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Celtics Go for 10th Straight as they Visit the Palace

at
Boston Celtics (38-9) at Detroit Pistons (25-19)
Friday, January 30
7:00 PM ET
Game #48, Road Game #23
TV: ESPN, FS Detroit HD, CSN HD
Palace at Auburn Hills

Game Thread l Chat

The Celtics visit the Palace at Aubern Hills for the second time this season. The first visit resulted in an 88-76 Celtics win. The Celtics lead the season series 20 after a second win in the TD Banknorth Garden during their 19 game win streak. The Celtics are once again streaking, coming into this game having won 9 in a row. The Pistons have been struggling and are just 3-7 in their last 10 games.

The Pistons are trying to find a solution for their struggles and have shaken up their lineup, moving long time starter, Rip Hamilton, to the bench. Hamilton was injured in the Pistons' last game and will be a game time decision. He would be very important to them as a scorer off the bench. Rodney Stuckey was moved into the starting lineup which shifted Allen Iverson to the shooting guard position.

The Pistons are 13-9 at home while the Celtics are 15-7 on the road. The Pistons averaged only 78 points against the Celtics in their two previous games. There is little resemblance between this Pistons team and the one that just a few years ago set the standard on defense.

In spite of their struggles, the Pistons have defeated 5 of the 6 division leaders already this season. The Celtics are the only division leader that they haven't gotten past and they would very much love to beat the Celtics in this one and complete their sweep of the division leaders.

Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard
vs
Rajon Rondo vs Rodney Stuckey

Shooting Guard
vs
Ray Allen vs Allen Iverson

Small Forward
vs
Paul Pierce vs Tayshaun Prince

Power Forward
vs
Kevin Garnett vs Amir Johnson

Center
vs
Kendrick Perkins vs Rasheed Wallace

Key Matchups
vs
Rajon Rondo vs Rodney Stuckey
The Pistons have had a lot of problems and questions but one thing is for sure, they see Rodney Stuckey as their point guard of the future. They traded Chauncey Billups and now they have moved Allen Iverson to shooting guard so that Stuckey is their starting PG. Rondo needs to be aggressive and control the tempo of this game from start to finish.

vs
Ray Allen vs Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson isn't known for his defense and with the way Ray Allen has been shooting the ball, RA could have a very good night against AI.

Honorable Mention
Paul Pierce vs Tayshaun Prince
Prince has given Pierce problems in the past because of his length. Pierce has been content to let his co-stars take center stage in recent games but he has always taken the matchup with Prince personally and so we may see a big night from Pierce in this one.

X-Factor
Road vs Home
The Celtics are one of the toughest home teams in the league, but they have shown to be vulnerable on the road, leaving their defense and team play at home. They have shown that they can dominate on the road but they have also shown that they can be beaten on the road. Let's hope that the team that beat the Magic on the road shows up instead of the one that lost to the Lakers on the road.