Boston: 101.5 points/100 possessions (21st)
Detroit: 98.7 points/100 possessions (26th)
Boston: 97.6 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Detroit: 108.2 points allowed/100 possessions (29th)
Key Injuries: Brandon Bass is out. Jermaine O’Neal, Kevin Garnett and Mickael Pietrus are all probable.
Probable Detroit Starters: Rodney Stuckey (SG), Brandon Knight (PG), Tayshaun Prince (SF), Jason Maxiell (C), Greg Monroe (PF)
View From The Opposing Bench: Piston Powered
I went 3-on-3 with the boys over at ESPNBoston on tonight’s game. Here’s a quick sampling of our responses to get you ready for tonight. Check out the full post by clicking the link above.
1. Beyond rebound machine Greg Monroe, what scares you most about this Pistons team?
Payne: I’m just always weary of any young team that could be underestimated by a veteran group like Boston. When a team like that comes in with an underwhelming record, there’s always the potential for it to be underestimated, so I’d be concerned about the C’s taking Detroit too lightly and giving the Pistons confidence as the game goes on, which could help them hang on for longer than they probably should.
Robb: Lawrence Frank. The C’s former top lieutenant has this semi-talented crew playing hard, having won four of their last six games and almost putting together a monster comeback last night against the Spurs. And if there’s anyone who know this Celtic team nearly inside-out it’s Frank who saw the best (and worst) this team had to offer last season. The Pistons will come out ready tonight to take advantage of this knowledge and that combined with their offensive rebounding prowess (8th in offensive rebounding rate) should keep Boston on guard.
Forsberg: Doc Rivers is in the middle of an extensive “pick up the tab” stretch with former top assistants Tom Thibodeau and Frank comprising four straight games (after tonight the Celtics go visit Chicago and Detroit). But the biggest thing to me tonight is simply keeping Detroit off the glass overall. Sure, Monroe has accounted for a third of their offensive rebounds, but the Pistons are still sixth overall in the league in that category and Jonas Jerebko and Jason Maxiell can attack the offensive glass as well. Boston can’t allow second-chance opportunities, especially given its dinged-up frontcourt.