Game Tips at 7:30 P.M. EST.
Detroit Pistons: 0 - 3 (0 - 2 road)
Boston Celtics: 2 - 1 (2 - 0 home)
Richard Hamilton and Will Bynum are questionable for tonight's game. Charlie Villanueva is a game-time decision.
Despite an 8-point loss to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers last Wednesday, the Celtics have mounted an impressive start to the 2010-11 NBA season. Rajon Rondo is averaging nearly 17 assists per game, Paul Pierce is shooting 66.7% from outside and Kevin Garnett is grabbing 12 rebounds per game. If this continues into tonight's game, the question isn't "how" to beat that, it's "can" you beat that.
Well, you can come pretty close. And if any team is amazing at coming really close to winning, it's the 2010-11 Detroit Pistons. The Pistons throw away quarters like your Grandma in Vegas, except Nona actually has better odds at winning.
How do you beat a team that is playing as well as the Boston Celtics? Well first, you exploit their weaknesses. In Boston's starting lineup for tonight's game, the weak links are Ray Allen (and his 40% shooting thus far) and Jermaine O'Neal (who still gets ID'd at the liquor store even though his knees are as old as your Grandma's). If Allen's shots aren't falling, the defensive end should be easier for Ben Gordon tonight which could yield more energy for his offense.
Jermaine O'Neal, on the other hand, should be a target for John Kuester-- and the perfect reason to give Greg Monroe his first ever NBA start. If Ben Wallace sticks with Garnett on both ends of the floor, he could possibly work to neutralize Boston's frontcourt. Garnett's rebounds and easy baskets won't be easy to come by during this Benaissance. As for Monroe, is there a better player to get your start against than one whose body is made up entirely of old tires, dead skunks and athletic tape? Detroit is without Charlie Villanueva tonight, so a start *could* happen. Knowing Kuester, however, it won't. This is Mike Payne's wishful thinking.
That start will likely go to Austin Daye once again. Tonight, Daye would be much better suited to switching off on the hot hand off the bench. If Pierce's 3's are still falling outta control, let's see if he can still drop them over our 7 foot stilt with a knack for blocking threes.
Beyond the starting five, keep your eye on Glen Davis, who is averaging 15 and 4 off the bench this season. Nate Robinson has the potential to make any defense look foolish as well. This Celtics team is as deep as the others have been, so it's important for Detroit to maintain the bench dominance they've established in this young season.
Keys to the Game:
No more Daye at the 4. If Daye failed the Joe Smith, Jeff Green and Taj Gibson tests, we don't even need to try the Kevin Garnett test. For lunch, Austin, you will be eaten.
Play all 48 minutes. The game doesn't last 44 minutes. If it did, the Pistons might be 3-0. Did you get that memo, Kluesterfuck?
Don't Pull the Hot Hand. If everything Ben Gordon is throwing up is falling through the hoop, don't take him out of the game for Richard Hamilton. Fortunately for this scenario, Hamilton is not playing tonight.
Oh wait, none of these keys are advice for players, only the coaching staff. *looks daggers at John Kuester*
Question of the Game:
Will the Pistons match their last 0-4 start to an NBA season from back in 1999-2000? If the worst happens, at least that team won 42 games.