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Eastern Conference Finals, Game 4
Monday, May 26
8:30 PM ET
TV: ESPN
The Palace of Auburn Hills 
Chat   l   Game Thread   

Game 3 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals couldn’t have been scripted much better for the Celtics, as they came away with a 14-point road victory to finally get the monkey (or as Paul Pierce said, the gorilla) off their back. No longer can the critics say that the Celtics are unable to win on the road, and no longer can they suggest that the C’s cannot tame the Detroit Pistons.

With a 2-1 series lead, the Celtics will give their best shot at back-to-back road victories tonight back at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Should the Celtics shock the world with two straight road victories, they’d head back home to Boston for Game 5 holding a comfortable 3-1 series lead and the chance at closing the series out convincingly. Should the green lose tonight, they’d head back home all tied up at 2-2, with two of the final three games (if necessary) of the series at the TD BankNorth Garden.

You’ve got to expect Detroit to come out throwing their best punch in tonight’s Game 4, and you’ve got to assume that they will not allow the Celtics to get off to another 15-4 start. Regardless, as Doc Rivers would say, the Celtics need to worry about running their stuff rather than worrying about what Detroit is going to do. As long as the C’s "run their stuff" and match their first half intensity level from Saturday night, they’ll be in good shape.

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Projected Starters

C Kendrick Perkins / Rasheed Wallace
PF Kevin Garnett / Antonio McDyess
SF Paul Pierce / Tayshaun Prince
SG Ray Allen / Rip Hamilton
PG Rajon Rondo / Chauncey Billups

 

Key Matchup: Rajon Rondo vs. Chauncey Billups

Thus far, Chauncey Billups has been "wax on, wax off." In Detroit’s Game 2 victory, Billups put up 19 points; in Detroit’s two losses this series, he has put up stinkers. Rondo needs to make sure Billups doesn’t bounce back from Saturday’s loss with a big outing, because a red hot Chauncey is the last thing the Celtics need on the road.

 

Celtics X-Factor: Supporting Cast

In Game 2, the supporting cast shot just under 29% from the field, resulting in a six-point loss for the Celtics. In Game 3, they scored 47 points on 51.6% shooting, helping the C’s come away with a 14-point victory. Asking them to duplicate Saturday’s performance may be a bit over the top, but if the Celtics want to have a chance at stealing another game on the road, the role players are going to have to step up big again.

 

Injury Report
BOS – Scot Pollard (torn tendon in left ankle – out for season)

 

Celtics Keys to the Game

  • Defensive Rotations
  • Rebounding
  • Bench Play
  • Attack
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Ball Movement
  • Ball Control