at Boston Celtics (15-14) at Detroit Pistons (10-22)
Sunday, February 19
6:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #30, Road Game #11
TV: CSNNE, FSD, LP 751/752 (DTV)
Radio: WEEI, 97.1 FM The Ticket
Palace of Auburn Hills Probable Starters PGSGSFPFC
Rajon Rondo.... Ray Allen.... Paul Pierce.....Kevin Garnett.... Jermaine O'Neal
Sasha Pavlovic (wrist) day to day
Brandon Bass (knee) out 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
In the last meeting between these two teams, Rondo won this matchup, but the Celtics lost the game. Rondo finished with 35 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. Knight had 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. The Celtics need Rondo to be aggressive but he needs to balance his own scoring with setting up his teammates.
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. These two played each other fairly even in the last game with Pierce putting up 10 points, 1 rebound and 5 assists while Prince had 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. Pierce has been in a mini slump lately and the Celtics need more from their Captain.
Ray Allen vs Rodney Stuckey
Stuckey scored 25 points in their last meeting while Ray put up just 10. The Celtics' offense has been sluggish and their ball movement has been terrible and that explains why Ray has struggles in the last few games. Ray hit a couple of big shots in the loss to the Bulls and that may get him going but he needs Rondo to find him when he's open. Game Notes
This is "Old Coach Week" for the Celtics. They have faced both Tom Thibodeau and Lawrence Frank twice this week. They are 1-1 against the Bulls and hopefully, after this game, they will be 1-1 against the Pistons as well. This is the 3rd and final meeting between these two teams and it is the rubber match. Both teams one one game in Boston and this will be the lone game in Detroit.
In Wednesday's game against these Pistons, the Celtics looked uninterested and were a step behind on both offense and defense. They allowed the Pistons to out-rebound them 44-33. We can also point to just 16 assists as a team as a reason they lost. They also shot just 59% from the line, which indicates a lack of focus.
The Celtics played without Kevin Garnett, which left a hole in the defense which the Pistons were glad to use to score seemingly at will. Greg Monroe went off for 22 points. Bill Russell was on hand to watch the carnage and received several standing ovations from the crowd. The game was so bad, they needed something to cheer about.
The Celtics have a 2 game losing streak going while the Pistons are on a 2 game winning streak. Both teams are 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Pistons are 7-10 at home while the Celtics are just 4-6 on the road.
The Celtics owe this team a beat down and hopefully they will come ready to play. If not, they could be on a 3 game losing streak at the end of the game. 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. They have the top defense in the league and they need to keep playing like it. 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. In the last meeting between these two teams the Pistons out-rebounded the Celtics by 11. In every recent loss the Celtics have lost the battle of the boards. That isn't a coincidence. They must put out effort to box out and to grab the rebounds.
- 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. They have also been missing from the charity stripe. They shot just 59% on free throws in the last meeting with the Pistions. 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 they are more efficient on offense. They must come into this game focused on getting the win.
Energy and Aggressiveness
- The Celtics have lacked both energy and aggressiveness in their last two games, both losses. They have played sluggish, allowing their opponents to get the majority of the 50-50 balls. They aren't aggressive in going to the boards and in boxing out. They need to run and to play with energy for 48 minutes. Anything less is unacceptable. X-Factors
Focus and Desire
The Celtics need to want this game. They were embarrassed by first the Pistons and then the Bulls. they need to play like they want it and stay focused on what it takes to get it.