We're a long way from the Malice at the Palace

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It was just over 11 years ago that one of the most infamous brawls in sports history took place. Nov. 19, 2004 was a brutal day at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Two extremely competitive teams took the court to battle out for bragging rights in their shared division. The Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers both played a very physical style of basketball, so it was certainly no surprise that tensions eventually ended up boiling over.

After a fight broke out between players on the court, a fan threw a cup of soda onto the court, striking Ron Artest. In response, Artest leapt into the stands and started a brutal and ugly fight between players and fans. It not only made the NBA look bad, it truly made metro Detroit look like a bunch of troublemakers and miscreants. As a result, nine players were suspended a total 146 games from the altercation, and security measures were tightened around the country at sporting events.

While this isn't an anniversary worth celebrating, the Pistons do take on the Pacers tonight at 7 p.m., and while it's not nearly as competitive of a game as the meeting between these two juggernauts was 11 years ago, the teams are currently only a half game apart in the standings in the Central Division. The Pistons are 14-25 on the season, with the Pacers just a hair ahead of them at 15-25 – both dismal seasons by any standards. Both teams have lots to prove, so the game will certainly be competitive, but let's not mince words...there most definitely will not be a championship coming home at the end of the season for either of these teams. For the Pistons faithful, however, pulling out 10 wins in 13 games would certainly be something to celebrate.


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