Paul Pierce returns for defeated Celtics against defeated Pistons

Essentials

  • Teams: Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics
  • Date: Dec. 30,  2011
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: Fox Sports Detroit, NBA League Pass

Records

  • Pistons: 0-2
  • Celtics: 0-3

Probable starters

Pistons:

Celtics:

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

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +9.5

Over/under: 183

Score: Celtics win, 96.25-86.75

Three things to watch

1. Brandon Knight

If Knight’s performance against Cleveland on Wednesday ends up the best game of his rookie year, that wouldn’t necessarily be a terrible thing. He was that good.

The bigger question is how well Knight plays game to game, and that starts tonight. If he consistently produces like he did Wednesday, he should start sooner than later. For now, though, that’s still a big if.

2. Defending the perimeter

A lot of attention has been, deservedly, paid to the Pistons’ terrible interior defense. But that has distracted from another big problem: their 3-point defense.

Detroit is allowing opponents to shoot 51.9 percent from beyond the arc, worst in the NBA. Also troubling: the Celtics are leading the league with 51.2 percent 3-point shooting. It’s early, and both numbers will certainly drop, but its still a weakness-against-strength matchup for the Pistons.

Paul Pierce, who missed the Celtics’ first three games, will start, according to Sean Grande. That will make defending the perimeter even more difficult.

3. 0-10 watch

After an 0-2 start, the Pistons next eight games are:

  • at Celtics
  • vs. Pacers
  • vs. Magic
  • vs. Bulls
  • at 76ers
  • vs. Knicks
  • at Bulls
  • vs. Maviercks

All eight of those teams made the playoffs last year, and the two that didn’t have winning records (Pacers and 76ers) should be much improved.

Next Pistons Game Full schedule »
Sunday, Oct 2626 Oct7:30Atlanta HawksBuy Tickets

Tags: Brandon Knight

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