Detroit Pistons (9-10) at Boston Celtics (10-7)
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #18, Home Game #8
TV: NBA-TV, CSNNE, FS Detroit
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 105.1 FM
Referees: Tony Brothers, Nick Buchert, Eric Dalen
The Celtics host the Pistons for the second of 4 games this season. The Celtics played the Pistons in Detroit on November 19 when they became the first team to beat the Pistons in Detroit this season. Al Horford was playing his first game back from the concussion and hit the game winning layup and then blocked the Pistons' final attempt to preserve the win.
The Pistons are 7-2 at home, with one of those two losses at the hands of the Celtics. They are just 2-8 on the road, however. They won their 2nd road game on Tuesday night vs the Hornets, who were playing their 4th game in 5 nights. The Celtics are 4-3 at home. The Pistons are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
The Pistons are playing in back to back games after winning in Charlotte on Tuesday night. The Celtics had Tuesday off. In spite of winning easily by 23 points, 3 of the 5 starters played over 30 minutes. Ish Smith played 24 minutes and Andre Drummond played just 12 minutes, getting ejected early for throwing an elbow at Roy Hibbert. There hasn't been any word on whether a suspension will accompany the ejection so he will more than likely be available to play.
The Pistons are missing Reggie Jackson who is out with a knee injury. They will also miss Reggie Bullock who is also out with a knee injury. Al Horford returned to practice on Tuesday after the birth of his daughter and so the team has no injuries to report.
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
Reggie Bullock (knee) out
Jae Crowder vs Tobias Harris
Harris is leading the Pistons with 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. He scored 19 in their first meeting and he has had some big games in the past and so Jae 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 14.6 points, 13.4 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. Last season in the 3 games against the Celtics, he averaged 22.3 points and 16.7 rebounds. In the first meeting between these two teams, Drummond finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds. However, he wasn't in the game at the end when Horford got the game winning put back. VanGundy said that he made a mistake keeping him on the bench at the end, but his free throw shooting becomes a liability in tight games. Amir will definitely have his hands full trying to slow him down and to rebound against him.
Al Horford vs Marcus Morris
Morris is averaging 13.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. In the first meeting between these two teams, Morris scored a team high 24 points. Al will need to keep him from having another big game.
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 threes especially if they aren't falling . 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 Pistons are first in the league in allowing second chance points, giving up just 11 per game to opponents. 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 - The Pistons are playing in back to back games and had to travel overnight while the Celtics had Tuesday off and are at home. Fatigue could come into play for the Pistons in this game.
Home Game - The Celtics are at home and should get a boost from the home crowd. Also, the Pistons for some reason have struggled on the road this season, winning just one game out of 9 away from home. The Celtics need to take advantage of the friendly atmosphere and exploit the Pistons' struggles on the road.
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. They may even get a little home cooking, but probably not. With Tony Brothers as the lead ref, one never knows what to expect.