Celtics (27-12) at Pistons (14-26)
Game time: 7:30pm, The Palace; Auburn Hills, Mich. TV – CSN. Radio – WEEI-AM (850).
Bos: Pierce – 18.6 Pistons: Richard Hamilton – 18.9
Bos: Perkins – 8.3 Pistons: Ben Wallace – 9.5
Bos: Rondo – 9.7 Pistons: Rodney Stuckey – 4.3
Who'll go off: Paul Pierce. If Tayshaun Prince can't go (he's missed last 5 games with sore knee), the Pistons will start 6-10 Swede Jonas Jerebko at small forward. We might see a 30-point night from the Truth.
Who needs to be stopped: Rip Hamilton. Detroit is such a bad offensive team, I'd like to think the Celtics could hold them under 90 points in their sleep. Rip is always fired up when playing Ray Allen, so he gets the bulls-eye.
The C's will lose if… While Detroit ranks last in the league in defensive rebounding, the Pistons are 2nd in offensive rebounding (13.5). The Cs must keep Ben Wallace, Jason Maxiell and co. off the boards in order to capitalize on the Pistons poor shooting.
Miscellaneous: Rodney Stuckey has made just two of his last 25 3-point attempts. Ben Gordon (strained right groin) will not play. Tayshaun Prince (sore left knee) is a game time decision. Detroit has dropped 14 of 17. The Pistons rank 29th in scoring – 92.2 ppg.
Prediction: Celtics 104 – Pistons 81