at Boston Celtics (20-19) at Detroit Pistons (14-25)
Sunday, January 20, 2013
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #40, Road Game #19
TV: CSNNE, FSD, LP 754(C's Feed)/755(Pistons Feed)
Radio: WEEI, 97.1 FM The Ticket
Palace of Auburn Hills Probable Starters PGSGSFPFC
Rajon Rondo.... Leandro Barbosa.... Paul Pierce.....Brandon Bass.... Kevin GarnettCeltics Reserves
Avery Bradley (ribs) day to day
Chris Wilcox (thumb) day to day
Fab MeloProbable Starters
Brandon Knight...kyle Singler...Tayshaun Prince...Jason Maxiell..Greg Monroe Pistons Bench
Tayshaun Prince and Rajon Rondo both attended the University of Kentucky
Jeff Green and Greg Monroe attended Georgetown
Corey Maggette and Chris Wilcox were teammates on the LA Clippers from 2002-06
Pistons Head Coach Lawrence Frank was an assistant coach with the Celtics during the 2010-11 season
Pistons assistant coach Roy Rogers was an assistant with the Celtics during the 2010-11 season and played for the Celtics during the 1997-98 season
Pistons Assistant Coach Dee Brown played for the Celtics from 1990-98 and was drafted by the team with the 19th pick in the 1990 NBA Draft
Chris Wilcox played for the Pistons from 2009-11. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Brandon Knight
Rajon Rondo is the engine that stirs the drink for the Celtics. He is coming off a very devastating loss in which he had his best scoring effort this season. I expect another strong effort from him in this game. Knight has been playing well for the Pistons, averaging 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He is coming off a sub-par effort against the Knicks with 1 point, 1 rebound and 1 assists and will be looking to step up his game in this one. This should be a good matchup.
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. Pierce has been struggling to find his shot in recent games, shooting just 32.7% from the floor in the last three games. Hopefully he can get back on track in this game as Prince always seems to play well against the Celtics.
Kevin Garnett vs Greg Monroe
KG has also been struggling in his past 3 games, shooting 31.3% or less in 2 of his last 3 games. He seemed to find his shot again in the second half against the Bulls and hopefully that carries over. In the last meeting between these two teams, Monroe led the Pistons with 20 points and 13 rebounds. KG has to slow Monroe down in this game while at the same time, get his own offense back on track. Game Notes
The Celtics face former Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank and his Pistons for the 2nd of 3 meetings this season. The Pistons won the series 2-1 last season. The Pistons won the first game between them 103-83 and so the Celtics should be looking to avenge that loss along with getting back on a winning track.
The Celtics have struggled somewhat on the road with a 7-11 record away from the Garden. The Pistons are a slightly better 10-11 at home. Both teams are 6-4 in their last 10 games and both teams have lost their last 2 games. The Celtics last played at home on Friday while the Pistons last played on Thursday in London. We can hope that they still have a bit of jet lag left from the trip.
The Pistons are healthy with no injuries to report. Avery Bradley's xrays on his ribs were negative but they ribs weren't any better as of the game on Friday and he is listed as day to day. If he is unable to go, Doc will probably start Barbosa in his place, although Lee might be the better choice against the 6'8" Kyle Singler. We may get to see Chris Wilcox in this game. He has been cleared for contact and has a couple of practices under his belt now and may get some playing time in this game. He is also still listed as day to day.
The Pistons are one of the teams that the Celtics should beat but they are also a team that they shouldn't take for granted as can be seen by their 20 point win in the first game between these two teams. The Celtics have dropped to one game above .500 again after 2 losses at home and need to get back on track. This would be a good time to do so. Keys to the Game Defense
- It all begins with defense. The Celtics have been winning with defense. When they play lock down defense they are very hard to beat. When they get lax on defense, they struggle all the way around. 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. Sully, when he can stay out of foul trouble, has been a big help in this area. But, every Celtic needs to crash the boards. It has to be a team effort.
Focus and Aggressiveness
- It could be easy for the Celtics to let down their guard in this one. But they need to keep their focus and be aggressive. They have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers. They have to be aggressive on defense and going for loose balls. They have lost easy games in the past because they play down to their opponents. They have to avoid that in this game. X-Factors
On the Road, focus, and Officiating
The Celtics are on the road but they have to focus on getting the win. After losing 2 in a row at home, they need to focus on getting a win in this game in hostile territory. The Celtics would have won their last game if it wasn't for the refs failing to call the fouls on Pierce and not giving the time out that Rondo called twice before the jump ball was called. With the officiating costing the Celtics that game, they need to play through any bad calls in this one and not let it get down to the last play.