LIONS AND PISTONS NOTES

     Detroit Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper did not practice Wednesday.  He is not expected to play in Sunday's game at Indianapolis because of a shoulder injury suffered late in last Sunday's 20-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.  What a break for  Culpepper-- why should he be a party to the Lions' 14th straight loss this season and 21st of 22 over all dating back to last season?

     The Lions have used five quarterbacks-- so who plays this Sunday?  Drew Henson, concussion ridden Drew Stanton or thumb injured Dan Orlovsky?  That's about what it all boils down to and the prospects don't look good for the Lions to win against this team.  As it is, Indy is a 17-point favorite.

     And in my view, if the Pistons don't win both games Friday and Saturday against weaklings Indiana and Charlotte, then they have serious problems relative to contending for the NBA title.  The Pistons are a mere 11-9 as it is.  Losing by 13 points at lowly Washington Tuesday night is cause for alarm as it is.  The Pistons blew 9-0 and 27-12 leads.  They just don't have the chemistry they want and need since they traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson 16 games ago.  The Pistons have a 7-9 record over that span.  And as it is, in the Eastern Conference, Boston and Cleveland look far better than the Pistons.  Either Joe Dumars makes another deal for a key frontline player or this will be a very trying season.  Iverson will be gone after this year, for sure and the Pistons will heavily get involved in the free agent market.  And who knows the future of rookie coach Michael Curry if the team continues to struggle.

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