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Bobcats-Pistons Preview

Nov 11, 2009 - 3:58 AM By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer

Charlotte (3-3) at Detroit (3-4), 7:30 p.m. EDT

John Kuester's positive experience as an assistant under Larry Brown in Detroit was a big reason he decided to become the Pistons' head coach over the summer.

The first-year coach will face his longtime colleague and mentor for the first time when the Pistons host Brown's Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Kuester was an assistant under Brown in 2003-04 when Detroit upset the Los Angeles Lakers in five games to win the franchise's most recent NBA title.

"He's a Hall of Famer," Kuester told the Pistons' official Web site of Brown. "Like I've said so many times before, it was a privilege to work for him."

While Kuester also coached with Brown in Philadelphia, their time together with the Pistons and his respect for the organization were key factors in the decision to replace the fired Michael Curry in Detroit.

Kuester's club heads into this reunion coming off an 88-81 home win over the 76ers on Sunday. Ben Gordon had 23 points and Ben Wallace added 16 rebounds, three blocks and three steals to help the Pistons (3-4) avoid a third straight loss.

While Gordon is averaging a career-high 24.0 points in his first season with Detroit, the Pistons also need role players like Wallace to step up in the absence of injured stars Richard Hamilton (ankle) and Tayshaun Prince (back). Hamilton is expected to miss a seventh straight game while Price should sit out his fifth in a row Wednesday.

In his second stint with the Pistons, the 35-year-old Wallace has been a pleasant early surprise averaging 9.6 rebounds and almost 29 minutes per contest.

"I knew Ben was going to be an asset this season because he'd be able to teach our bigs," Kuester said. "I never imagined he could have this kind of impact on the court. This is the old Ben Wallace again."

Wallace is averaging 7.1 points and 10.4 rebounds in 16 career games against Charlotte. Gordon, meanwhile, is averaging 23.3 points in his last nine against the Bobcats.

Though the Pistons are averaging 91.3 points, they rank near the top of the league allowing 91.7 while holding opponents to 41.7 percent shooting.

"We've been preaching defense every day and never really got a chance to see what we were going to be like offensively, because guys went down so fast," Kwame Brown said.

That doesn't bode well for the Bobcats (3-4), who are last in the NBA in scoring (84.7) and looking to avoid a third straight loss after falling 93-81 to Orlando on Tuesday.

Raymond Felton had 18 points and Boris Diaw added 14 for Charlotte. The Bobcats shot 2 for 17 from 3-point range and committed 16 turnovers that led to 22 Orlando points.

"We weren't playing defense, we weren't guarding anybody," said forward Gerald Wallace, who had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Felton, who had 14 points and 10 assists in a 93-90 loss at Chicago on Saturday, is averaging 19.3 and 5.6 assists in his last three games versus Detroit.

The Pistons went 3-1 against the Bobcats last season and are 7-2 all-time at home versus them. Charlotte is averaging 76.0 points while going winless in three road games this season.

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