Detroit Pistons (24-38) at Boston Celtics (21-41)
Sunday, March 9, 2014
6:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #63, Road Game #33
TV: NBA-TV, CSNNE, FSDet
Radio: WBZ, 97.1 FM
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The Celtics host the Pistons for the third of 4 meetings this season. The Pistons won the first two meetings, 87-97 in Detroit,and 107-106 in Boston. They will meet one more time on April 5.
The Pistons are mostly the same team that played then while the Celtics have changed considerably since that time. This will be Rondo's first time facing the Pistons and the first game for Jerryd Bayless as a Celtic against them as well.
Detroit has won 6 out of the last 8 meetings between these two teams. The Pistons are 10-18 on the road while the Celtics are 13-19 at home. The Pistons are 3-7 in their last 10 and have lost their last 2. The Celtics are 2-8 in their last 10 games and are coming off a big win over the Nets.
The Pistsons are 9th in the East, just 3 games behind the Hawks, who are in the final playoff spot. With their last win, the Celtics moved from the 4th worst record to the 6th worst record. The standings at the bottom of the league are very tight and one win makes a big difference.
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Jerryd Bayless
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kris Humphries
Keith Bogans (personal) out
Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Avery Bradley (ankle) out
Gerald Wallace (knee) out
PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: Kyle Singlar
SF: Josh Smith
PF: Greg Monroe
C: Andre Drummond
Peyton Siva (ankle) day to day
Josh Harrellson (knee) out
Chauncey Billups (knee) out
Rajon Rondo vs Brandon Jennings
Jennings is playing very well, averaging 16.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. Rondo has been playing better with each game and so this should be a fun matchup to watch.
Kris Humphries vs Andre Drummond
Drummond is a beast and will be a challenge for the Celtics to contain. He is 1st in offensive rebounds, 3rd in the league in total rebounds, and 2nd in the league in double doubles. He is averaging 13.1 points and 12.9 rebounds.
Jeff Green vs Josh Smith
Smith is averaging 16.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists and will be a challenge for Green on the defensive end. It would be nice if Green could have one of his big games to make Smith have to work on that end as well.
Keys to the Game
Run, Run, Run - The Celtics have proved that when they run and move the ball up the court quickly, good things happen. They can't lapse into walking the ball up, playing half court and depending on iso's for scoring. When they over dribble and slow the game down, they struggle all the way around.
Be Aggressive - The Celtics need to be aggressive in going for loose balls, rebounding and defending. They also have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers. Good things happen when they get inside. They have to be hungry and play like the team that wants it more.
Rebound - Rebounding takes effort and desire. The Celtics will need both in order to beat the big front line of the Pistons to the rebounds. The Pistons are 1st in the league in offensive rebounds with 14.5 per game and so the Celtics will have to work extra hard to beat them to the boards.
Defense- The Celtics need to play tough team defense, especially in the paint. The Pistons are 1st in the league in points in the paint with an impressive 52.8 points per game. Because of the Pistons' size, the Celtics will have to work extra hard to keep them out of the paint and take them out of their game.
Limit Turnovers - The Celtics turned the ball over 28 times against the Nets and in spite of that somehow still won the game. They won't win many games with that many turnovers, however. They need to take better care of the ball as the Pistons will turn them into points.
Pride and Effort
The Celtics have acknowledged that they are playing for pride but will that be enough to get them a second win in a row? Will they put out the effort it will take to beat a Pistons team that is playing hard to try to make the playoffs?