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Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« on: February 22, 2018, 10:12:53 PM »

Online FLCeltsFan

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Boston Celtics (40-19) at Detroit Pistons (28-29)
Friday, February 23, 2018
7:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #60, Road Game #28
TV: NBCSB, FS Detroit, NBA-LP 750(xfinity), 751(DTV)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub,  97.1 FM The Ticket
Little Caesars Arena




Probable Starters

PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C:  Aron Baynes

Celtics Reserves
Shane Larkin
Abdel Nader
Semi Ojeleye
Daniel Theis
Guerschon Yabusele
Terry Rozier
Marcus Smart
Marcus Morris
Greg Monroe

Injuries
Shane Larkin (knee) out
Marcus Smart (thigh) probable
Gordon Hayward (ankle)  out


Two Way Players

Kadeem Allen
Jabari Bird

Head Coach

Brad Stevens




Probable Starters

PG: Ish Smith
SG: Reggie Bullock
SF: Stanley Johnson
PF: Blake Griffin
C:  Andre Drummond

Pistons Reserves

Dwight Buycks
Henry Ellenson
James Ennis
Langston Galloway
Luke Kennard
Eric Moreland
Jameer Nelson
Anthony Tolliver

Injuries

Jon Leuer (ankle)  out
Reggie Jackson (ankle) out

Two Way Players
Reggie Hearn
Kay Felder

Head Coach

Stan VanGundy 

Game Notes

The Celtics are finally back and ready to get to work after a week off for the All Star break.  The Celtics will begin their stretch run with their 3rd and final game against the Detroit Pistons.  The Celtics are 1-1 against the Pistons this season so far with each team winning on the road.  The Celtics won 91-81 in Detroit in December but lost 118-108 in Boston in November.

The Pistons team that the Celtics will face in this game is very different from the team they faced in November and December.  The Pistons were very busy at the trade deadline, sending Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley and Boban Marjanovic to the Clippers for Blake Griffin.  They also signed Dwight Buycks, who was one of their 2 way players.  Finally they traded Willie Reed for Jameer Nelson and signed James Ennis. 

The Celtics didn't make a move at the trade deadline, but they are expecting a boost from the return of Marcus Smart who had missed a couple of weeks with a laceration on his hand.  Over that span, the Celtics' defense became pretty much nonexistent and the Celtics went 5-5 in their last 10 games, losing the last 3 before the break.   

Smart was cleared to play and practiced on Wednesday but sat out Thursday's practice with a thigh bruise that he suffered in Wednesday's practice.  He traveled with the team and is expected to play in this game.  Shane Larkin went through a light practice on Thursday and traveled with the team and will be a game time decision.  Kyrie Irving and Al Horford sat out Thursday's practice for rest after playing in the All Star game but should be good to go in this game. 

The Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games and have lost their last 3 games before the All Star break.  They are 19-8 on the road.  The Pistons won their last game going into the All Star break and are 6-4 in their last 10 games.  They are 19-12 at home.  The Celtics have slipped to 2nd in the East, 2 games behind the Raptors, who  are 9-1 in their last 10 games.  The Pistons are 9th in the East, 1.5 games out of 8th place. 

Brad Stevens has promised that there will be some changes to his rotations in these games after the break and so it's possible that he may change up the starters but I'm thinking it may be more of a change to his substitutions and possibly keeping a starter or two on the court with the second unit.  The starting five with Aron Baynes at center has a +13.5 net rating over 305 minutes together, and even more important, they have a 95.2 defensive rating.  I'm going to guess that the same 5 will start in this game, but I could be wrong. 

Key Matchups
vs
Aron Baynes vs Andre Drummond
In the first game between these two teams, Drummond had 26 points on 10-12 shooting, 22 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.  Marcus Morris started that game and played twice as many minutes as Baynes.  In their 2nd meeting, Baynes started and covered Baynes who had just 6 points and 15 rebounds.  It seems like a smart move to start Baynes once again.   Drummond is averaging 15.1 points, 15.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.6 steals.

vs
Al Horford vs Blake Griffin
With Baynes starting at center, Al Horford will be guarding the Pistons' new star, Blake Griffin, who is averaging 22.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 5.6 assists.  Slowing Griffin down will go a long ways towards slowing the Pistons. 

Honorable Mention
Kyrie Irving vs Ish Smith
With Reggie Jackson still out with an ankle injury Ish Smith has stepped up for the Pistons and is doing a good job of running the offense.  He is averaging 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists.  Kyrie needs to come out strong and slow down Smith as well as running the Celtics offense efficiently. 

Keys to the Game
Defense-  Defense wins games and the Celtics have built their winning record based on their defense.   The Celtics are still ranked first with a defensive rating of 100.9 but this number has been slowly climbing as the Celtics have let their defense slip somewhat in recent games.  The return of Marcus Smart should help their defense get back on track.   The Pistons are 10th with a defensive rating of 105.0.   The Celtics have to get back to making defense a priority.   

Rebound - Rebounding takes effort and desire.  The Celtics will need both in order to beat  front line of the Pistons to the rebounds.  The Celtics are 11th with 44.3 rebounds per game.  The Pistons are 18th with 42.9 rebounds per game.   The Celtics have to put out the effort to keep the Pistons off the boards (especially Andre Drummond). 

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 let their effort slip in the games before the break and hopefully they can get their effort and aggressiveness back in this game. 

Play 48 Minutes
- The Celtics have started off slowly at times and then have to play extra hard to catch up.  At other times they get off to a big lead and then let up and let the other team back into the game.  The Pistons are tied with the Celtics for the most comeback wins of 10 points or more.  The Celtics can't let up, even if they get a big lead because the Pistons are very good at coming back from big deficits also. 

X-Factors
Road Game - The Celtics are starting out after the break on the road.  It is easy to get distracted on the road, especially for younger players.  The Celtics need to keep their focus and play their game and not let the hostile crowd, the travel, and the distractions of playing on the road affect their play.  The Pistons will have a home advantage that the Celtics will have to focus on overcoming. 

Marcus Smart
- Marcus Smart will hopefully return for this game.  The defense slipped considerably during his absence.  He brings energy off the bench and anchors the defense.  He also helps the rebounding in that he leads all guards and all players under 66 in box outs.  His return should give the Celtics a much needed boost. 

New Pistons Lineups - The Pistons are all new since the Celtics last played them.  There haven't been a lot of games to scout to prepare for their new players and their new play book.  Hopefully Brad Stevens has done his homework and will be ready for whatever Stan VanGundy throws at him. 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 03:32:34 PM by FLCeltsFan »

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2018, 10:13:49 PM »

Offline Rondo9

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Go win!

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 10:14:03 PM »

Online FLCeltsFan

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TP to  Rondo9  for being the first to post in the game thread!   

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Celtics!!!! 

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 10:20:30 PM »

Offline Phantom255x

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TP FLCeltsFan!!

Nice to have these game threads again and Celtics basketball returning (along with Smart)  ;D

That said, I'm also dreading what could be another game where we fall behind 20+ points early while Drummond has some 25 points, 25 rebound kind of game, while some no-namer puts up 30 on us.  :P
2018 Mock Trade Deadline (New York Knicks)

Roster: Porzingis, Kanter, Hardaway Jr, Julius Randle, Schroder, Beasley, Alex Abrines, Jarrett Jack, Frank Ntilikina, Lance Thomas, Kyle Singler, Josh Huestis, Ron Baker, Trey Burke, Luke Kornet, Isaiah Hicks

Future Draft Picks: https://www.prosportstransactions.com/basketball/DraftTrades/Future/Knick

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2018, 10:59:46 PM »

Offline Csfan1984

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Feels like it's been a month. Go C's
Mock "trade deadline" team: Blazers.
PG-Lillard, Napier, Baldwin
SG-McCollum, Connaughton, Wilcox
SF-Fournier, Harkless, Layman
PF-Aminu, Davis
C- Nurkic, Leonard, Collins

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 11:22:35 PM »

Offline Billz401

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Hopefully the rest helps get our boys out of that funk! Let's go celts!!
everyone got so sensitive after 9-11... thanks alot bin laden

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2018, 11:35:47 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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Feels like it's been a month. Go C's
Really does feel like its been forever, doesn't it? I see a good strong win happening.

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2018, 12:43:37 AM »

Offline Jiri Welsch

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We need dat W
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Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2018, 02:32:56 AM »

Offline Androslav

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Feels like it's been a month. Go C's
Really does feel like its been forever, doesn't it? I see a good strong win happening.
Good for players and the staff that they got some much-needed rest, and also good for us to become wishful for some action.
"The joy of the balling under the rims."

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2018, 05:43:47 AM »

Offline nickagneta

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Feels like it's been a month. Go C's
Really does feel like its been forever, doesn't it? I see a good strong win happening.
Good for players and the staff that they got some much-needed rest, and also good for us to become wishful for some action.
TP

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2018, 06:43:24 AM »

Offline OhioGreen

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Pistons have played very well since "the trade".  After starting the season with the huge GH downer, then the high of twenty or so games, we've leveled off at what has been basically a somewhat above average team.  Really don't see that changing until next year when some of our many weaknesses can be addressed and we get GH back.
Grit, determination, and BS will take us a good ways, but talent always wins in this league, and lack of that, and too much youth and inexperience, will probably do us in, in the playoffs.
How they come out tonite, on the road, will be a good indication of how the rest of the season will go!

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2018, 07:38:00 AM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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Go Celtics, eager to see the lads play!

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2018, 07:41:53 AM »

Offline Surferdad

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Frist paige, but 11th, back-of-the-rotation.

Hugely important game to right the ship.

Mahcus Smaht returns?

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2018, 10:50:31 AM »

Offline hodgy03038

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Go Celts. We need a drastic improvement from the pre-All Star game efforts. Hopefully Smart can help us in that respect. I would also like to see more positive bench output from Monroe who I don't even see listed on the roster above FLCeltsFan. He is still on the team right? It has been forever since the Celts played. I am having serious withdrawals.


Hey Jaylen. I lost 519 Tommy Points betting on you guys and lost

Re: Celtics (40-19) at Pistons (28-29) Game #60 2/23/18
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2018, 03:33:28 PM »

Online FLCeltsFan

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Go Celts. We need a drastic improvement from the pre-All Star game efforts. Hopefully Smart can help us in that respect. I would also like to see more positive bench output from Monroe who I don't even see listed on the roster above FLCeltsFan. He is still on the team right? It has been forever since the Celts played. I am having serious withdrawals.
Yes, Greg Monroe is still on the team.  Sorry  I just missed him.   TP for letting me know.  I've fixed it.