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Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Detroit Pistons

Coming off a win at home against the Hawks last night, the Celtics head to Detroit to take on the Pistons for the third time this season.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics get right back into action after last night’s home win against the Atlanta Hawks. Boston travels to Detroit to take on the Pistons. The back-to-back should not be a problem for the Celtics as the game against the Hawks was in hand most of the night, so no one was required to play big minutes. Kyrie Irving led the team again with 24 points, but it was a complete team effort keeping the eight-game win streak alive.

The team now turns its attention to the 13-13 Pistons. They are on a three-game losing skid coming off a disastrous road loss against the Charlotte Hornets. The Pistons choked away a 10-point lead late in the game giving up a final Jeremy Lamb game-winner to end it. Trying to wash that game out of their system, they will be hungry to come back home and get a win against a surging Celtics team.

Detroit is, of course, led by Blake Griffin who was brought over from the L.A. Clippers in last year’s mega-deal. Griffin is leading the team averaging 25.6 points this season, still showcasing his All-Star level talent just in a smaller market compared to the big lights of Los Angeles.

Andre Drummond has also been a huge thorn in the Celtics side and has been for quite some time. Tonight, the Celtics will have to emphasize defending the paint and the glass as best as possible. Drummond and Griffin are the ones that can beat you, so if you can key in on them it will be a good night for the Celtics.

Offensively, Boston needs to continue just shooting at a high mark as they have done in this win streak. Against the Pistons, teams are shooting only 32.0% from three which is an NBA low. The three-point defense is a staple of this Pistons team so far this season. That will be matched up head on with this Celtics team as they are third in the league at three-point attempts and seventh in three-point percentage.

However, if the three ball isn’t falling, they can try and create around the rim because of the space the Celtics create. The extra size Detroit plays makes it difficult match up with, so the spacing will be available if you draw Griffin and Drummond out of the paint. Pull Drummond out, and it will take away all concerns of his shot blocking ability.

The Celtics will again be without Al Horford for this game. The team has come out and said that they will be taking their time with him returning which is honestly for the better against this stretch against weaker teams. He needs to get fully healthy before he needs to return to the lineup. In addition, Boston will also be without Guerschon Yabusele who has an ankle injury still. As for the Pistons, they will be without Zaza Pachulia, Henry Ellenson, and Glenn Robinson III. Reggie Bullock looks to be a go after missing some time the past week working on an ankle injury.

The starters should be the same as last night with Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown coming off the bench once again. However, look for them and other bench players to get more of a minutes load because of the fact they will be coming off a game the night before. The Pistons have been struggling as of late, so the Celtics need to jump on them quick to keep down and not let the team get back into their groove.


Projected Starters

PG - Kyrie IrvingReggie Jackson

SG – Marcus SmartLuke Kennard

SF – Jayson TatumReggie Bullock

PF – Marcus Morris Sr. – Blake Griffin

C – Aron BaynesAndre Drummond

Injuries

Boston – Al Horford (Knee); Guerschon Yabusele

Detroit- Zara Pachulia (Illness); Glenn Robinson III (Ankle); Ish Smith (Groin); Henry Ellenson (Ankle)

How to Watch

Time – 7:00 PM EST

TV – NBC Sports Boston