Tip: 6PM Court: Palace at Auburn Hills Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: 98.5 Sports Hub
Referees: Ken Mauer, Dick Bavetta, Sean Corbin
Spread: DET -9.5
Detroit took 2 of 3 against Boston last season. While the Pistons finished 29-53 last year (11th in conference), many analysts project Detroit to return to the playoffs this season.
Get it to: Whomever Chauncey Billups guards
The Celtics will have a substantial mismatch if they go big and play Jeff Green or Gerald Wallace at the 2. Either should be able to take advantage of the 37-year old Billups.
Gotta stop: The Pistons front court
Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith are a diverse and talented bunch. Look for Brad Stevens to call on Kris Humphries (DNP-CD vs Milwaukee) to help defend the post. Every possession that results in at least a 17-foot jump shot by Smith is a small victory for Boston.
The Wild Card: Avery Bradley
Bradley couldn’t have started the season any worse. He’s averaging 8 points on 29% shooting. He has more fouls (12) than field goals (8). It would benefit Bradley if he could get some easy opportunities in transition.
How we see it goin’ down
Detroit is too big and too talented in the paint for the Celtics. I’m terrified that Monroe and Drummond will combine for 50 points, 30 rebounds and 10 blocks.
The Celtics will need exceptional play from Green, Wallace, Bradley and Lee if they’re going to win this one. I just don’t see that happening.