Opposing viewpoint: Piston Powered
Boston: 108.9 points/100 possessions (10th)
Detroit: 103.6/100 possessions (24th)
Boston: 101.5 points allowed/100 possessions (3rd)
Detroit: 109.1 points allowed/100 possessions (21th)
Probable Detroit Starters:
Rodney Stuckey, Charlie Villanueva, Jonas Jerebko, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace
Detroit: DOUBTFUL: Ben Gordon, PROBABLE: Richard Hamilton, Chris Wilcox OUT: Will Bynum, Tayshaun Prince
Boston: OUT: Marquis Daniels, Kevin Garnett
The Celtics travel up north to face perhaps to most wild starting lineup in the NBA right now. Injuries and the good play of young people have forced the Pistons to play everyone, a prospect so novel it makes Doc Rivers’ ears bleed. I kid, but if there was a game to see J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and Shelden Williams, tonight is it.
Has anyone noticed Jonas Jerebko has started 35 games for the Pistons? I’m as high on this kid as the next guy but does this young, international, rookie really deserve to start over Charlie Villanueva? It seems like the Pistons value energy…or maybe they’re a team of two polar opposites: young guys with big upside (Jerebko, Summers, Daye) and old guys whose play and contracts are probably more useful on another team (Hamilton, Wallace, Atkins).
This young, injury depleted team could be the perfect opportunity for Doc to get his players some rest, as well as some rhythm- the basketball gods know they need both.
WHAT THE PISTONS DO WELL:
Despite having an overall poor defensive rating, the Pistons appear to get alot of steals- at least more than their opponents. This could change tonight as Rondo and TA have a knack for making careless passers pay (a little ironic for TA huh?) coupled with Ben Gordon potentially being sidelined, who is nearly averaging a steal a game when he plays.
Stuckey and Wallace are also averaging nearly 1.5 and 1.25 steals a game respectively.
The Pistons have some big bodies on the frontline, including the infamous rebounding/ block machine extraordinaire Ben Wallace. So it’s no surprise they’re an above average offensive rebounding team. Wallace is averaging four a game and that tenacity seems to have rubbed off on guys like Maxiell and Jerebko, who are both averaging around 2 a game. If the C’s aren’t careful, they could get owned on the glass tonight.
WHAT THE PISTONS DO POORLY:
Shoot from Three
With Ben Gordon and Will Bynum out of the lineup, the Pistons do not really have a three point shooter on the floor. They don’t even have a corner three guy with Tayshaun Prince being injured. To put their three point woes in perspective, Chuck Villanueva takes the most threes a game with close to four and only makes them at a clip of 32%. Not bad for a big man, terrible for your defacto sharpshooter.
Stay Out of Foul Trouble
Not surprising for a team with a bad boy reputation to uphold and some wide bodies up front, the Pistons foul a lot. What perhaps is surprising is that their guards foul far more than their big guys. This can lead me to deduce some possibilities. Either their guards can’t stay in front of their opponents, or they get caught in mismatches a lot. Whatever the reason, with Paul Pierce taking the ball to rack at a much higher rate lately, it could be a long night for the Pistons and a long night at the line for the C’s.
PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pistons have Chuck come off the bench in the hopes that they can trick other teams to match him up with second tier guys- a trick so sneaky, it rivals the bait and switch Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut did the other day (Seriously? I can’t believe that worked, if only for a second).
Chuck is another one of those matchup nightmares for teams. At 6’11”, Villanueva has the ability to put it on the floor and shoot from outside. He’s not as adept at either of these things as Nowitzki or Durant, but having the ability is still cause for concern for this Celtics team. Without KG, it’s hard enough for ‘Sheed to get out to shooters but Glen Davis and Shelden Williams might as well hope for a miss and get in position for the rebound.
PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY
Kwame Brown, Chris Wilcox
Unless they fall on someone, don’t expect either of these guys to do some damage. I think Perkins is done getting punked by mediocre centers after being embarrassed by Erik Dampier.
Yes he can still shoot, but coming off a stomach bug, he’s not putting on any Jordan-flu-game-like performances. My guess is that he’ll be a step slow getting his groove back tonight and whoever is guarding him will stay with him with ease. I mean, how hard is it when the guy is only dangerous from midrange? He doesn’t take it to the basket with any more effectiveness than the next swingman and he’s shooting a dismal 21.4% from three this year.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM THE C’S TONIGHT
Come on, just one? For old times’ sake?
If there was ever a game to use to get off the “Schnidely Whiplash,” tonight would be it. The Pistons are playing poorly and the C’s just flat out have more talent than they do. Let’s not risk adding injury to insulting the Pistons and play the young guys some minutes. I want to see Bill Walker guard DaJuan Summers go head to head. Both are bigger swingman that do not back down from anyone. Despite Summers having 20 pounds on Walker, I think this matchup would be Walker’s time to show that he’s willing to guard anyone.
The C’s get strong play all around and take it 105 to 80.
(Yeah that’s right, you heard me. Gettin’ bold with this one!)