Game Preview: Detroit vs. Boston

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Date: Jan. 30, 2009

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Detroit record: 25-19

Boston record: 38-9

Detroit probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Rodney
Stuckey
Allen
Iverson
Tayshaun
Prince
Amir
Johnson
Rasheed
Wallace

Boston probable starters:

PG SG SF PF C

Rajon
Rondo
Ray
Allen
Paul
Pierce
Kevin
Garnett
Kendrick
Perkins

Spread: Detroit +5.5

Outlook: Tonight’s game with the Celtics kicks off a big weekend for the Pistons, who host Cleveland on Sunday.

Detroit is coming off an impressive win over Minnesota. But for perspective, the Pistons are at the point a win over a 16-28 team can be considered impressive.

Rasheed Wallace has put together back-to-back impressive games for the first time since mid-November. For Detroit to have a chance against the NBA’s top team, he’ll have to make it a third. Wallace, matched up with Kendrick Perkins, is the only Piston starter to have an apparent advantage on his Boston counterpart.

Detroit’s bench might be the other way the Pistons can hang with the Celtics.

Tonight’s game will also be a big test for Rodney Stuckey. Stuckey’s maturation will be measured as he goes against Rojon Rondo, the league’s top defensive point guard.

Richard Hamilton is questionable, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of the Booth Newspapers. That should delight Ray Allen, according to the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy.

Ah, yes, the sleeve. Allen started wearing it when he was in a horrific slump during the Detroit series last spring. He wears the sleeve on just his left arm – sort of like Michael Jackson without the creepiness. “Rip Hamilton grew his fingernails long and he was scratching me,” explained Allen. “I needed the sleeve to shield me from those nails. And I’ve stayed with it.”

  • Tonight’s game will be available on ESPN360. Unfortunately, the service is unavailable to those with Comcast or Time Warner.
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