Charlie Villanueva

Oooohhh-weeee! Here’s a barnburner! And by “barnburner”, I mean “If this game was a barn, I would burn it down.” To be honest, my main reason for watching this game will be for me to have something to look at while I exercise tonight. My brother is getting married in three months and I just learned that I’m going to be the M.C. I don’t want the attendees to look at me and ask, “Why is the groom’s younger brother so much fatter than him?”

Earlier this season, it looked like the Pistons were in a hopeless death spiral of mediocrity and in-fighting. Out of the ashes of a once-proud franchise, rookie center Greg Monroe has emerged as a bright beacon of hope for the team’s future. While he doesn’t provide the great post defense I prefer in an NBA center, he’s a decent rebounder and a surprisingly skilled offensive player for a guy his age and size. His .541 field goal percentage and low turnover rate (just 1.5 turnovers per 36 minutes) show that he’s the rare big man who knows what to do with the ball when it’s in his hands.

Is Monroe a player you can build a team around? Probably not, unless his defense improves substantially. But he’s well ahead of the curve in terms of what you’d expect from a 20-year-old big man and all reports out of Detroit indicate he’s hard-working and has a great attitude. When you consider the malcontents he’s forced to play with, just think what he might be able to contribute on a good team populated with players who act like professionals.

Injury report

Toronto: Amir Johnson will miss another game with his sprained ankle, while Alexis Ajinca is questionable with a sore knee

Detroit: Austin Daye is probable for tonight, Jonas Jerebko is out for the season.

Five questions

1. Did Pistons coach John Kuester mean to give between 20 and 30 minutes of playing time to all 10 of the Pistons who played in their 30-point loss to the Bobcats on Sunday?

2. Why have two of Tracy McGrady’s five highest-scoring games this season happened against the Raptors?

3. How awkward do you think the atmosphere in the Pistons’ locker room is these days?

4. If their contracts were the same, would you trade Andrea Bargnani for Greg Monroe?

5. Did you know that Amir Johnson will be on Tim and Sid: Uncut tomorrow? No, I’m not going to try to get his autograph.

Start time: 7:30 PM ET
Channel: TSN2
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Ed Davis, Andrea Bargnani
Detroit: Rodney Stuckey, Tracy McGrady, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Greg Monroe

Your pregame song is “The Warning” by Eminem, which might just be the most devastating diss track ever recorded. I think trying to take on Eminem might be dumber than trying to block a Blake Griffin alley-oop attempt.