center with waffle iron hands.

Stu’s Views: I have a bone to pick with whoever is in charge of graphics for the KCAL broadcast. I want to know what happened to the peeping tom cartoon Stu!? OH! Sneaking around in the bushes with his $2,000 suit, peering out of binoculars! It realllllly got my blood pumping for some Laker road game action! BRING BACK CARTOON PEEPING TOM STU!

Varsity Challenge -

(Prize: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s grandfatherly cardigan sweater and glasses on a string)

Name the bench of the 1989 & 1990 Bad Boy Pistons teams.

  • unstoppable589

    so tonight i had an intramural game at uci with some friends.. as we are getting near the end we hear kobe is working out. sure enough he is there with two trainers. they didnt let us get near him really. but as he was leaving he shook some people’s hands, so i told him congrats on last years mvp and he gave me a hand shake haha. then as he was leaving in his rover i told him good luck against the pistons and he said thanks bro. sweetest moment ever at uci

  • MELLyMEL

    The starters were Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, Isaih Thomas, james edwards, Joe Dumars
    so that leaves…
    Dave Greenwood,Gerald Henderson,John Salley, Mark Aguire, Ralph Lewis,Scott Hastings,Stan Kimbrough,Vinnie Johnson, William Bedford

    YA! gimme kareems sweater and glasses! lol

    i also was wondering where stu’s “the peeping tom’s” views went hahah

    we stopped the answer in denver, we can stop him again

    8-0 baby!

  • Brian

    hahah Stu’s views, imma say the 4 B’s. Bald head, Blazer, Binoculars, and Bushes. haha classic KCAL.

  • Andrew Rafner

    [Comment ID #54492 Will Be Quoted Here]

    you forgot some KEY dudes

  • http://rfdesigns.site40.net rfdesigns

    They struggle to beat Warriors, if we play defense like the lakers team play against new orleans. this is a blowout win… 8-0 :-)
    GO LAKERS!!!!.. no one can dethrone the lakers this year.. S

  • Michael_23

    Pistons are not close to what they used to be. Pistons lack what Boston and LA has today. Mental Toughness. They had that with Larry Brown.

  • nabil

    Kwame Brown….sigh. Biggest addition by subtraction ever. If we got a wet paper bag for Kwame, it would have been a good trade. But the fact that we got the ragging Spaniard is f-ing unbelievable.

    Thanks for reminding me of the painful memories that I had tried to repress. Kwame. Cook. Buy-bye! Hello Aria and Pau!

    Cupcake for PRESIDENT 2016. (Forget about 2012, its already over.)

  • Sako

    win this one for douchebag David Cowens

  • mr.laker19

    I said when this trade first happen that Denver would benefit the most from this trade, and so far I’ve been right. Iverson lacks the composure, balance, and defense that chauncey has. Iverson is for sure the better player, but even though Amare might be better than Bynum right now I would still rather have Bynum for our team any day. Any ways, Detroit is still a good team and we need to establish consistent offense early. And give Bynum more clock too! Lets go Lake show!

  • MIKE SANDERS

    Great article, very well written.

  • e

    [Comment ID #54502 Will Be Quoted Here]

    yeah, like you said, we can not disregard them yet…they can still get it going anytime..pau will have a difficult time on rasheed, bynum will murder kwame, fisher will not be able to guard iverson, prince will be prince and will also probably guard kobe..the guy im worried about the most is rip hamilton..he’s been off which is why pistons have had a hard time winning…if he turns his switch on again, i assure everyone, we do indeed have something to worry about…and BTW F*CK i miss kobe at the arc last night!!!! oh well going to the game today =)

  • Scott P

    The starters were Lambeer, Mahorn, Aguirre, Thomas and Dumars. Key reserves were Edwards, Salley, Rodman and Vinnie Johnson. The rest were scrubs.

  • nabil

    The MIcrowave!!!

  • DCLAKER

    NEW LAKERS KICKIN’ THE @#$% OUT OF THE PISTONS THEME MUSIK!!

  • Richard

    I didn’t like peeping tom Stu. That sucked man! Go Lakers!

  • http://TheVerveNerve.com Billy Kupchak

    “Stu’s Views: I have a bone to pick with whoever is in charge of graphics for the KCAL broadcast. I want to know what happened to the peeping tom cartoon Stu!? OH! Sneaking around in the bushes with his $2,000 suit, peering out of binoculars! It realllllly got my blood pumping for some Laker road game action! BRING BACK CARTOON PEEPING TOM STU!”

    What about the Lance Lens? :cool:

  • PeanutButterSpread

    [Comment ID #54490 Will Be Quoted Here]

    So awesome. I go to UCI and I still haven’t met Kobe yet, partially because I hate the ARC’s parking lot as of this moment.

    Very cool you got to meet him! I like that he filmed a video segment for the UCI men and women’s basketball team.

  • http://lakeshowlife.com Adam

    Waffle Iron Hands! Love it. Absolutely love it. Let’s take care of business tonight, Purple and Gold!

  • yeah ok

    The writer tries so hard to implement different metaphors and advanced wording to make his write-up’s seem more impressive, his writing makes it look like he’s trying hard and it shows.

  • adjeff

    Good Job, I cant wait to go tho the Game and Jimmy wore his Laker colors to school today.

  • Freshh

    We win by 14.

  • http://youtube.com/MvpGoesToKobe LakersNewDynasty08

    omg man do individual matchups

  • Kent

    Kwame Brown is coming back to STAPLES Center. His second time back to LA since trade. Last time on March 28, I attended the Lakers-Grizzlies. He DNP due to Coach’s decision. Be sure to boo him tonight. Go Lakers!!!

  • DCLAKER

    Lakers 116-Pistons 108

    Did anybody see Garnett and Calderon? How come NO call was made?

  • Andrew Rafner

    [Comment ID #54542 Will Be Quoted Here]

    it was actually kinda effortless

  • Andrew Rafner

    [Comment ID #54564 Will Be Quoted Here]

    NO! THE GAME IS NOT PREDICATED ON INDIVIDUAL MATCHUPS!!!

  • Big Phil

    Play some f__Kin defense in this 1st half damnit. I’m sick of these slow starts in recent games. Put Ariza or Kobe on AI because Fish and Farmar can’t guard AI. Vlad’s defense may have improved alittle this year, but his offense has gone south…his shooting is worse than Lamar’s.

  • Big Phil

    Too much one-on-one basketball by the Lakers…no ball movement, not much passing…1 dribble 1 shot…Lakers making really bad decisions on offense…and they seem to be starting alot of their games like this…ugh

  • unstoppable589

    [Comment ID #54534 Will Be Quoted Here]

    yeah i know what u mean about the arc parking.. luckily i live in vdc norte so i can walk there. i was surprised that he was there last night. now as im writing this theyre down by 11 and my friends keep sending me texts saying it was my handshake that is messing him up haha

  • http://youtube.com/MvpGoesToKobe LakersNewDynasty08

    [Comment ID #54588 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Well to bad u did it last year!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew Rafner

    [Comment ID #54595 Will Be Quoted Here]

    THAT WASN’T ME!!!

  • http://youtube.com/MvpGoesToKobe LakersNewDynasty08