Celtics Looking for First Win Streak of the Season

Boston Celtics (2-1) at Detroit Pistons (0-3)
Tuesday, November 2
7:30 PM ET
Game #4, Road Game #2
TV:  CSNNE, FSD, LP 754/755
Radio:  WEEI,  WDFN
Palace of Auburn Hills   

Referees:   Bob Delaney, Derrick Collins, Violet Palmer

The Celtics travel to Detroit to take on the Detroit Pistons.   Both teams should be well rested as the Celtics have been off since Friday and the Pistons have been off since Saturday.   Both teams are playing in the first of back to back games with the Celtics facing the Bucks at home on Wednesday while Detroit moves on to Atlanta.

The Celtics will be playing for the first time with Jermaine O'Neal in the starting lineup with Shaq resting his injured knee.   Hopefully playing with the starters and facing a less athletic center in Ben Wallace will help get JO's game back on track.  We should also get to see Semih Erden get some playing time with the second unit. 

The Pistons are facing some injury problems of their own with Rip Hamilton and Charlie Villanueva suffering minor injuries in their last game.  Both are considered game time dccisions.  If Hamilton can't go, Ben Gordon should get the start.   That may not be good news for the Celtics since Gordon has been shooting 77% from the field and 80% from beyond the arc in his first 3 games.  Hamilton, on the other hand has been struggling.   Tracy McGrady is playing with a 15 minute limit as he returns from yet another injury.  

Probable Starters
PG: Rajon Rondo 10.7 PPG, 16.7 APG, 2 SPG
SG:  Ray Allen  14.7 PPG, 2.3 APG,  .333 3P%
SF:  Paul Pierce  19 PPG,  8.3 RPG, 3.3 APG
PF:  Kevin Garnett 14.3 PPG, 11.7 RPG,  .3 BPG
C:  Jermaine O'Neal  1.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.0 BPG

Boston Bench Mob
Marquis Daniels
Glen Davis
Semih Erden
Luke Harangody
Nate Robinson
Von Wafer
Delonte West  (suspended)

Kendrick Perkins (knee) out
Avery Bradley (ankle) out
Shaquille O'Neal (knee) out

PG:  Rodney Stuckey  19 PPG,  8 APG, 0 SPG
SG:  Rip Hamilton  13.5 PPG, 1.5 APG, .600 3P%
SF:  Tayshaun Prince  13 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2 APG
PF:  Austin Daye  5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, .5 APG
C:  Ben Wallace  4 PPG,  9 RPG,  1.5 BPG

Pistons Bench
Charlie Villanueva
Tracy McGrady
Jason Maxiel
Ben Gordon
DaJuan Summers
Greg Monroe


Will Bynum (hamstring)  out
Jonas Jerebko (Achilles)  out
Terrico White (foot)  out
Chris Wilcox  (hamstring)  questionable
Rip Hamilton (foot) questionable
Charlie Villanueva (ankle) game time decision

Key Matchups  
Rajon Rondo vs Rodney Stuckey
Stuckey is a scoring PG and so Rondo will need to defend him well.  Stuckey has a height advantage but Rondo has a quickness advantage.  Both are good rebounding guards.

Kevin Garnett vs Austin Daye
Kevin Garnett will need to use his wiley veteran tactics and intimidation factor to dominate the Pistons' 2nd year player.

Keys to the Game
Take Care of the Ball - The Celtics are still turning the ball over too much.  Unless they can cut down on turnovers, wins are always going to be harder to get.  

Play 48 Minutes -  The Celtics are getting into the habit of slow starts and sluggish endings.   They have to play all 4 quarters.  The Pistons have struggled in this area also, most recently giving up a 20+ point lead in a loss to the Bulls.  The team that plays well in the 4th quarter may just take the game no matter how the rest of the game has gone.  

Defense - The Celtics must get back to their defense first style.They won a championship with defense and this has to be their focus once again. 

If both O'Neals are out, that makes the Celtics a bit thin up front.  The Celtics will need to depend on Semih Erden  to give them quality minutes off the bench.   Both teams are battling some injury problems and this may sway the game one way or the other.  

Odd Fact
The Detroit Pistions were originally known as the Zollner Pistons, named after founder Fred Zollner, owner of Zollner Machine Works, which made pistons.

Please Visit Celtic Green Forums!