Date: March 1, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Detroit record: 28-29
Boston record: 47-13
Detroit probable starters:
Boston probable starters:
Spread: Detroit +9.5
Projected score: Boston wins 97-92
Outlook: Everyone is excited with the Pistons’ lineup change — for good reason. But this a game they could really miss Allen Iverson, who’s out with a back injury, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of Booth Newspapers.
Richard Hamilton, who replaced Iverson in the starting lineup and scored 31 against the Magic on Friday, averages just 9.7 points against the Celtics this season. And that includes a game in November when he didn’t make shot.
As Celtics Hub points out, Boston has a tendency to trap Hamilton to great success.
That leaves Rodney Stuckey to produce in Detroit’s backcourt. Stuckey scored 22 in Orlando, but he hasn’t had back-to-back 15-point games in a month and a half. And he’ll be guarded by Rajon Rondo, one of the league’s premier defensive guards.
So that means the Pistons’ fate will likely lie their front court, which has been very erratic in producing points.
It’s tough to see how the Celtics, who look to sweep the Pistons in their season series for the first time since 1991-92, won’t look like the NBA’s top defensive team that they are.