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Pistons vs. Celtics preview: Pistons host the green men from Beantown

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After spending the day with their families and celebrating Christmas, the Pistons are back in action against the Boston Celtics.

Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons had to practice on Christmas Eve before getting a small break for Christmas because of Stan Van Grinch-y. 'The Pistons are coming off of a tough loss against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. It was a boring game with the Hawks resorting to Hack-A-Dre to seal the win. Say what you will about the strategy, but it works ... too often.

Hopefully, the Celtics do not resort to that strategy so that we can watch a good game between two of the better teams in the east.

Game Vitals

Where: Palace of Auburn Hills-Auburn Hills, MI
When: Saturday Dec. 26 at 7:30 pm EST
Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

Analysis

As mentioned earlier, the Pistons are coming off of a loss to the Hawks. It was a game that was won because of Hack-A-Dre. The team shot 52 percent from the free-throw line, mainly because of Andre Drummond's 7-of-18 performance from the line. No team is going to win many games shooting that poorly from the line.

Obviously, there isn't much that can be done about Hack-A-Dre. If a team decides to resort to the strategy, Detroit will have to weather the storm. The Pistons cannot let it affect their momentum as much as it did in the Atlanta game, if the Celtics go that route.

The Celtics are a deep team, so a key to winning this game will be bench play. The bench has been pretty good for the Pistons the last few games with the exception of against Atlanta. The bench doesn't need to outplay the Celtics' bench, necessarily, but holding a lead will be key as the Celtics utilize their depth to rotate a lot of different players in and out.

The Celtics are coming off of a win over the Charlotte Hornets. Isaiah Thomas was unstoppable the last times the Pistons and Celtics played, scoring 38. Thomas is a big part of the Celtics' offense, and containing him will be a huge key. That is easier said than done, however.

Key Matchup

Isaiah Thomas vs. Reggie Jackson

This one is obvious. These are two of the best point guards in the Eastern Conference, and both are key to their respective team's offenses. Both are unstoppable driving to the basket when they are on. If the game resorts to a Reggie Jackson and Isaiah Thomas showdown, that will be some very entertaining basketball.

Last Time We Met

Wednesday, Dec. 16-Pistons 119, Celtics 116

The Celtics came out with a seven-point lead after one quarter. The Pistons turned it around and built a three-point lead at halftime, and that ended up being the margin of victory as both teams went back and forth in the second half. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a career-high 31 points. Jackson finished the game with 23 points while Thomas tried to will the Celtics to victory with 38 points.

Score Prediction

Pistons 103, Celtics 90

Lineups

Pistons: Jackson, Caldwell-Pope, Morris, Illyasova, Drummond
Celtics: Thomas, Bradley, Crowder, Johnson, Sullinger

Community Question

Where do you rank Isaiah Thomas and Reggie Jackson in terms of east point guards? Do you think either one will be an all star?