The Pistons are 17 games under .500 but only four games under at home. The Mavericks, meanwhile, have only 10 road wins. And somehow I have zero confidence that the Pistons will be able to pull out a victory. They just haven't looked like a functional basketball team in quite a while.

Detroit Pistons: 23-40 (15-19 home)
Dallas Mavericks: 27-33 (10-21 road)
Detroit Pistons tickets
The Situation

Greg Monroe missed his first game ever due to injury. But luckily for the team (unless you're a tanking advocate), their multi-talented big man is expected back tonight. Charlie Villanueva is also expected to suit up tonight. Lawrence Frank will miss another game dealing with a personal family matter and Brian Hill will once again coach in his absence.

Their opponent, the Mavericks, have slim playoff hopes but are in the hunt enough to bring maximum effort tonight even against the dregs of the NBA. As a team the Mavs still have a functional offense but their old, slow defense, especially down low, has held them back all season.

They have a deep team but Shawn Marion has been the only one to play consistently tough defense. Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, et al., can no longer really rebound adequately enough. Still, with only Greg Monroe as a serious threat down low and Detroit's perimeter play spotty at best, the Mavs should still be able to contain the Pistons.