Detroit Pistons at the Boston Celtics Preview
On Wednesday, the Detroit Pistons will face off with the Boston Celtics for the second time this year. The Celtics will have home-court advantage at TD Garden where they have gone 16-3 on the year, which has played a large part of their rise to the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference at the halfway point this year. Detroit has obviously not had the same success this season and currently sit tied for 9th in the East with three other struggling teams (Hornets, Bulls, and Wizards. The Celtics will be attempting to win their third straight game while the injury-riddled Pistons will try and put a stop to their 4-game losing streak.
Time: 6 PM CST
Arena: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Channel: NBC Sports Boston, Fox Sports Detroit
Pistons Team: Blake Griffin (Out), Reggie Jackson (Out), Luke Kennard (Out), Khyri Thomas (Out)
Celtics Team: Daniel Theis (Questionable), Robert Williams (Out)
Detroit Pistons Starting Lineup
The Pistons are coming off one of their worst stretches of the season losing three straight games to three other underperforming teams in the Cavaliers, Bulls, and Pelicans. This underwhelming year for the Pistons has been a combination of underperformance and an injury-riddled roster. Detroit will be once again missing a huge chunk of production from Griffin, Jackson, and Kennard who are all expected to continue to be unavailable for an extended period of time.
With this short roster, the Pistons will rely on Andre Drummond and Derrick Rose to fill the production gaps that have opened up with these injuries. Rose has been scoring at a high-level since he’s taken over as the Pistons go-to option. Rose poured in 23 points, although it wasn’t his most efficient game, for his fifth straight 20-point performance. The Pistons will need an efficient and high-volume performance from Rose if they want any chance to upset the Celtics.
Another huge indicator of Detroit’s chances on Wednesday will be which Andre Drummond they get. He will always be impactful on the defensive ends and the boards, but the Pistons need him to contribute more than he is usually asked when Blake Griffin is healthy. Lastly, a key player that has emerged out of opportunity is Sekou Doumbouya. The 2019 1st round pick has made an impact since he has been inserted into the starting lineup 7 games ago. Doumbouya has averaged 12.5 points and 5.7 rebounds over his first 7 career starts.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
The Celtics will be looking to continue their dominance on their home court. Boston is trying to extend their win streak to 3 coming off the heels of their longest losing streak of the year (3-games). The Celtics have taken advantage of struggling teams all year long going 20-4 against sub-.500 teams and their win streak is an example of that. Boston has put together back-to-back wins against the struggling Pelicans and Bulls who ironically are responsible for Detroit’s last two losses. This is a prime opportunity for Boston to continue rolling especially at home.
The Celtics comfortable beat the Bulls on Monday thanks to a dominant stat that saw them jump out to a 28-14 1st quarter lead. Boston will look to Jayson Tatum to continue rolling after he has put up a combined 62 points in his last 2 games. Along with Tatum, Kemba Walker shares the title of leading scorer and should be able to capitalize on a matchup that should allow for a lot of scoring chances. As for Andre Drummond, the Celtics will look to Enes Kanter along with Daniel Theis to slow the dominant interior big down. Kanter has been very productive for Boston as of late and was rewarded with a starting spot against the Bulls, which was only his 4th start of the year. Kanter has been a double-double machine recently putting up 7 over his last 11 games while averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds over that span.
The Celtics should be able to dictate this game and play how they want to. I expect Boston to get another win over a team that they should beat.
Key Player Matchups
Andre Drummond vs Enes Kanter
The most interesting matchup, in my opinion, will be between centers Andre Drummond and Enes Kanter. Both players don’t hold anything back and do all their work in the paint and on the glass. Drummond is obviously an extremely superior defender but Kanter will look to challenge him on the offensive boards.
Derrick Rose vs Kemba Walker
This matchup between point guards will be between two explosive scorers. Rose will come off the bench for Detroit but should see a lot of minutes and I expect these two to be matched up against one another most of the game. The Pistons will be much more reliant on Rose with their lack of other true scorers. Boston has many ways to win and I expect them to win even if Walker doesn’t have a huge impact but a big game for Kemba could mean a blowout win.
In terms of more expensive options, I would look to Drummond and Walker for the most volume along with Jayson Tatum. I love the value that Doumbouya and Kanter provide at a lower price point.
Bet on Matchup
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