Celtics Looking to Get Back on Track in Detroit

[image] at [image]
Boston Celtics (36-21) at Detroit Pistons (21-38)
Tuesday, March 2
7:30 PM ET
Game #58, Road Game #31
TV: FSD, CSN-NE, NBA LP 751-752
Palace of Auburn Hills
Referees Greg Willard, Jason Phillips, Haywoode Workman

After losing to the lowly Nets at home, the Celtics have a lot to prove. The adjectives that they used to describe their performance in that game ranged from disappointed to disgusted. If losing to a 5 win team and being booed by your home team isn't a wake up call for this team, I don't know what is.

Detroit has had their own struggles this season and are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Celtics aren't much better with 5-5 in their last 10. The Celtics are 20-10 on the road while the Pistons are 14-16 at home. This is the 2nd of 3 games between these old foes with the Pistons winning their first meeting in Detroit 92-86. The Celtics have been playing better on the road than at home so hopefully they can get it together, even without Perk, and pull out a win in this one. 

Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard
[image] Rajon Rondo vs Rodney Stuckey [image]

Shooting Guard
[image] Ray Allen vs Rip Hamilton [image]

Small Forward
[image] Paul Pierce vs Tayshaun Prince [image]

Power Forward
[image] Kevin Garnett vs Jonas Jerebko [image]

[image] Rasheed Wallace vs Ben Wallace [image]

Key Matchups
[image] vs [image]
Rajon Rondo vs Rodney Stuckey
The Pistons have had a lot of problems and questions but one thing is for sure, they see Rodney Stuckey as their point guard of the future. We have seen in many games that as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. The Celtics need Rondo to be aggressive and to set the tempo the team.

[image] vs [image]
Ray Allen vs Rip Hamilton
Hamilton is one of the few Pistons who remains from the old days. There have been some good battles between these two shooting guards, both of whom are very good at running off screens. Rip is the reason that Ray began wearing the shooting sleeve because 2 years ago in the playoffs, Rip was digging Ray's arm up with his long fingernails. Let's hope that Ray's shooting stays hot in this game.

Honorable Mention
Paul Pierce vs Tayshaun Prince
These two players have also had some good battles over the years. Pierce is expected to return from his thumb injury and even when healthy, Prince has bothered him in the past because of his length.

Rasheed Wallace vs Ben Wallace
With Perk out with the flu, these two former teammates will be matched up against each other at center. The Celtics have been talking about moving Sheed more into the post and this is as good a chance as any to do it.

Keys to the Game
Play 48 minutes
Run the Offense
Attack the Basket

X-Factor Focus - especially on the defensive end. If the Celtics expect to come anywhere near the Finals this season they need to get their focus back on team ball and especially on team defense. The question is, are they capable of doing it.

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