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Pistons to affect Celtics’ playoff hopes?

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons (25-50) at Boston Celtics (38-36)
  • Date: April 3, 2013
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Boston Celtics should be getting ready for the playoffs. Emphasis on the word should.

But with Kevin Garnett nursing an ankle injury and Paul Pierce missing Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, one is left wondering whether they have a plan in place as it pertains to the postseason.

At present time, Boston has not yet clinched a playoff spot. Thus, winning is still a requirement for this team if they plan on partaking in the tournament.

Granted, because they are an older team, Doc Rivers might be using unconventional wisdom.

The Celtics’ faithful are hoping the team grabs the seventh seed in the east, which would have them avoid the defending champions in the first round.

Mind you the Celtics might not be good enough for a battle with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The lack of youth and numerous injuries that go hand-in-hand with that make it as such that LeBron and company could potentially easily dispatch them in such a setting.

But in the first round of the playoffs, that might be the healthiest the Cs will be at any point during the second season. Combine that with the fact that Boston always plays Miami tough, and it’s not inconceivable that Rivers would tank for an opportunity to face them in the opening round of the playoffs.

Hence, losing just a few games here and there might not necessarily be the worst idea for the franchise if they truly feel as though they can out the Heat.

Let’s face it: the Celtics aren’t winning any first round matchup without the services of Kevin Garnett.

Per NBA.com’s advanced stats tool, when the Big Ticket is on the floor, the Celtics have the second best defense in the league statistically, right behind the Indiana Pacers. Remove Garnett from the equation though and we’re looking at a bottom 10 ranking.

More importantly, Miami’s league-leading offense drops to roughly ninth overall when they play Boston with KG on the hardwood.

Garnett’s ability to disrupt the pick-and-roll with his quickness and hands are a huge plus against the Heat. He can help and recover quite quickly, which grants him an opportunity to patrol the paint and bump off cutters.

The Celtics have faced a few injuries here and there as of late and that’s a big part of the reason why they have only won three of their last 10 games.

So what to make of all of this entering tonight’s contest with the Detroit Pistons?

Well, Boston’s final eight games will feature five opponents with records under .500. Rivers may very well decide to give his regulars their normal amount of time or simply reduce their load and give every one some playing time much like he did Monday night against Minnesota.

Giving seldom used players minutes will keep guys in the normal rotation fresh and also give the bench players much needed confidence should they be needed in the postseason.

In other words, the Pistons starters might be getting a fairly substantial amount of playing time against second unit players tonight.

If this is Rivers’ plan, he will be labeled as one of two things: genius or buffoon.

Taking out the Heat in the first round would give them a great opportunity at reaching the Finals no matter how improbable it may seem.

There’s no way to know with certainty if this is the Celtics’ plan, but if it is, I must say I’m in favor.

However, what it also means is this: Rivers might be counting on the Pistons to help him out tonight.

Read about the Celtics

Celtics Hub.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

66 Comments

  • Apr 3, 20136:18 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    I’ve got a bad feeling we’ll win this pointless game.

    • Apr 3, 20138:10 pm
      by Dre Drum

      Reply

      Ok, guys. We’ve already realized you can play well sometimes. Now, STAHP playing well and lose this game. 

      • Apr 3, 20139:01 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Yeah i don’t care what anyone says about the 2013 draft class having no talent. The difference between having a top 5 pick and from 6th-10th pick is HUGE. The average talent as a whole in this draft class might be low but trust me there will be multiple all-stars come out of it. We’ve got Minnesota, Chicago, Cleveland, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Brooklyn next. Hopefully after losing today we only manage to win 1 or 2 more which should see our odds for a top 5 pick. Be angry with me for rooting for us to lose if you must but we’ve come this far losing all these games this season so why not just keep on losing for another 5 or 6 games and reward us long suffering fans with an 8.8% chance at the 1st pick, 9.7% chance at the 2nd pick or 1.7% chance at the 3rd pick. God only knows we deserve at least that!

        • Apr 3, 20139:02 pm
          by gmehl

          Reply

          *correction…10.7% chance at the 3rd pick

        • Apr 3, 20139:40 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          I think Burke goes outside the top 5, and one of Oladipo, Bennet or Porter also has a chance of it too. I don’t think the drop off is that huge from top 5 to pick 6. I’d put the drop off after 7. Noel, McLemore, Smart, Porter, Bennet, Oladipo, and Burke seem to be pretty tightly grouped together in my opinion. I’m trying for something like a typical mock up with that group. Zeller also tends to jump in to that group quite often, so there’s a chance to still get someone good at 8. I just don’t see a clear cut drop off from the top 3 to Burke who might go as late as pick 8, and because of that I’m buying in to the idea that top of the draft is pretty weak. There just should be more separation there.

          • Apr 3, 20139:50 pm
            by gmehl

            When you look at how far we can drop by winning 1 or 2 games I just think it is pointless in winning anymore games this season. As far as I am concerned the more lottery odds we can get from here on out is all there is left to play for. Why rely on teams picking the wrong guy before us when we can hold our fate in our own hands.

            1. Charlotte - 18-57
            2. Orlando - 19-56
            3. Cleveland - 22-52
            4. Phoenix - 23-51
            5. Detroit - 25-50
            6. New Orleans - 26-48
            7. Sacramento - 27-47
            8. Philadelphia - 27-47
            9. Minnesota - 27-46
            10. Toronto - 28-47
            11. Washington - 28-47

          • Apr 3, 20139:54 pm
            by Reaction

            Gmehl agreed…

          • Apr 3, 201310:10 pm
            by oats

            Yeah, not disagreeing with that. I’m just saying there will be talent after pick 5 that is pretty similar to what is there in the top 5. Having your pick of those guys instead of just getting whoever is left is clearly the better option though.

  • Apr 3, 20137:49 pm
    by Nick

    Reply

    No Calderon tonite. I guess we going tanking lol.

  • Apr 3, 20139:18 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Brandon Knight lighting it up tonight as per usual

    • Apr 3, 20139:27 pm
      by Reaction

      Reply

      Love the guy, has the heart.. just not making great decisions when on the court. Very hard worker but stats aren’t showing up.
      End of 3rd and 5 pts on 2/8 fg shooting, 1 rb, 4 assists, 2 TO

      Even without Calderon he isn’t playing well 

  • Apr 3, 20139:43 pm
    by Jopl

    Reply

    So i think its clear by now that Stucket has to have the ball in his hands.  i say we keep him and make him the backup pg next year.  Win/win right?

    • Apr 3, 20139:59 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Nope cause that kind of basketball is not winning basketball. That kind of play might make you look good but it makes everyone else look bad. If you can’t be effective without the ball in your hands then you shouldn’t be wearing a pistons uniform. 

      • Apr 3, 201310:07 pm
        by Jopl

        Reply

        I agree.  It isn’t winning basketball but you gotta use what you have.  Bench play should be mostly about scoring, helping build a lead.  If Stuckey has the reigns, he might be able to fit that role perfectly.  At least then we would have a use for him.

        • Apr 3, 201310:18 pm
          by gmehl

          Reply

          I guess we’ll know in the off season but i for one don’t like that kind of basketball. We didn’t win any of our championships playing that way. The thing with Stuckey is he is only effective playing that way 1 out of every 4-5 games. It’s your point guards job to get everyone else going and knowing when to score yourself. Stuckey plays others around him into form slumps whereas guys like Billups, Nash, Paul etc lift other guys out of form slumps. Another thing to add is i don’t think Stuckey is actually happy being in Detroit anymore and that my friend just spells diaster for him and the team. I say ship him outta here.

  • Apr 3, 20139:51 pm
    by haydzzz

    Reply

    Knight is just not effective, when hes on the court hes like singler just dribble for a bit and just passes it. wheres the confidence? he looked like a confident player at kentucky but now he just kinda sits back and jacks up shots when hes open.. when is he gonna impose himself in the game? 

    • Apr 3, 20139:54 pm
      by Reaction

      Reply

      I honestly think the injuries he suffered during these last two seasons (especially nose etc) destroyed his confidence. He isn’t even playing like he did in college at all

      • Apr 3, 201310:00 pm
        by haydzzz

        Reply

        I dont think its the injuries, i think hes always played passively. The few games hes killed it hes been shooting well, but when his shot isnt dropping is confidence just bottoms down and what else does he bring to the table other than scoring… nothin

    • Apr 3, 201310:29 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      I forget where I saw it, but I’m pretty certain I remember Calipari talking about always riding Knight to try to force him to shoot more because that team needed him to shoot a lot. He was saying it like Knight’s default is to be more of a facilitator. Now I think Knight believes that passive style is just how he should play point guard. He seems like he’s thinking too much and it slows him down.

      • Apr 3, 201311:22 pm
        by Brandon Knight

        Reply

        You nailed it. He is lost between passing and scoring! To me I blame it on the coaching staff. What the hell are they doing? 

        • Apr 3, 201311:34 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          I think he’s overcompensating for not being a natural point guard. I think he’s just more comfortable off the ball and not worrying about running an offense, and that’s why there were some positive signs when he first moved to shooting guard but before these last couple of ankle injuries. So I don’t blame it on the coaches that much. Knight would play better if he was more aggressively looking to score from the point guard spot, but I don’t know if the team would. Unless he develops some balance between looking to score and running the offense he just isn’t going to be a good point guard.

  • Apr 3, 20139:56 pm
    by Reaction

    Reply

    WOW KNIGHT REALLY? DID U JUST MISS A WIDE OPEN LAYUP WITH NO ONE EVEN REMOTELY NEAR YOU? Jerebko even got you a steal

    • Apr 3, 201310:11 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      This stuff happens all the time! Its not like he can’t get a layup

      • Apr 3, 201310:30 pm
        by Reaction

        Reply

        Yeah but not when you are completely wide open as a guard.. Like there wasn’t even a Celtic in the halfcourt

        • Apr 3, 201310:38 pm
          by Brandon Knight

          Reply

          are you still talking about it? Whats your argument? Knight can’t make a wide open layup? Please your embarrassing yourself. Stop!

          • Apr 4, 20132:29 am
            by Reaction

            I think most posters can agree on one thing.. we have no idea why you post or are even allowed to.

  • Apr 3, 20139:56 pm
    by haydzzz

    Reply

    Knight tanking? lol

  • Apr 3, 20139:56 pm
    by jinzzy

    Reply

    BK SUCKS LOL 

    • Apr 3, 201310:09 pm
      by Nick

      Reply

      Yes I’m officially off the BK bandwagon now smh.

  • Apr 3, 201310:09 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    You just know when you’re out rebounding the opposition 52 to 34 and you lose your team is baaaaad. We had 25 offensive rebounds for crying out loud. Down by 3 and we have the ball so who do we give it to?? CV who is shooting 12% from the floor and 0-6 from three point territory. Its games like this that you really hope we were tanking.

  • Apr 3, 201310:12 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    You see Pistons play much better without Calderon!

    • Apr 3, 201310:15 pm
      by haydzzz

      Reply

      Pretty sure Jose wouldve made that lay-up… just sayin

      • Apr 3, 201310:21 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        Hey i think Brandon Knight just through you an assist so you could give that funny ass answer :-) 

        • Apr 3, 201310:24 pm
          by haydzzz

          Reply

          Haha BK always putting others first :P

      • Apr 3, 201310:28 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        I’m pretty sure Brittney Griner would of made it too. Maybe we should draft her!

        • Apr 3, 201310:30 pm
          by haydzzz

          Reply

          If she can make lay-ups, its an upgrade lol might even help half fill the palace

    • Apr 3, 201310:19 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      So benching Calderon got us to win the rebound battle 52-34? Really? The 25-4 offensive rebounding advantage is what made that game competitive. Drummond, Villanueva, and Monroe absolutely controlled the glass tonight.

      • Apr 3, 201310:34 pm
        by Brandon Knight

        Reply

        When Calderon plays Pistons play half court game. This will never work with the young players that Pistons have. Pistons are much better when they are playing full court game!

        • Apr 3, 201310:44 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          But fast break basketball isn’t why the big men were rebounding well. Besides, Calderon is not purely a half court player anyways, so this idea that he’s slowing things down is a little absurd. Tonight the team sped up because they fell behind. Considering how old and how thin Boston’s bench is right now that seems like a pretty simple strategy. If Detroit consistently played faster without Calderon you might have a point, but that really isn’t the case. They didn’t even really speed up that much tonight. They took a crap load of shots because they had a crap ton of offensive rebounds.
           

          • Apr 3, 201311:18 pm
            by Brandon Knight

            Man C’mon he does slow thing down. He dribbles so much! Overall the Pistons are playing much slower when Calderon is playing, and that is not helping them!

          • Apr 3, 201311:25 pm
            by oats

            No, they aren’t. Their pace is the same with Calderon as it was before the trade. After the trade but before Calderon got his visa worked out it was also the same. It was a little bit faster paced tonight, but not by much. The team plays slow because they want to play slow.

          • Apr 3, 201311:40 pm
            by gmehl

            I wouldn’t call it playing slow but rather him controlling the tempo. What would you rather…Knight rushing up the court and throwing away the ball early in the shot clock or one of his poorly ran fast breaks?? Knight can’t even run a 2 on one fast break without turning it over.

  • Apr 3, 201310:20 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    only kids make a big deal out of that. 

    • Apr 3, 201310:34 pm
      by Reaction

      Reply

      No.. I think you are more of a kid than any one of us just by reading your posts. You say that Calderon is the reason why Knight isn’t playing well. Well Look at the last game, Calderon didn’t play a minute and Knight played horribly. Only guy worse on the floor was Charlie V.

      Oh and for those of you wondering about the rebounding advantage.. we had 25 offensive rebounds because we were shooting 36% whereas Boston was shooting almost 51% and only had 4 offensive boards

      • Apr 3, 201310:46 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        That gives us more chances to rebound well. If Boston was competent on the boards we’d have been blown out. Detroit owned the boards and they stayed in it despite doing everything else poorly.

    • Apr 3, 201310:38 pm
      by haydzzz

      Reply

      Your the biggest kid around… everybody knows jose isnt a good defender… but isnt BK supposed to be a good offensive player? howd he miss that lay up… he looks like he doesnt like playing basketball. When is he going to do some nice dribble moves or create his own shot? Stop making excuses for Brandon, excuses isnt going to get him anywhere, its upto him to start imposing himself on the game.. he needs to be way more aggressive

    • Apr 3, 201310:38 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      Hi Brandon. Can you please practice your uncontested layups?

  • Apr 3, 201310:40 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    idk what I’m more tired of – watching Knight do absolutely nothing for 30 min – or all the Knight apologists all over the internet, who defend him like he’s their little brother.

    • Apr 3, 201310:47 pm
      by tim

      Reply

      no doubt.  The people acting like hes a special player are fooling themselves.  We need to build around monroe, drummond and, to a small degree, JJ (who is a great asset off the bench).  Everyone else on this squad is not a special player.  I think you could argue that stuckey is better than knight and knights projection.  If we have a chance to draft a top caliber guard we take it.  Knight is not our future anything.  

      • Apr 3, 201311:03 pm
        by Mark

        Reply

        He needs to be traded this summer while he still has value. We need to get something out of that pick, and Knight isn’t providing anything.

        When you get the 8th pick in the draft, it means you are a bad team and rely on that player making you better. Knight does not make us better. We need to trade him.

        • Apr 3, 201311:13 pm
          by Brandon Knight

          Reply

          ” Knight does not make us better. We need to trade him. ”  @Mark  PROVE IT!

          • Apr 3, 201311:23 pm
            by Mark

            @Brandon – I don’t have to prove it, just watch yourself play! lol

        • Apr 3, 201311:17 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          You’re coming down too strongly against Knight here. Knight is still the best perimeter defender on the roster and probably the second best offensive player on the perimeter. He’s at least a useful guard off the bench. He’s not giving us nothing. He did tonight and for the last few games, but that’s to be expected from a streaky player every now and again. It also seems like he pushed back from injury too quickly. He re-injured his ankle and broke his nose but didn’t even miss a game. I’m guessing he isn’t 100%.

          • Apr 3, 201311:28 pm
            by Mark

            Calling Knight the best anything on one of the worst teams in the league isn’t saying much. And the fact that he’s best used as a guard off the bench on a lottery team says everything. 

            Thats why I say he doesn’t make us better. If you aren’t good enough to start on a lotto team,  then you aren’t making us better.

            I’m not being hard on him, I’m just being honest with myself. He doesn’t deserve to be starting on this team anymore.

          • Apr 3, 201311:31 pm
            by Brandon Knight

            Thank you! man people just don’t understand! they look at stats and judge! Knight has all the tools to be an All Star player but the problem is that he is still very young and inexperienced. We need a good coach to guide him!. He is clearly lost!

          • Apr 3, 201311:34 pm
            by Jacob

            I agree, I think the reason people defend Knight is because other people are way too harsh on him. Like it or not he is one our best players. I wouldn’t be against trading him, but we need something back. Trading him because some fans think he sucks is ignorant. Also it is possible that he improves over the summer, and maybe we get a few other good players for him to play with.

          • Apr 3, 201311:43 pm
            by oats

            @ Mark. I didn’t say Knight should come of the bench for Detroit. I said he is at least a good bench guard. That’s totally different. If he’s healthy he absolutely should start for Detroit. He’s clearly one of the two best guards on the roster.
             
            @Knight. I wouldn’t say Knight has All Star potential. If he did he should have shown more of it by now. He does have the potential to be a good starter at shooting guard, but probably not an All Star. I don’t know if he’ll live up to that potential even, but if he doesn’t he’s still a guy that can eat up minutes for a good team. That’s definitely something.
             
            @Jacob. Yeah, I agree. Discussions on Knight seem to get pushed to the extremes pretty often. He’s a useful player and he absolutely should start for this team. What’s more, there is no need to get rid of him. If the idea was to trade him for a potential upgrade I get it, but too many of these trade Knight ideas aren’t doing that.

          • Apr 3, 201311:53 pm
            by gmehl

            I think next season is Knight’s last chance to show us some improvement or else we might have to think about moving him.

          • Apr 4, 20132:35 am
            by Reaction

            Oats basically said what I believe.

  • Apr 3, 201311:01 pm
    by Dre Drum

    Reply

    Brandon Knight seems to be playing with no confidence at all. Like, always. I still think he deserves a chance to prove he can be productive, but with his struggle and lack of confidence – he seems to be hard on himself too – the Pistons should not see him as a fundamental piece of the future. I’m not saying they should get rid of him. But I think they shouldn’t think twice if the Pistons have a chance to get better while his role is diminished, like if they have a chance to draft a good PG or SG or find a good one on free agency. Knight could be a solid contributor, just not as the Pistons thought when they drafted him. Maybe, it’s just a matter of expectations.

  • Apr 3, 201311:25 pm
    by haydzzz

    Reply

    they need to get knight mentally right, i love his potential, he can shoot and dribble a bit but his confidence in his game doesnt show. its like hes scared

    • Apr 3, 201311:34 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      I wouldn’t say scared, he is just simply lost! he doesn’t know his role! as I said we need a good coach to guide him

    • Apr 3, 201311:37 pm
      by Mark

      Reply

      I used to think he could shoot too, but in reality he shoots 40% FG. 

      He’s a pretty good on ball defender at the PG position, and good 3pt shooter, but all that adds up to is a Ronnie Brewer/Kyle Korver type role off the bench.

      I dont think he lacks confidence at all. If anything he plays with too much confidence. He needs to just settle down and play in a rhythm. He’s always playing 200 mph. He just doesn’t have a good feel for the game. 

      He works his ass off, but someone who wants to play drums, but has no rhythm, can practice all day every day and never be a good drummer. 

      idk, he needs to smoke some weed before the game or something so he can just relax and play lol 

      • Apr 3, 201311:58 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        The big question is when his rookie deal is up do we resign him? He is going to have to come on strong in the next season and a half IMHO. Big year for him next season to show that he is worth a nice contract. Showing potential can only get you by for so long and then you turn into something like Stuckey or Daye.

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