The NBA schedule is weird. After playing 2 games in 3 days against the Celtics back in early November, the Pistons have not faced the Celtics since. Now they finally do and they will see them again in 9 days.
Last time these teams faced off, it was the final game of the season for Cade Cunningham, as he would miss the next game with a sore shin before opting for surgery. At the time of that game, the Pistons were last in the East with a 3-11 record and the Celtics were in first 10-3. Things have not changed since then.
Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
When: Monday, Feb. 6 at 7 pm EST
Watch: Bally Sports Detroit
Odds: Pistons (+11)
The Celtics are good and the Pistons are bad and there really shouldn’t be any reason to expect a surprise in this game. The Celtics are almost fully healthy and although they have lost 3 of their last 5 games, there is no reason to think they would lose this game.
The Pistons have actually played pretty well against the Celtics the last few years, but they have lost the previous two matchups this season, and those were with Cade Cunningham for the Pistons.
The biggest factor going against the Pistons is that the Celtics two best players are Jalen Brown and Jayson Tatum and both players are wing players who the Pistons have absolutely nobody capable of defending them. Even if they manage to stop one of them, stopping the other is going to be just as difficult.
Jayson Tatum is having an MVP-caliber season as he is averaging 31 points per game, 8.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists on the season. There are a lot of player putting up impressive numbers this season, but doing it on the best team in the East likely means he earns himself a few votes at the end of the season.
Outside of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, the Celtics feature a lot of high-end role players that play their roles very well. Robert Williams is a very good rim-running and rim-protecting big man who Jaylen Duren should definitely strive to emulate.
Al Horford does a little bit of everything for them.
The Pistons frontcourt of Stewart and Duren actually matches up pretty well with Horford and Williams, but if the rest of the team isn’t going to be able to contain Brown or Tatum, they are going to have to help out a lot which will make things tougher on everybody.
The Celtics aren’t a crazy deep team, but they do have a very solid sixth man in Malcolm Brogdon and guys who can come off the bench and hit shots.
They will be without Marcus Smart, which hurts them a bit defensively, but not enough to the point where the Celtics should be worried about an upset in this game.
The only similarity between both these teams is that the Celtics are also coming off a loss to the Phoenix Suns in their last game just like the Pistons are.
Boston Celtics (37-16): Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Robert Williams III
Detroit Pistons (14-40): Jaden Ivey, Alec Burks, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren
Question of the Day
Are you anticipating a crazy trade deadline or a tame one?