Boston Celtics (6-6) at Detroit Pistons (6-7)
Saturday, November 20, 2016
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #13, Road Game #7
TV: CSNNE, FS Detroit, NBA-LP 756(xfinity), 758(DTV)
Radio: 100.7 WZLX, 105.1 FM
Palace of Auburn Hills
Referees: Ken Mauer, Brent Barnaky, Jacyn Goble
After a big game against the Warriors, the Celtics travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons. The Celtics simply didn't have enough firepower to get past the Warriors and lost 104-88. The Pistons also had a big game on Friday night as they lost to the Cavaliers 104-81 in Cleveland. Both teams had to travel after their game on Friday.
The Pistons have won 6 out of their last 8 games against the Celtics at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons are 5-0 at home so far this season, and the only team that is still undefeated at home. The Celtics are 2-4 on the road. Last season, the Celtics prided themselves on winning back to back games. They are 1-2 so far this season on the second night of back to back games, all of which have been home and then on the road.
The Pistons are very tough at home and have yet to allow an opponent to score more than 90 points at the Palace. They also hold the league’s best Defensive Rating (points per 100 possessions allowed) at home. Stan VanGundy has said that he may shake up their starting line up as the Piston starters. It's possible that he may insert Jon Leuer into the starters in place of Marcus Morris to try to get his team off to better starts.
The Pistons are missing their point guard, Reggie Jackson who is out with a knee injury. He has begun some light work on the court but is still not ready to come back. CSNNE is reporting that Jae Crowder and Al Horford will be starting in this game. Also, Marcus Smart is expected to play. We are sure to see some rust with Jae and Al, but their return should give the team a boost.
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Al Horford
C: Amir Johnson
PG: Ish Smith
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: Marcus Morris
C: Andre Drummond
Reggie Jackson (knee) out
Jae Crowder vs Tobias Harris
Harris is leading the Pistons with 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. He has had a couple of big games in the past and so Crowder needs to stick with him on defense to keep him from having another big game at the expense of the Celtics.
Amir Johnson vs Andre Drummond
Drummond is a beast in the paint on both ends of the court and is averaging 14.9 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. Last season in the 3 games against the Celtics, he averaged 22.3 point and 16.7 rebounds. Amir will definitely have his hands full trying to slow him down and to rebound against him.
Isaiah Thomas vs Ish Smith
Smith is averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.4 steals. Isaiah is still playing with a sprained finger on his shooting hand but it hasn't stopped him from leading the Celtics and hopefully he will be able to slow Smith down as well.
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. When they over dribble and slow the game down, they struggle all the way around. They need to push the ball on every opportunity but also play under control.
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 have to play aggressively for 48 minutes.
Rebound - Rebounding takes effort and desire. 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!
Fatigue - Both teams are playing on the second night of back to back games and both teams had to travel. Fatigue could come into play in this game and the deeper team may have the advantage.
Who's Playing - With reports that Horford and Crowder will be back tonight and will start, the Celtics should get a boost from having all 15 players available for the first time this year. There will likely be some rust, but just having them on the court should give the team a big boost.
Officiating - Officiating is always an X-Factor. Every crew calls the game a little differently. Some let them play and some call every little touch foul. The Celtics definitely do better when the refs let them play. Hopefully the refs will call the game fairly and let them play in this one.