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Paul Pierce returns for defeated Celtics against defeated Pistons

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics
  • Date: Dec. 30,  2011
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass

Records

  • Pistons: 0-2
  • Celtics: 0-3

Probable starters

Pistons:

Celtics:

  • Rajon Rondo
  • Ray Allen
  • Paul Pierce
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Jermaine O’Neal

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +9.5

Over/under: 183

Score: Celtics win, 96.25-86.75

Three things to watch

1. Brandon Knight

If Knight’s performance against Cleveland on Wednesday ends up the best game of his rookie year, that wouldn’t necessarily be a terrible thing. He was that good.

The bigger question is how well Knight plays game to game, and that starts tonight. If he consistently produces like he did Wednesday, he should start sooner than later. For now, though, that’s still a big if.

2. Defending the perimeter

A lot of attention has been, deservedly, paid to the Pistons’ terrible interior defense. But that has distracted from another big problem: their 3-point defense.

Detroit is allowing opponents to shoot 51.9 percent from beyond the arc, worst in the NBA. Also troubling: the Celtics are leading the league with 51.2 percent 3-point shooting. It’s early, and both numbers will certainly drop, but its still a weakness-against-strength matchup for the Pistons.

Paul Pierce, who missed the Celtics’ first three games, will start, according to Sean Grande. That will make defending the perimeter even more difficult.

3. 0-10 watch

After an 0-2 start, the Pistons next eight games are:

  • at Celtics
  • vs. Pacers
  • vs. Magic
  • vs. Bulls
  • at 76ers
  • vs. Knicks
  • at Bulls
  • vs. Maviercks

All eight of those teams made the playoffs last year, and the two that didn’t have winning records (Pacers and 76ers) should be much improved.

11 Comments

  • Dec 30, 20116:42 pm
    by JT's Hoops Blog

    Reply

    Gee can you be so morbid

  • Dec 30, 20116:56 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    saw philly play the blazers the other night.
    typical doug collins team.
    they looked kind of ugly, they got behind, but they just kept fight and ultimately made it a close game.
    is it in philly?
    tht will be an ugly game.
    tonight’s game is going to be very ugly.
    kevin granett is doing his usual bully thing and there is no one on detroit who will stand up to him.i’d bet the boston blows them out.   
    the only reason i will watch is to see how brandon knight handles the pressure that rondo will put on him.
    imho, that is the only real suspense.

    • Dec 30, 20117:01 pm
      by Jodi Jezz

      Reply

      We’ll win tonight…I guarentee it!! Get off the Celtics bandwagon…

  • Dec 30, 20117:00 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    0-10?? Yeah right, maybe 5-5…

    • Dec 30, 20119:00 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Do you actually believe that? Or are you trying to get attention/responses? 5-5 would require the Pistons to go 5-3 against a tough stretch, impressive for any team but the top contenders. And the Celtics hardly have a bandwagon. They have started off poor and are getting old. But they have been consistently good over the last several years. The Pistons have been terrible for two years and their roster has not changed much. Could the Pistons win? Sure. Should anyone consider them the favorite? No freakin’ way.

      • Dec 30, 201110:53 pm
        by Jodi Jezz

        Reply

        Attention on the internet??? Really??? I’m just a big-time Piston fan…There always my favorite against any team, I don’t care who it is…

        • Dec 31, 201110:14 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          So what you are saying is that you think their odds of winning are improved by your being a Pistons fan? Or that you predict things you know are completely implausible? I don’t mean to say that you are trying to get attention. I was just asking because I didn’t know. Predicting the Pistons at least 5-5 is a very Skip Bayless-esque thing to do.

          • Dec 31, 201112:10 pm
            by Jodi Jezz

            No, I really thought we could have beat the Celtics last night…We start off the game strong but when our 2nd unit comes in we end up losing our offense…I don’t know why Frank hasn’t started Knight/Stuckey together and let Gordon help our bench offensively…Did you notice last night when Frank but Knight/Daye/Jerebko/Max/Wallace in how bad our offense was?? We were actually hanging in the game until Frank put Daye at the 2, he isn’t a 2!
            Tonight I expect us to win against the Pacers in CV’s debut…Hopefully CV will bring the offensive power we need to get a W…I’m not saying that offense is our only problem, becuase I think we need a legit Center badly…I might make some bold predictions about the 5-5 record, but that’s just me…I’m tired of losing

  • Dec 30, 20119:28 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Well… This is a shocker… Wow. Just WOW. Deal Stuckey before he continues to play like this, solid outing by Monroe, JJ needs work, Maxiell and Wilkins need to be gotten rid of, Gordon… No just No.  Knight, well yeah… kinda expected it, Daye is a liability, he’s either in or out of his game, most of which is out….

  • Dec 30, 201110:19 pm
    by Sebastian

    Reply

    Full disclosure: I am a Rodney Stuckey fan. I was in favor of his resigning, even at $25/3 yrs.

    But tonight, Stuckey told US all: That he could care less about being a professional; about being an effective, competitive player; about being a Piston.

    The Piston should void his contract, if he plays anything like he played tonight in another game, as long as he is a Piston and playing under the terms of the recently signed contract.

    I mean even Franks, who I have little confidence in, put Stuckey on Ray Allen in the 3rd, in an effort to wake Stuckey’s ass up. After Ray Allen ran him off a couple of screens in about two or three Celtics offensive possesions, everyone could see that Stuckey was either disinterested or not in condition.

    From my observation, it appears that Stuckey is suffering from a severe case of “I got my money, now, and I ain’t going to play worth a damn anymore.”

     

  • Dec 30, 201110:33 pm
    by Micah Wels

    Reply

    Well I agree to some extent because I am a stuckey fan he is the most complete player on the team right now.  The offense has NO SET play for him and that is bad coaching AGAIN!!  I didn’t see much of the first half but I saw the other half.  Seems like he was saying you want me to be past first ok.  He never plays good against the celtics when he should just take Rondo to the post everytime as well as every other point guard.  Mad right now.

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