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Mohammed makes debut with Pistons in opener vs. Bucks

Nov 1, 2006 - 4:15 PM Milwaukee (40-42) at Detroit (64-18) 8:00 pm EST

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Detroit Pistons are hoping Nazr Mohammed will help fill much of the void left by Ben Wallace's departure.

After starting 30 of 80 games with the San Antonio Spurs last season, Mohammed is expected to open in the middle for the Pistons, who meet the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday in the season opener for both teams.

A four-time Defensive Player of the Year, Wallace led the Pistons to four consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference finals and an NBA title in 2004, before signing with the Chicago Bulls in the offseason.

Detroit countered quickly by signing Mohammed, a eight-year veteran who helped the Spurs dethrone the Pistons in 2005.

Coach Flip Saunders can still call upon a trio of All-Stars, who helped the team lead the league with 64 victories before losing in the conference finals to the eventual-champion Miami Heat.

Richard Hamilton (20.1) and Chauncey Billups (18.5) set career highs in scoring and Rasheed Wallace averaged 15.1 points while hitting a career-best 155 3-pointers in 2005-2006.

Milwaukee won 10 more games last season than in 2004-2005 and reached the playoffs as the eighth seed in the East before losing in five games to the Pistons in the opening round.

Michael Redd set a career high in scoring (25.4) - the league's ninth-best total - and joined Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in franchise history to top 2,000 in a season.

Redd has improved his scoring average in each of his six seasons. He led the team in points in 63 regular-season games and averaged 27.2 in the playoff series against Detroit.

Andrew Bogut, the league's top pick in 2005, is expected to play for the Bucks after spraining his left lower leg in training camp on October 7. He averaged 9.4 points in his rookie campaign.

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