Pistons vs Hornets Game Preview - Feb. 11, 2013
Regular Season Game #53The All-Star break may not be coming soon enough for No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, who has shown signs of hitting "the wall."
Davis and the New Orleans Hornets try to wrap up a three-game road swing with a winning mark Monday night when they play the Detroit Pistons.
While Davis - averaging 12.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 37 games - was selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend, the 19-year-old has slowed of late by averaging 6.0 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 37.5 percent in his last three games.
He had a season-low two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 19-plus minutes Sunday when the Hornets (17-34) were denied a third straight victory in their 102-89 defeat at Toronto. Robin Lopez had 19 points for New Orleans, which allowed Toronto to shoot 51.3 percent and score 50 points in the paint.
"AD just didn't have it for whatever reason," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "Guys are coming after him and he's got to accept the challenge."
Davis has totaled 10 points on 5-for-17 shooting in the first two legs of this trip and failed to get to the foul line in either game. The forward, though, has shown some resiliency on the back end of consecutive nights, averaging 13.7 points and 7.4 rebounds on 51.0 percent shooting in nine such occasions.
He'll face a formidable low-post tandem at Detroit, where Jason Maxiell and Greg Monroe will offer the most resistance for the Pistons (20-32), who have made adjustments to win both their games since rookie forward Andre Drummond suffered a small fracture in his lower back.
The ninth overall pick had averaged 7.3 points and 7.5 rebounds off the bench in 50 games before the injury, but Monroe has been playing some of his best basketball of the season and enters this game with a career-high six straight double-doubles. The Pistons pivot had 14 points and 13 rebounds on Saturday in a 105-100 victory at Milwaukee, and Charlie Villanueva has proven a capable replacement for Drummond, hitting a tiebreaking 3-pointer late against the Bucks and totaling 39 points and 21 rebounds in the last two games.
"As a team, we definitely did a good job of staying poised," said Monroe, who has averaged 19.0 points and 12.8 rebounds while shooting 54.0 percent during his six-game surge. "Obviously, Charlie hit a big shot, but we got some stops late." Detroit hasn't won three straight since its season-high four-game run from Dec. 28-Jan. 4, with all the victories coming at home. The Pistons have won their last seven games when scoring at least 100 points and have dropped their last nine when failing to reach the century mark.
Monroe had 24 points and 16 rebounds in the only meeting between the teams last season, an 89-87 Pistons victory at home. Detroit has won its last three home games over the Hornets by a combined 11 points, with the two victories before the 2011-12 season coming in overtime.