Boston Celtics (27-12) @ Detroit Pistons (14-26)
Palace at Auburn Hills Detroit, MI
7:30 pm ET, CSN New England
I used to be able chalk up a ‘W’ for the Boston Celtics when I saw they were facing such a poor opponent. But lately, things have gone sour for the Boston Celtics. The victory is no longer a foregone conclusion. Amidst mass injuries and uninspired play, Boston is just 4-7 over their last 11 games.
Kevin Garnett and Marquis Daniels will be out again for tonight’s game, but Garnett is hoping to return to action Friday night against the Portland Trailblazers. (Edit: I originally wrote the Celtics would be playing the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, instead of Portland. My apologies)
Detroit has had injury struggles of their own in a disapointing season so far, and will likely be without Tayshaun Prince, Ben Gordon (game-time decisions), and Will Bynum (out). Richard Hamilton also missed Detroit’s last game with the flu, but is expected to play tonight.
Keys to the Game
- Bring the effort- The Celtics learned the hard way Monday that they need to play hard for 48 minutes. Doc was NOT happy with Boston’s effort at all, but let’s hope it doesn’t become a recurring problem.
- Leadership of Paul Pierce- Pierce called out his teammates in the wake of Monday’s loss questioning their mental focus and toughness and saying KG’s absence was not an excuse to lose games. Pierce is the kind of player who back up his words with great play, so look for a big game from Pierce tonight.
- Will Ben Gordon play?- Gordon is questionable for tonight’s game, and I know every C’s fan is rooting for him to miss the game. Gordon was a killer in last season’s epic first round playoff series against Chicago and has typically played well against Boston.
- Frontcourt Battle- Kendrick Perkins has played admirably well in KG’s absence, but he’s getting little help from the rest of the big guys. With Wallace returning to Detroit where he won a championship, and playing against Ben Wallace, an old teammate, hopefully he will be hyped to play and bring a big effort.