at Detroit Pistons (8-21) at Boston Celtics (15-12)
Wednesday, February 15
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #28 – Home Game #19
TV: CSNNE, FSD, NBA-LP 753/754 (DTV)
Radio: WEEI, WDFN, 97.1 FM The Ticket
TD GardenProbable Starters PGSGSFPFC
Rajon Rondo.... Ray Allen.... Paul Pierce.....Kevin Garnett.... Chris Wilcox
Sasha Pavlovic (wrist) day to day
Jermaine O'Neal (shoulder) probable
Brandon Bass (knee) out
Mickael Pietrus (knee) questionable
Kevin Garnett (hip) questionable Probable Starters
Brandon Knight...Rodney Stuckey...Tayshaun Prince...Jason Maxiell..Greg Monroe Pistons Bench
Charlie Villanueva (foot) out
Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and Ray Allen all attended the University of Connecticut
Tayshaun Prince, Brandon Knight and Rajon Rondo attended the University of Kentucky
Pistons Head Coach Lawrence Frank was an assistant coach with the Celtics during the 2010‐11 season
Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace were teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2007‐09
Pistons Assistant Coach Roy Rogers played for the Celtics during the 1997‐98 season and was an assistant coach during the 2010‐11 season.
Chris Wilcox played for the Pistons from 2009-11. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Brandon Knight
As has been stated many times, as Rondo goes, so goes the Celtics. The Celtics need the aggressive Rondo that ran on every possession and gave the Celtics a spark on both ends of the court, including on the boards. He should be able to school Knight and have another big night if he comes to play.
Paul Pierce vs Tayshaun Prince
This has been a great matchup over the years, Prince's length can give Pierce problems but Pierce's strength can also give Prince problems. If Pierce can't get his shot off, he needs to be a facilitator and find the open man rather than trying to force it.
Kevin Garnett vs Jason Maxiell
KG has a height advantage over Maxiell and hopefully he will be aggressive in looking for his shot. Game Notes
The Celtics go from one former coach to another as Lawrence Frank returns to the Garden with the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics got their first win of the season at home against the Pistons and hopefully they will have the same outcome in this game. Paul Pierce made his season debut in that game and the Celtics won 96-85.
The Charlie Villanueva- Kevin Garnett matchup is always a fun one after the "cancer patient" comments. Villanueva missed the first game due to a suspension and will miss this game as well with a foot injury. You think maybe he's trying to avoid KG?
In that first game, Jermaine O'Neal came to life and scored 19 points to go with 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. O'Neal is questionable for this game and if he can't go, expect Chris Wilcox to get the start again and JaJuan Johnson to once again get significant minutes. I think I like our starting lineup with Wilcox better than with JO anyway.
Detroit is playing in the second of back to back games while the Celtics have had off since Sunday afternoon. They also get the benefit of a rare but much needed practice on Tuesday. The Pistons are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10. The Pistons are just 2-12 on the road while the Celtics are 11-7 at home.
Hopefully the Celtics come out strong in this one just as they did against the Bulls and not take the Pistons lightly. I'd love to see them run in this game like they did against the Bulls and if they do, it should be Gino time in the Garden again. Keys to the Game Defense
- It all begins with defense. The Celtics have been winning with defense and they have to continue to play tough lock down defense. Defense wins games and defense wins championships. Rebound
- The Celtics need to be aggressive on the boards. Rebounding is effort and if the Celtics are putting the effort out to grab rebounds then that effort will translate to the other areas of their game. They were out-rebounded by the Lakers and the Cavs and they lost both games. They out-rebounded the Bulls and they won. That isn't a coincidence.
- The Celtics have been very sloppy with their passes and have allowed defenders to just swipe the ball. At times they drive into a triple team and just lose the ball. All of this is due to a lack of focus. When they are focused and locked in they don't commit near as many errors and turnovers. They have to take better care of the basketball and they have to be focused on the game and make smart passes and keep their eyes on the defenders.
Focus and Trap Game
Sandwiched in between a home and home set with the Bulls, it would be easy to take the 8-21 Pistons for granted. That would be a big mistake because you can be sure that Lawrence Frank will have his troops up to give the Celtics their best effort. They have to keep their focus and play this game hard from start to finish.