Sunday, March 9, 2014
W2W4: Celtics vs. Pistons (Game 63 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (21-41, 13-19 home) host the Detroit Pistons (24-38, 10-18 away) on Sunday evening at TD Garden (6 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
- A BIG CHALLENGE: The Pistons are active on the glass, leading the NBA in offensive rebound percentage and sitting eighth in total rebound rate. They've gone even bigger lately with 6-foot-8 Kyle Singler at the 2 alongside the frontline of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, and Josh Smith. Said Celtics coach Brad Stevens: "They are huge. And they’ve given us problems because of that. And now they’re playing Singler at the 2, and Singler’s a really good player. He can post, he can cut. He’s a hard-driving guy. He’s just a big guy for a typical 2 guard to guard. ... And then Smith and Monroe and Drummond are as big of a frontline as there is. And we’ve struggled with it, to be honest, we’ve struggled with it."
- PISTONS IN PLAYOFF HUNT: Despite dropping nine of their last 11 games, the Pistons remain only three games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and should have plenty of motivation -- particularly with the currently eighth-seeded Hawks having lost five straight. Celtics players have rallied lately around the idea of playing spoiler over the final 20 games and this is another chance to set back a team looking to play beyond mid-April.
- LOOSE BALLS: This is the third of four meetings this season. The Pistons won the first two meetings, including a Brandon Jennings-led nailbiter in December at TD Garden. Said Stevens of Jennings: He "had a great game and made shots, made huge shots -- tough shots -- on both Avery [Bradley] and our other guards last game." ... Detroit coach John Loyer is 3-9 since taking over for Mo Cheeks on Feb. 9. ... The Pistons have lost eight straight on the road. ... The NBA championship belt is on the line after Boston claimed it during Friday's win over the Nets.
(Read full game preview)