Detroit Pistons (3-15) at Boston Celtics (4-11)
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #16, Home Game #10
TV: CSNNE, FSDet, NBA-LP 753(DTV), 753(xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 105.1 FM
Referees: Mike Callahan, JT Orr, Gary Zielinski
The Celtics are back home to face the Pistons after another tough loss in Atlanta. True to their recent pattern, the Celtics got off to a big lead and then collapsed, allowing the Hawks to come away with a 109-105 win.
The Pistons are also playing in the second of back to back games, having lost to the Lakers by 10 points at home and then having to travel to Boston overnight for this game. The Pistons ar3e 1-7 on the road while the Celtics are just 2-7 at home.
The Celtics have some good news and they can sure use it. Marcus Smart has missed the last 10 games and has been upgraded to probable for this game. His presence should give the defense a much needed boost.
The Celtics have a 5 game losing streak while the Pistons have lost 9 in a row. One of those streaks will come to an end with this game. This is a very winnable game if the Celtics can gather their confidence and play their game.
Rajon Rondo..Avery Bradley..Jeff Green..Jared Sullinger..Tyler Zeller
Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Marcus Smart (ankle) probable
Brandon Jennings..Kentavious Caldwell-Pope..Kyle Singler..Josh Smith..Andre Drummond
Jodie Meeks (back) out
Jennings is playing very well, averaging 16.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Rondo is coming off a big game against the Hawks with 12 rebounds and 19 assists and so this should be a fun matchup to watch.
Tyler Zeller (or Kelly Olynyk) vs Andre Drummond
Drummond is a strong center who is averaging 10.6 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Whether Stevens chooses to start Zeller again or goes back to Olynyk, they will have their hands full with Drummond on both ends of the court.
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. They need to heed Tommy's advice to Rondo and push the ball on every opportunity.
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 tend to play like that and build leads and then somehow lose confidence and lapse into playing more timid. They have to be the more aggressive team throughout.
Rebound - Rebounding takes effort and desire. Rondo pulling down 12 rebounds in the last game proves that fact. The Celtics will need both in order to beat the big front line of the Pistons to the rebounds. 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. It doesn't matter how much they score if they can't stop the other team from scoring more. They must play defense and get stops especially at the end of the game. No let ups!
Limit Turnovers - The Celtics turned the ball over 23 times against the Hawks. They won't win many games with that many turnovers. They need to take better care of the ball as the Pistons will turn those turnovers into points.
Stamina and Home Game
Both teams are playing in the second of back to back games and both teams had to travel overnight. The team that can summon the most stamina to finish the game without running out of gas will get the win. The Celtics are at home and should get a boost from the home crowd.
Celtics look to end 5 game losing streak as they face the Pistons who are looking to end their own 9 game losing streak.