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Game 30/82: Celtics (24-5) @ Pistons (10-21) Open Thread

 

Boston at Detroit

7:30 P.M. ET

The Palace Of Auburn Hills

CSNNE


Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 106.4 points/100 possessions (10th)

Detroit: 101.8 points/100 possessions (20th)

Defensive Efficiency:

Boston: 96.7 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)

Detroit: 107.4 points allowed/100 possessions (25th)

Probable Detroit starters:

Rodney Stuckey (PG), Ben Gordon (SG), Tayshaun Prince (SF), Charlie Villanueva (PF), Ben Wallace (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Piston Powered

Thumbnail: The Celtics arrive at the site of a catastrophe tonight in Auburn Hills. The once-feared Detroit Pistons have been brought to their knees, mired in another losing season, with an overpriced, unbalanced roster and now – internal squabbles, as shooting guard Rip Hamilton has reportedly quit on the team.

The Celtics are back-to-back’ing tonight so there’s always the possibility of an underwhelming performance, but this game is entirely theirs for the taking. You won’t find a more messed up franchise than the Pistons anywhere in the NBA.

Still, there will be some drama in watching Kevin Garnett’s matchup with Villanueva, who, of course, accused KG of calling him a ‘cancer patient’ during the Celtics’ 109-86 win on November 3. Whatever Garnett said, it’s clear he has little respect for Villanueva and will look to take it to him tonight. Let’s see if Charlie V is up to the challenge.

Of course, despite that promise of chippiness, the game may not quite live up to this Pistons-Celtics clash of yore:

WHAT THE PISTONS DO WELL:

Shoot the three ball: The Motor City team is firing at 37.7%, good for 7th in the league. Their prime gunners are Hamilton (40.9%), Austin Daye (41.9%), Gordon (40.2%) and Villanueva (37.1% on a whopping five shots a game). The name of the game for the C’s will be taking away open looks from the arc. Because after that, the Pistons, who have no interior offensive presences to speak of, are reliant on mid-range shots, and in the halfcourt game at that (they’re the fourth slowest team in the league).

Take care of the ball: The Pistons are 4th in the league, with a 12.8 turnover rate.

WHAT THE PISTONS DO POORLY:

They’re poor at, well, defense, the perfect tonic for a struggling Celtics’ offense. This is attributable in large part to the alleged Detroit big man corps, which includes Villanueva, a finesse 4, Wallace, an aged, undersized 5, Greg Monroe, a rookie big, and Chris Wilcox, an undersized 4. It does not include anyone who can body up on Shaquille O’Neal or stop KG in the post if he’s motivated to get down there and work it. Nor does it include anyone with great athleticism.

How exactly did Joe Dumars think this group was going to get it done?

PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY:

Isiah Thomas. Vinnie Johnson. Mark Aguirre–

Oh, wait.

They’re long gone.

So, no one then, other than Gordon, who has made a career out of cooking up the Celtics:

PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:

Despite all the injuries and the back-to-back games – the Celtics.

Shaq’s well-rested (he’s played only 29 minutes the last two games) so look for Boston to establish he and Garnett down low early on. Nate Robinson should also have fresh legs after sitting out much of last night. And after a mediocre showing against the Pacers, the C’s starters will be looking for redemption. That group rarely puts in more than one ho-hum effort in a row, no matter who’s healthy enough to play.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT:

A blowout victory.

And specifically:

  • More minutes for Avery Bradley (and maybe a made basket or two?).
  • A Luke Harangody sighting.
  • Jermaine O’Neal showing he’s not ready to be put out to pasture just yet.

Of course, I realize how stupid I’ll look if the Pistons come out and take it to the C’s and pull off the upset. If that happens, feel free to direct your sarcasm and mockery at Brendan, who’s back with the post-game recap later tonight.

PREDICTION:

Boston 105 Detroit 87

  • someguyinsac

    No matter how many time I watch it, seeing Chief going Ali on Laimbeer brings a special warmth to my heart. In some ways I miss the old ways that basketball was played, seems like nowadays darn near every touch on a player can be whistled as a foul.

  • complexity

    Hopefully the Celtics season isn't ruined again ;/

  • hdavenport

    Gordon just controlling Nate Robinson so far…

    And as I write that something just happened to KG and it looks REALLY BAD.

  • BH24

    Well, that injury bares a terrible resemblance to the one in Utah two years back… Crap.

  • MP!

    Really hope he didn't just blow out his knee.

    • hdavenport

      I think if that we're the case he wouldn't be walking around. That said, I don't like the looks of it at all. Would be more optimistic if it had been contact-induced.

      • hdavenport

        *were the case. Panic typo right there.

  • Devo

    This sucks, my week is ruined…

  • someguyinsac

    I'm going stay stay optimistic until something is said in detail, otherwise I'd go bananas with doom & gloom thoughts.

  • hdavenport

    http://twitpic.com/3l0n23

    Courtesy of Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston.

    • someguyinsac

      Ow, Ow, Ow!!

  • yordgreat

    WTH!!!!!!!!!!!!2009 all over again…………

  • Morpheus

    I can't breathe guys….i'm feeling sick. Please keep us updated on the KG injury that's all that matters to me right now.

    • hdavenport

      "Lower right leg injury," not even specifying the knee. ANNOYING VAGUENESS

  • complexity

    yordgreat, worst than 2009, we now have JO

  • jpbl1976

    Oh god. Our worst nightmare.

  • yordgreat

    lol!!x-rays were NEGATIVE hallelujah!!!!!

    • Ryan DeGama

      Don't we still need an MRI?

    • DRJ1

      meaningless… they would only show something if a bone chipped off or something. MRI will tell the tale. sorry…..

  • Ryan DeGama

    Saw one comment pre-game. Then suddenly a whole bunch appeared as I went to catch up on things.

    Just knew it had to be bad news.

    Certainly seems terrible. But we'll see.

  • Chris

    X-rays don't show ligament damage, is my understanding. Not out of the woods yet.

  • Eric

    WHO GIVES A F about XRAYS????? I mean, it didn't look like he broke his kneecap or so… MRI…

  • DRJ1

    One of those moments in life when I thought I could literally feel my heart sink….. inside my chest…. oh boy…..

  • kricky

    according to the leaguepass broadcast xrays negative. what does that mean?

    • Ryan DeGama

      That we wait for the MRI tomorrow and hope nothing is torn.

      • Morpheus

        Can you give us the worse possible scenario post x ray? Say number of games missed

        • DRJ1

          Please… I can't even type the words…..

        • Ryan DeGama

          Speculation only: IF he has torn his ACL – it means he's out for the season. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on that.

          Right now, I think all C's fans are just hoping he can be back before the playoffs. The injury bore a sickening resemblance to the one two years ago.

          • DRJ1

            Yes

          • Morpheus

            Thanks, but that didn't make me feel better….just sayin

  • Morpheus

    So far so good…i'm praying right now. Lower right leg is better than "knee" that's for damn sure. Ok got my breath back

  • jpbl1976

    Best case is that this is just like Paul's injury during the 08 Finals. Just a tweak but nothing serious.

    • Morpheus

      I REALLY HOPE SO

  • carpenter

    was it on the same knee?

    • DRJ1

      yes… groan…

  • nof

    calf!

  • Ryan DeGama

    Possible good news:

    @SeanGrandePBP: No fracture, MRI Thu for KG. Players indicating its not as bad as it looked.

    • Morpheus

      YES YES YES YES YES

    • hdavenport

      Grande has an excellent twitter account.

  • Pat

    Calf muscle tear? ACL/MCL injury?…. I mean, there's not a lot of "good" things to be hurt in the "lower leg"

    • DRJ1

      Technically, "lower leg" excludes the knee. But the people saying it's lower leg are not technicians, and were not speaking precisely. We just have to wait for that MRI. One MRI tomorrow will determine the course of history for this team, for KG, and for this city's chances of getting #18 anytime soon. Nightmare vs. no big deal. Feels like a nightmare right now……

  • bostonfan

    Wow. Damn.

  • hdavenport

    Way too many T's on Doc lately. He appears to have given up on this game.

  • http://www.anaheimamigos.com Anaheim Amigos

    He probably hurt his leg when that damned Shaq climbed all over him in his pregame takedown: http://www.anaheimamigos.com/2010/12/kg-injures-k

  • I_Love_Green

    Embarrassing game. Nobody trying but Paul, refs not helping out, KG's injured, Austin Daye and Charlie V each make 437 shots in a row, everyone forgets you need the ball to score, I will give JO up for free at this point, Rondo is our most important player, KG is our second, I miss Perkins.

    • DRJ1

      I can't even watch it. Haven't…..

      • I_Love_Green

        Turned it off in the 3rd quarter. Just too similar to last years team. Injured and disinterested.

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