Celtics look to restore some dignity as they take on the Pistons

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics and Pistons square off for the 4th and final time this season as the Celtics travel to Detroit.

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Boston Celtics (23-53) at Detroit Pistons (27-49)
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Regular Season Game #77, Road Game #38
TV: CSNNE, FS Detroit, NBA-LP 755(DTV), 753(Xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, 97.1 The Ticket
Palace of Auburn Hills
Referees: John Goble, Courtney Kirkland, James Williams

Game Thread l Chat

The Celtics and Pistons square off for the 4th and final time this season as the Celtics travel to Detroit. The Pistons are up 2-1 on the Celtics with the Celtics win coming in their last meeting in Boston. Detroit has won 5 consecutive games at home vs the Celtics.

Both teams are playing in the second of back to back games and both teams had to travel overnight. The Celtics have lost 7 straight and are 1-9 in their last 10 games while the Pistons have lost their last 2 games and are 2-8 in their last 10 games. The Pistons are 16-23 at home while the Celtics are 8-29 on the road.

The Celtics will be without their starting back court as Rajon Rondo will be sitting out the back to back game for rest while Avery Bradley is dealing with an Achilles injury. They will also be without Kris Humphries, who is dealing with tendinitis in his knee. At first I guessed that Pressey would start at PG but I'm thinking that Bayless will start at the point and Chris Johnson at the 2 so that they have a point guard to come off the bench. Jared Sullinger will probably step into the starting center spot. Those are just guesses.

The Celtics were frustrated and feeling pretty low after their last two losses. After being positive for most of the year, even Brad Stevens was frustrated over the lack of effort from his players. However, as a result of their 7 game losing streak, the Celtics now are 1 game ahead of the Jazz for the 4th worst record. Detroit has the 8th worst record and are 4 games behind the Celtics. Hopefully the will gain some amount of pride and we will see a better effort in this one.

Probable Starters

PG:Jerryd Bayless
SG: Chris Johnson
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Jared Sullinger

Celtics Reserves
Joel Anthony
Phil Pressey
Chris Babb
Kelly Olynyk

Keith Bogans (personal) out
Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Gerald Wallace (knee) out
Avery Bradley (Achilles) out
Rajon Rondo (rest) out
Kris Humphries (knee) out

Probable Starters

PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: Kyle Singlar
SF: Josh Smith
PF: Greg Monroe
C: Andre Drummond

Pistons Reserves
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Jonas Jerebko
Tony Mitchell
Luigi Datome
Rodney Stuckey
Charlie Villanueva
Will Bynum
Peyton Siva

Chauncey Billups (knee) out
Josh Harrellson (knee) out

Key Matchups
Jeff Green vs Josh Smith
It's about time for Jeff Green to have a big game and he'll need it against Josh Smith who is averaging 16.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

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 13.0 points and 12.8 rebounds.The size of the Pistons front court will give the Celtics problems.

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. They haven't done that in their last 2 games.

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. The Celtics will have to work extra hard to keep them out of the paint and take them out of their game. The Celtics have to especially clamp down on defense at the end of games when they tend to allow teams to get easy baskets.

Limit Turnovers
- The Celtics turned the ball over 22 times against the Sixers. They won't win many games with that many turnovers. They need to take better care of the ball as the Pistons will convert those turnovers into points.

Pride and Fatigue
I keep waiting for the Celtic Pride to kick in and give the Celtics that extra boost to help them get the win. Will it be there in this game? Also both teams played in back to back games and fatigue may become a factor. Which team will be able to play through the fatigue for the win?
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