Preview by CelticBalla32
About a week and a half ago, the Celtics met the new-look Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills for Allen Iverson's crowd-energized home debut. Unfortunately for the fans of Michigan, it wasn't the home debut that they had all anticipated, as the Celtics swept the floor with Detroit through three quarters (69-51) and walked away with a double-digit victory to spoil AI's night.
Since, however, Iverson and the Pistons have played terrific basketball and seem to be learning how to play with one another. Detroit has won four of their last five games; two of which coming against the likes of Cleveland and on the road versus defending Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Within those four victories, the Pistons have held their opponent to just over 43% shooting and have gotten three monster double-doubles out of Rasheed Wallace, who appears to be playing with tremendous passion and heart.
Another key anecdote regarding Detroit's recent surge is centered around the exact same time the Celtics like to pounce on their prey - the third quarter. Throughout those aforementioned four wins, Detroit has held a combined 111-84 third quarter advantage, with three of those four games coming on the road. The C's have notoriously sucked the life out of the opposition in the third quarter of games over the past year-plus, and if Detroit comes out of intermission with the same mindset, we could be in for one interesting battle.
Don't expect the flat, unaware, and confused Piston club that we saw last Sunday. In fact, it's safe to expect the complete opposite.
PG SG SF PF C
PPG: Allen Iverson (20.6)
RPG: Rasheed Wallace (9.8)
APG: Allen Iverson (6.1)
SPG: Allen Iverson (2.1)
BPG: Rasheed Wallace (1.8)
Pistons X-Factor: Play With A Chip On That Shoulder
Allen Iverson has spoken proudly of the fact that they've been able to "knock off" the likes of LA and Cleveland, but tonight is the night they go up against the big dog of the league.
Any clinically sane basketball observer knows that the November 8 Pistons are not the same team as the one we're going to see in the future, or even tonight. Boston flat out spanked Detroit on their home floor in their last meeting, and it's time for Michael Curry's group to come out and prove that it was nothing more than a fluke in the midst of an adjustment period, even if they are on the second night of a back-to-back.
PG SG SF PF C
PPG: Paul Pierce (21.1)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (9.8)
APG: Rajon Rondo (6.7)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (2.1)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.3)
Celtics X-Factor: Strong Start
Despite the pretty 10-2 record, the C's have not begun games with the same flair and - dare I say it - domination factor that they carried a year ago. They've gotten off to many slow, sloppy, flat starts that have put them on their heels for 48 minutes. They've gotten away with it thus far, but you wonder how long that can last, and you certainly wonder if these slow starts can get it done against other powerhouses such as the Detroit Pistons.
With the way Detroit has played as of late, to go along with the "I'll show you" factor that they should be bringing with them to the Garden tonight, it's imperative for the C's to get off to a good start and ride out momentum throughout the rest of the game.
|2008 - Rasheed Wallace||14.2||9.8||1.8|
|2008 - Kevin Garnett||16.3||9.8||2.0|
Keys to Victory
- Strong Start
- Ball Movement
- Ball Control