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Pistons at a glance

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May 20, 2008

THE STARTERS
F Tayshaun Prince
The most important assignment for the sixth-year player out of Kentucky will be guarding Paul Pierce. A lean 6 feet 9 inches, Prince is the team's best defensive player, using his long wingspan to contest shots. He can hit the spot-up 3-pointer if left open.

F Antonio McDyess
The 12-year veteran is in search of his first NBA title. He can consistently knock down the midrange jumper when his game is on. Last week, just hours after McDyess learned that his grandmother had died, he turned in his best performance of the playoffs (17 points, 11 rebounds), in the series-clinching win over Orlando. He is expected to share minutes with Jason Maxiell.

C Rasheed Wallace
The combative center is the team barometer. If he can keep his emotions in check, the Pistons will have a better chance of reaching the Finals. Wallace will draw Kevin Garnett away from the basket with his long-range accuracy. If Sheed can provide quality defense on Garnett and keep his composure, the Pistons should have a good chance of taking the series.

G Chauncey Billups
The former Celtic lottery pick is a matchup concern. He'll frequently look to post up the smaller Rajon Rondo. Billups not only is a clutch player, he also wears down the opposition with his physical play. He hasn't played since straining his right hamstring May 7 but is ready to go.

G Richard Hamilton
The former UConn star will be matched up against another ex-Husky in Ray Allen. The Pistons' leading scorer in the regular season (17.3 ppg) has raised his game in the playoffs (21.5). His midrange game is among the best in the league, and he hit a career-best 62 3-pointers this season.

THE KEY RESERVES
F Jason Maxiell
The 6-7, third-year bruiser out of the University of Cincinnati is the team's energy player. He is willing to bang in the paint and will score off offensive rebounds.

C Theo Ratliff
Ratliff, who started his career with Detroit in 1995 and rejoined the Pistons as a free agent in March, provides veteran depth up front, and is still a capable rebounder and shot blocker.

G Lindsey Hunter
Hunter's role is to provide a defensive spark and hit the occasional 3-pointer. He has reached the playoffs in 11 of his 15 NBA seasons.

G Rodney Stuckey
The 6-5 rookie was a capable fill-in for Billups in the second round, when he averaged 9.8 points and 3.4 assists. He had 19 points in 34 minutes in Game 3, and 15 points and 6 assists in 33 minutes in Game 5.

G-F Jarvis Hayes
The fifth-year swingman from the University of Georgia can provide an offensive lift. He can hit the open 3-pointer.

THE END OF THE BENCH
G Arron Afflalo
The 6-5 rookie from UCLA is averaging just 9 minutes per game in the playoffs, and isn't expected to see much time during this pressure-packed series.

G Juan Dixon
The 6-3 combo guard was acquired from Toronto in February but has been buried behind Stuckey and Hunter.

F Walter Herrmann
If the 28-year-old Argentine gets in a game, it will be during garbage time. He was picked up from Charlotte in a December trade.

F Amir Johnson
Now in his third year, the 6-9 Johnson is being brought along slowly after being drafted straight out of high school in Los Angeles.

C Cheikh Samb
The 7-1 rookie from Senegal is a project. He was drafted by the Lakers in the second round in 2006, but was traded on draft night to the Pistons for shooting guard Maurice Evans.
Compiled by Gregory Lee

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