Pistons' 'D' will be a telling factor

Updated: December 23, 2004, 5:25 PM ET
By Brian James | ESPN Insider
Before each and every NBA game, if you walk into a locker room 90 minutes prior to tip off, you'll see "the white board" (formerly chalk boards). With a felt-tip pen, an assistant coach has written the game plan, the main offensive set and the keys to victory.

Let's take a look at what might be on those boards in the Pistons and Pacers' locker rooms before their Christmas Day game at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (ESPN, 12:30 p.m. ET).

Pistons Locker Room

1. Take the crowd out of the game with a quick, efficient start
The Pacers, for years, have jumped out and taken control of games at home by getting early leads and getting the energetic crowd behind them. The Pistons do not want to give this crowd any extra incentive to be more vocal than they already will be. This game, of course, is the first rematch of the teams since the Nov. 19 duel in Auburn Hills, Mich., that ended in a brawl that spilled into the stands and resulted in five player suspensions.