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Pistons Come to Town for Matinee Game

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Detroit Pistons (28-29) at Boston Celtics (47-13)
Sunday, March 1
1:00 PM ET
Game #61, Home Game #30
TV: ABC
TD Banknorth Garden

Game Thread l Chat

The Pistons haven't lived up to expectations this season. They are one game under .500 and have not been the same team that has been so dominant in the East over the past several years. The Celtics are up 3-0 in the series so far this season and we can expect the Pistons to come in and play hard to avoid a sweep.

The Pistons lost 8 in a row before finally getting a win on Friday. The Pistons are 13-14 on the road while the Celtics are 24-4 at home. The Celtics are 30-4 against the East while the Pistons are 17-16 against the East.

Rip Hamilton had been moved to the bench in an attempt to shake things up but after losing 8 in a row, they moved him back into the starting lineup and he responded with 31 points in a Pistons win. Allen Iverson didn't play in that game due to a negative MRI on his sore back. He is doubtful for this game as well.

In their last game they played with a renewed passion and with the quick ball movement and team play that has been missing in their recent games. They won by being aggressive and closing the passing lanes and playing tough defense. The Celtics should expect more of the same in this game and will have to match their aggression and intensity if they expect to get a win.

Probable Starting Matchups

Point Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Rodney Stuckey

Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Richard Hamilton

Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Tayshaun Prince

Power Forward
Glen Davis vs Antonio McDyess

Center
Kendrick Perkins vs Rasheed Wallace

Injuries

Boston CelticsKevin Garnett (knee) out
Tony Allen (thumb) out
Brian Scalabrine (neck) out
Paul Pierce (thumb) will play

Detroit Pistons
Allen Iverson (back) doubtful

Key Matchups
vs
Rajon Rondo vs Rodney Stuckey
Chauncey Billups was traded to Denver and Allen Iverson was moved to shooting guard in order to make room for Stuckey as the starting point guard. The Pistons are very high on him and feel he is the future of the club. This will be a good matchup of 2 young and promising point guards
Rondo needs to be aggressive and not pass up shots as he did against the Pacers.

vs
Paul Pierce vs Tayshaun Prince.
Prince is long and at times has been able to dominate against Pierce. Pierce on the other hand can use his strength against Prince. Pierce was tentative against the Pacers because of his injured thumb but they will need strong play from Pierce especially on the defensive end as Prince is capable of putting up big numbers.

Honorable Mention
Ray Allen vs Rip Hamilton
Hamilton was moved to the bench and the Pistons went on an 8 game losing streak. They won their last game after Rip was moved back to the starting lineup. It was Rip Hamilton who moved Ray to being wearing the shooting sleeve because Rip was living up to his nickname and leaving scratches on Ray's arm from his long fingernails. Both players are good at moving through screens to get open and it will be a good matchup.

Connections
Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen are both former UConn Huskies
Pistons' assistant coach Dave Cowens played with the Celtics from 1970-1980, won 2 rings and had his #18 jersey retired
Tayshaun Prince and Rajon Rondo are both former Kentucky Wildcats

Keys to the Game
Be Aggressive
Crash the Boards
No Let Up
Move the Ball and Find the Open Man

X-Factor
Filling in the Holes
The Celtics are playing without Tony, KG, and Scal and they need players to step up and fill in the holes left by the injuries.