Pistons Head West

With his team on the verge of setting a franchise record for losses to start a season, new Seattle SuperSonics coach P.J. Carlesimo is prepared to make changes.

Trying to avoid a team-record seventh straight loss, winless Seattle may have a different look Sunday night when the Detroit Pistons visit KeyArena.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Detroit -6.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 199 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 87% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -6.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

This figured to be a rebuilding season for the SuperSonics (0-6) after a major roster overhaul in the offseason saw them trade top scorers Ray Allen to Boston and Rashard Lewis to Orlando. The franchise also is dealing with a potential move to Oklahoma City, possibly as soon as after this season.

Those issues and the adjustment to Carlesimo have contributed to Seattle's record, matching the worst start in the franchise's 41-year history. The SuperSonics also opened 0-6 in the 1969-70 season - their third in the NBA.

Carlesimo said he won't alter his entire starting lineup but one player he could have available for the first time this season is veteran forward Kurt Thomas, who has been sidelined since straining his right hamstring in practice just before the season started.

"We'll see what he feels like," Carlesimo told the team's official Web site. "If he feels good and the doctors say he's good, we'll give him some time."

Thomas could replace struggling center Robert Swift, who is averaging only 2.0 points and 3.3 rebounds. Swift had no points and four fouls in 17 minutes Friday in a 103-101 home loss to Utah.

"The changes won't be wholesale changes - it will be a guy or two guys or something like that," Carleismo said. "And we'll tweak the minutes for a couple of people. There's some guys who have been getting more minutes, say, than somebody else. Now we'll try to bend it a little bit."

Carlesimo could give more court time to guard Luke Ridnour - a starter most of last season who is averaging 1.5 points in 11.3 minutes.

Another option is to start rookie Jeff Green, who had his best game of the season Friday with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting off the bench.

Kevin Durant - Seattle's other prized rookie - has struggled in his last two games despite totaling 37 points. He shot 7-of-21 from the field Friday and had his shot blocked four times by Utah's Andrei Kirilenko, including the potential game-tying attempt in the lane with three seconds left.

Durant, 10-of-38 from the field in his last two games, hasn't made his first basket until midway through the second quarter in each of his last two contests.

Detroit (4-1) will present Seattle with a difficult challenge, having won five straight meetings since the Sonics posted a 95-87 home win on March 4, 2005.

The Pistons rebounded quickly from their first loss of the season, coasting to a 103-79 victory over the previously unbeaten Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Chauncey Billups scored 23 points, connecting on 6-of-8 from 3-point range, and Antonio McDyess added 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting as Detroit bounced back following Thursday's 97-93 loss at Chicago.

"We needed to get that taste out of our mouths ... especially against a team that's been going good," Billups said.

This is the opener of a five-game road trip for the Pistons, who also will visit Portland, Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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