After making their long-awaited trip to the White House to celebrate last season's championship on Monday, the Dallas Mavericks are in Detroit Tuesday, thinking more about getting to .500 for the first time this season than defending their title.
At 4-5, Dallas has had one of the slowest starts for a defending NBA champion in recent memory. They have yet to win a road game, though a date with a 2-7 Detroit Pistons team with a -11.8 point differential could be the perfect opportunity to change that.
The Pistons have only two players -- Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace -- remaining from the team's run of six consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals in the decade and are in the beginning of a long rebuilding process.
On Monday night, they lost 92-68 to the Chicago Bulls.
Their top scorer is PF Greg Monroe, a skilled 6'11 big man from Georgetown and one of the few bright spots in GM Joe Dumars spotty personnel record in the last few years.
Detroit also features a host of athletic, penetrating guards -- Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey and rookie Brandon Knight from Kentucky -- who will present a challenge for the Mavericks' interior defense.
Dallas will be without Jason Kidd, who is expected to miss at least another three games with a lower back injury.
The 6:30 PM game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.