The Detroit Pistons are fresh off a thrilling comeback win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but now face one of the NBA’s most efficient offensive attacks in the Boston Celtics led by first-year coach Joe Mazzulla. The Celtics under Mazzulla love to bomb away from 3, and they are making more than 15 treys per game.
This is also a chance for Pistons fans to be reacquainted with former star Blake Griffin, who is giving the team what he can as a small-ball center, but can’t really hold up defensively and is only able to take advantage of wide open looks at this point. The name of the game, of course, is to somehow have a solution for the Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown attack. It would also be nice if Cade Cunningham isn’t forced into seven-plus turnovers tonight via Marcus Smart and multiple defenders flying at him. We shall see.
Another interesting thing to keep an eye on is rebounding tonight. Detroit is one of the league’s worst defensive rebounding teams in the NBA, and the Boston Celtics allow opponents to collect more defensive rebounds than just about anyone else. It’s a real immovable force vs. an unstoppable object situation we have on our hands. Somehow, I feel like Detroit will be on the short end, but we shall see.
There was some outside optimism that tonight would herald the arrival of Marvin Bagley III back into the lineup and Alec Burks suiting up for the first time this season. Alas, both are listed as out tonight. Once Bagley comes back, it’ll be interesting to see how Dwane Casey wants to take advantage of his size along with Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren. It’ll also be interesting to see whose minutes Alec Burks is able to eat into as he could easily be slotted in for 25 minutes per night.
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons +11.5
Boston Celtics (7-3)
Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford
Detroit Pistons (3-8)
Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart
There’s some interesting lineup stuff in James Edwards’ latest mailbag at The Athletic. He wrestles with the potential two-big lineup of Duren and Stewart and posits that Bojan goes to the bench. He also wrestles with a rotation that features a lot more Burks and whether that means little to no Killian Hayes going forward.
With the arrival of both players feeling pretty imminent, it should be interesting to see what Detroit had planned with this roster before injuries set things back a bit.