MOTOR CITY MYSTERY
The Detroit Pistons are racking up some odd numbers.
When playing the first or second game of back-to-backs, the Pistons are 14-1. However, they are 2-7 in the other games with at least one day’s rest. In addition, they have losses to Milwaukee, Golden State, New Orleans, Portland and Indiana, all worse than .500 when they played.
“I just wish we could play teams with .500 or better records every night,” Chauncey Billups said. “We can’t seem to beat teams that are under .500. It’s bizarre.”
CELTICS TUNED OUT
The hits keep coming for the lowly Atlantic Division.
The NBA decided to remove last Friday’s game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers from its schedule on ESPN. The game represented the Celtics’ only scheduled appearance on ESPN this season.
The Celtics have no games slated for Thursdays on TNT. For now, Boston is still scheduled for a March 11 game on ABC against the Chicago Bulls.
KEY IVERSON DATES
Allen Iverson, traded from Philadelphia to Denver this week, will face the Lakers for the first time as a Nugget on Jan. 5 at Staples Center.
Other notable dates for Iverson include Jan. 2, when he will face the 76ers for the first time, in Denver, and Jan. 20 in Houston, when he will play with Carmelo Anthony for the first time, if Anthony serves all 15 games of his suspension and the Nuggets have made up the game against Phoenix postponed Wednesday by a winter storm.
-- PAUL NETTER