(34-39) -- (27-46)

Venue TV TIME
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY MSG 7:30 PM EST


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Injury Report

Detroit Pistons New York Knicks
Michael Gbinije - Left ankle sprain (DOUBT) Joakim Noah - Sore left hamstring (OUT)
- Carmelo Anthony - Sore left knee (AVAIL)
- Lance Thomas - Sore right hip (OUT)




Game Preview

NEW YORK -- With their playoff hopes dashed, the New York Knicks can turn their attention to playing the spoiler role in the Eastern Conference this week.

That starts Monday when the Knicks (27-46) host the Detroit Pistons (34-9) at Madison Square Garden. Detroit, riding a three-game losing streak, is one game behind the Miami Heat for the eighth and final spot in the East's playoff picture.

"We're at that point in the year where we've hit a bit of a wall," Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told the Detroit News. "The energy has been sapped and everybody's really frustrated."

Detroit is 11-25 on the road and 20-25 against Eastern Conference opponents. It hasn't fared well in its own Central Division either, going 5-15.

In their 115-87 loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday, the Pistons trailed throughout the game and fell behind by as many as 33 points. Tobias Harris was the lone starter to score in double figures. Van Gundy's group shot just 28.6 percent in the first quarter.

"I think every night we go into the game ready to make a good effort," the Detroit coach said. "We open games wanting to play a certain way, and when it doesn't go our way, frustration sets in. We're just struggling with the mental part of it right now."

The Knicks, losers of four straight on their western road swing, can also have a say in the Heat's future when they play a home-and-home at New York on Wednesday and in Miami on Friday. New York will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

The off-the-court chaos for Knicks first-year coach Jeff Hornacek continued on Saturday when the league suspended center Joakim Noah for 20 seasons for using a banned substance. Noah is rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late February and was expected to be evaluated this month.

Willy Hernangomez has been filling in nicely for Noah, who was struggling before the injury in his first season in New York. Hernangomez has started 12 games since February and figures to be a part of next season's plans.

"One of the biggest things I have to work on this summer is going to be my defense so next year I can defend (centers) and (power forwards)," Hernangomez told Newsday.

Hernangomez will have his hands full on Monday, trying to contain Detroit center Andre Drummond, who is second in the league in rebounds (14 per game) and third in post touches a game with 7.1.

Hernangomez is averaging 9.4 rebounds in just 21.4 minutes in March, along with 10 points and 50.7 percent from the field. He is second in rebounding among rookies, fourth in shooting, fifth in blocked shots and third in double-doubles with eight.

"He's just battling -- hitting guys," Hornacek said, according to the New York Post. "He was trying to make moves but not have the contact. Now he doesn't care. He'll put his shoulder into you. His moves inside are slowing down."

Carmelo Anthony was held out of the Knicks' two previous games with a sore left knee. He is questionable for the Pistons game.

New York and Detroit are fourth and fifth, respectively, in the league in rebounding.

(cbssports.com)