Every time I think about the Detroit Pistons, my mind comes back to the trade that never happened: Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen for Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton. Do you know which team reportedly ”immediately rejected the trade”? Detroit.
Suckers. Now they’re one of the worst teams in basketball, while the Celtics get to watch Rajon Rondo blossom into one of the game’s greats. Which (kind of) brings us to tonight’s game.
Is it too much to expect a blowout? Is it too much to expect the Celtics to open up a can? Is it?!?!?
I defended the Celtics after the Cleveland loss, but there would be no such excuses tonight. Sure, the Celtics will be on the road, but they can’t be tired: they just had three days off. And yeah, the Celtics are a little banged up, but just take a look at the Pistons: Terrico White, Jonas Jerebko, Will Bynum and Chris Wilcox will all miss the game, Richard Hamilton looks likely to join them, and Charlie Villanueva is a game-time decision.
Everything about tonight’s game screams BLOWOUT! You know, if the Celtics are still capable of that sort of thing.
Without further ado, three keys to tonight’s game:
1. Stop Tracy McGrady:
Just kidding. It’s been far too long since Knee-Mac was a meaningful basketball player.
1. (For real this time) Pound the ball down low:
If Kevin Garnett is still capable of dominating a basketball game, tonight should be like taking candy from a 6’11″, 115-lb. baby. Okay, so maybe Austin Daye weighs (slightly) more than 125 pounds. He still shouldn’t be able to come anywhere close to defending Garnett. Feed the beast, Celtics. A steady diet of KG seems just right.
2. Defend the three-point arc
One of the few things the Pistons do well (the only thing?) is shooting from behind the arc (currently 42.9%). Of course, if both Villanueva and Hamilton miss the game the Pistons will be down two of their top outside threats. Then they won’t be able to do anything right! Seriously, though, Ben Gordon is on one of his Ben Gordon hot streaks. He’s shooting 65.6% from the field and 66.7% from trifecta-land. Put a hand up on Number Seven, Celts.
3. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers!
Just once, I’d love to see what the Celtics could do if they only passed to their own teammates. I’m pretty sure they’d be a lot better at basketball. It would also be nice not to feel like kicking my TV 20+ times tonight.
One last game note: I haven’t even written about Semih Erden possibly playing his first minutes. I don’t want to jinx him.
And completely unrelated to tonight’s game: Henry Abbott breaks down how teams should defend Rajon Rondo. I will respond tomorrow, but for now you should read Abbott’s work. Good stuff.