Sunday , Mar , 25 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Motor City ballers losing tread

(Sports Network) – The Detroit Pistons are fading fast as the top team in the
Eastern Conference with their recent slide.

The Pistons were one-time owners of a comfortable lead over Cleveland in the
East and the Central Division, but currently are just 1 1/2 games ahead of the
Cavaliers in both categories.

Detroit’s big reason for the slip has been losses in three of the last four
games, including the first two contests of a three-game road trip. The Pistons
had won five straight before their sudden collapse and will wrap up the trek
on Sunday afternoon against the Milwaukee Bucks, a team Flip Saunders’ squad
should annihilate.

Detroit is the only team in the Eastern Conference with a winning road mark.
The Cavs are surprisingly 15-18 away from home in 2006-07. Detroit’s 23-12
mark as the visitor this season is the fourth best in the NBA behind Western
Conference powerhouses Dallas, Phoenix and San Antonio.

Saunders, though, will not have Rasheed Wallace for Sunday’s road game
after the forward received his 18th technical foul of the season for
complaining to officials in Friday’s loss to San Antonio. Wallace will serve
his second one-game suspension this month. Under NBA rules, every other
technical foul a player is slapped with after 16 results in a one-game
suspension.

The Pistons will have guard Lindsey Hunter back in the lineup after he was
suspended 10 games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Hunter
allegedly took his wife’s diet pills by mistake while battling through a cold.

Saunders already has stud point guard Chauncey Billups back in the mix after
he missed two games with a strained groin. Billups has posted 13 points in
each of the two games, both losses, he has played in since the injury.

The addition of forward Chris Webber was a hot topic for Detroit, which is
22-10 since signing the Motor City native as a free agent in January. The
Pistons are 22-9 with Webber in the starting lineup.

DET