Facing Celtics, Pistons shoot for first four-game win streak since 2009

Essentials

Teams: Detroit Pistons vs. Boston Celtics

Date: Jan. 19, 2011

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit

Records

Pistons: 15-26

Celtics: 31-9

Probable starters

Pistons:

Celtics:

  • Rajon Rondo
  • Ray Allen
  • Paul Pierce
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Shaquille O’Neal

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +11.5

Over/under: 192.5

Score: Celtics win, 102-90.5

Three things to watch

1. Pistons’ four-game win streak?

The Pistons are looking for their first four-game win streak since they won five in a row between Dec. 4, 2009 and Dec. 12, 2009.

Since then, every team but the Pistons, Warriors, Nets, Kings and Wizards has had a four-game win streak. It’d be nice for the Pistons to separate themselves from that group of bottom-dwellers.

2. Chris Wilcox’s impact

Chris Wilcox entered the Pistons’ rotation eight games ago, and he’s having his best eight-game stretch in terms of points and rebounds in two full years. He’s also playing pretty good defense inside.

The Celtics are one of the league’s best interior-scoring teams, and they scored 42 and 46 points in the paint in these two teams previous matchups this season. Wilcox didn’t play in the first game, and most his minutes in the second game came with the Pistons already holding a comfortable lead.

He could make a difference in slowing the Celtics near the basket tonight.

3. Tracy McGrady vs. Rajon Rondo

Tracy McGrady had his best game of the season – 22 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals – when the Pistons last played the Celtics. But an injured Rajon Rondo didn’t play.

Pesky defenders like Rondo have given McGrady trouble all season. Drivers like Rondo have given McGrady trouble most of the season.

McGrady has continued to make progress, but a successful game today – especially one low on turnovers and high on on-the-ball defense – would show he’s taken a major step.

Pregame reading

Tags: Chris Wilcox Richard Hamilton Rodney Stuckey Tracy McGrady

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