Category: Sports / January 15, 2013 11:14 AM EST
New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons players arrived in Britain on Tuesday (January 15), ready for their NBA league game in London on Thursday (January 17).
The teams will play at the O2 Arena which also hosted knock-out basketball games for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Thursday's game is a regular league match, the 16th such game to be played in a foreign market, and is designed to attract fans and spread coverage of NBA events outside its usual fan base.
According to organizers, the game sold out in just four days.
Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank said the team is going to use their practice time to plan how to beat the Knicks.
"We're still in the making of figuring out how to stop them. I mean Carmelo is a great scorer. He's a guy who can put together a 40 point game like it's nothing," Frank said. "He's a professional scorer, that what we call him in the States, he can score in a bunch of ways: he can shoot to three, he can score off the dribble, he can score in the post, he can score against double teams but they are more than Carmelo Anthony - they are a true team. They are a defensively-oriented team and then they have a bunch of offensive weapons."
The Knicks lead the Atlantic division of the Eastern Conference with 24 wins. The Pistons are fourth in the Central division of the same conference.
Frank said that, despite appearing to be an international game, Thursday's game is classed as a home game for the Pistons. Both teams will be able to use the travelling time and extra rest days as a time to bond during the mid-season.