Tip: 7:30pm Court: TD Garden Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Mike Callahan, Kane Fitzgerald, Karl Lane
Kevin Garnett dropped 23 and 8 as the Celtics beat the Pistons 101-90 in April
Get it to: Ray Allen
The Pistons are getting used to Lawrence Frank's defensive system. They're also not very good. So if the Celtics can work the offense a little bit, it won't take long for someone to get lost and for Ray to get open. He's been hot so far, opening the season shooting a blistering 63.2% from 3. Ride the hot hand in Pierce's absence until it cools off.
Gotta stop: Their point guards
Toney Douglas scored 19. Norris Cole scored 20. Jarrett Jack scored 21. Opposing point guards are TORCHING the Celtics. Kind of odd when you consider we supposedly have one of the best defensive point guards in the league. Guard penetration is destroying this team right now because it leads to easy points at the basket, openings for other players, and fouls. If the C's don't keep Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight out of the paint, we're going to see more of the same.
The Wild Card: Kevin Garnett
He only played 27 minutes in the loss to New Orleans. He had yesterday off and now he's playing in front of his home crowd. Kevin Garnett has looked old and slow so far this season. Now is the time to see if he can ride some TD Garden energy to an aggressive showing offensively. If he can step up and knock down a few shots early in the game, the Celtics might actually play with a comfortable lead for once.
How we see it goin' down
My optimism has taken a bit of a pounding so far, but I still don't expect the C's to come out and lay an egg in the home opener. This city and this arena will be pumped to get the Celtics back. And Kevin Garnett WILL ride that wave when he's out there. The rookies might get a little too overwhelmed by the moment and play too fast, thus leading to mistakes and some sloppy play, so don't be surprised when that starts happening. Hell, it might happen to some of the veterans who don't know what to expect in a home opener.
Still, the Pistons will be the medicine that cures a lot of teams' ills this season. And tonight, they will be the cure the Celtics are looking for. Boston wins it… 101-88