NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 10th (All times eastern)
New Jersey Nets (8-19) at Detroit Pistons (7-20), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Second-year center Greg Monroe is starting to heat up for a Detroit Pistons team riding a season-high three-game winning streak and is aiming for his fourth straight double-double tonight versus the New Jersey Nets in the back end of a home-and-home series at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Monroe led the Pistons to a 99-92 victory at New Jersey on Wednesday and provided 20 points and 12 rebounds. Monroe has recorded a double-double in eight of his last nine games (14 total) and is averaging 20.8 points and 11.8 boards in his previous four contests.
"We're giving maximum efforts for 48 minutes, we're playing together, everybody's on the same page offensively and defensively," Monroe said of Detroit's recent success.
The former Georgetown star is one of only five players averaging 3.9 or more offensive rebounds per game and is tied for second in the NBA in total offensive rebounds with 104. Jonas Jerebko scored 16 points to go with seven rebounds, while Tayshaun Prince finished with 15 points and five assists for Detroit, which snapped a seven-game road losing streak and is aiming for its first four-game winning streak since a prevailing in five straight games from Dec. 4-12, 2009.
The Pistons are kicking off a three-game homestand tonight versus the Nets, Wizards and Spurs, and are 5-8 at The Palace this season. In injury news for Detroit, guard Will Bynum is questionable for Friday's game versus the Nets with a strained right foot. Bynum missed his 15th straight game on Wednesday and fellow guard Ben Gordon scored 14 points off the bench in New Jersey after missing the previous 10 games with a sore left shoulder.
New Jersey has lost four straight and six of seven games, and almost sent Detroit packing with a loss the last time out. Star point guard Deron Williams poured in a game-high 34 points on 10-of-21 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out four assists. He is averaging 26.3 points in his past nine games for the Nets, who suffered their third loss in a row at home and were outscored by a 31-19 margin in the second quarter.
"That second quarter was really lopsided and that's where they got their confidence," said Williams, was named a reserve on the East's All-Star team.
Jordan Farmar scored 22 points in a reserve role and Kris Humphries posted nine points and 16 rebounds in defeat. New Jersey shot 42.3 percent compared to Detroit's 53.4 percent clip. Keith Bogans had three points before suffering a left ankle injury in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. Bogans is expected to undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season.
Injuries are nothing new to the Nets this season since they're already without center Brook Lopez (foot), forward Damion James (foot), forward DeShawn Stevenson (knee), guard MarShon Brooks (toe) and center Mehmet Okur (back). Center Shelden Williams is the only Nets player to have appeared in all 27 of their games this season. He has made 10 starts.
The 2011-12 season series between the Nets and Pistons is tied at a game apiece, but Detroit is 14-6 in the past 20 matchups in the series. New Jersey has dropped nine in a row and 28 of its last 31 contests at The Palace. It hasn't won on the road in this series since a 79-74 victory on March 26, 2006.
02/10 10:41:12 ET