Detroit Pistons (3-7) at Boston Celtics (7-3) Game #11 11/9/22

The Celtics return home after two games to take on the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden. The Pistons are 14th in the East, behind only the Orlando Magic in the Victor Wembanyama Sweepstakes. They are 0-3 on the road so far. The Celtics are 3rd behind Milwaukee and Cleveland and have won their last 3 games. They are 3-1 at home.

This is the first of 4 encounters between these two teams this season. They will play again in Boston on February 15th. They will meet twice in Detroit, the first time in just 3 days on November 12th and the second time on February 15th. The Celtics are 246-140 overall against the Pistons. They’re 120-46 all the time in Boston.

The Celtics were 3-1 against the Pistons last season. They won two in Detroit and one at TD Garden, while the Pistons won once in Boston. Both teams played on Monday and in the league, with these two teams having Tuesday off for election day. Detroit beats the Thunder at home while the Celtics beat the Grizzlies away.

Luke Kornet missed the last two games due to personal reasons but is currently not on the injured list so I expect he will be back in the lineup for this game. Robert Williams III (knee) is nearing a return and his rehab is on track. Danilo Gallinari is out for the rest of the season as he recovers from a cruciate ligament rupture.

For the Pistons, Marvin Bagley III has worked his way back from a sprained knee and has yet to play this season. He trained on Sunday but missed Monday’s game and is listed as doubtful for that game. Alec Burks has missed the season so far with a navicular fracture in his foot. He also trained on Sunday and will miss Monday’s game. He is listed as questionable for this game. Both players will be a game-time decision.

Probable Celtics starters

PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Al Horford

Celtics Reserves
Malcolm Brogdon
Grant Williams
Sam Hauser
Payton Pritchard
Blake Griffins
Justin Jackson
Noah Vonleh
Luke Kornet

2-way player
JD Davison
Mfiondu Kabengele

Danilo Gallinari (ACL) is out
Robert Williams III (knee) out

Head coach (interim)
Joe Mazzulla

Probable piston starters

PG: Cade Cunningham
SG: Jaden Ivey
SF: Saddiq Bey
PF: Bojan Bogdanovic
C: Isaiah Stewart

piston reserves
Hamido Diallo
Jalen Duren
Killian Hayes
Kory Joseph
Kevin Knox II
Isaiah liver
Rodney McGruder
Nerlen’s Noel

2-way player
Buddy Boeheim
Braxton key

Marvin Bagley III (knee) doubtful
Alec Burks (foot) questionable

head coach
Dwane Casey

Important matchups

Marcus Smart vs Cade Cunningham
Last year’s top pick is playing very well for the Pistons. He leads the Pistons with 21.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.0 steals. He shoots 42.3% from the field and 30.9% from beyond the arc. He has been the top scorer in each of the last three games between these two teams, with more than 20 points in each game. Marcus Smart is coming off one of his best games of the season and will hopefully have another big game in this one.

Jayson Tatum vs Bojan Bogdanovic
Bogdanovic averages 20.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He shoots 48.3% from the field and 46.8% from beyond the arc. Jayson Tatum is playing at MVP level so far this season and the Celtics will need him to play like that at both ends of the court. Tatum especially needs to stay on the perimeter with Bogdanovic, where Bogdanovic is the Pistons’ best 3-pointer.

Jaylen Brown vs Saddiq Bey
Bey averages 16.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He shoots 45.3% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc. Jaylen Brown has played very well for the Celtics and will continue to do so in this game while limiting Bey’s influence with the Pistons.

key to the game
defense – Defense will always be the key to win every game. The Celtics rank 20th in the league with a defensive rating of 112.8, while the Pistons rank 29th with a defensive rating of 116.5. The Pistons are 28th in the league with 107.7 points per game. The Celtics have to go into this game with the attitude that they have to play a tough defense and not underestimate the Pistons who have a lot of young and hungry players and if the Celtics don’t take them seriously they can surprise them.

rebound – Rebounds are important for giving the Celtics extra possession and limiting their opponents’ possession. The Celtics are averaging 41.2 rebounds per game (26th), while the Pistons are averaging 43.9 rebounds (17th). The Pistons rank 9th in offensive rebounding with 11.7 points per game and 6th with 15.7.0 second chance points per game. Rebounding takes effort and the Celtics have to work extra hard to rebound the Pistons. When they put in extra effort on the boards, it often shows in other areas of the game as well.

stay focused – The Celtics need to focus on playing right. You need to take care of the ball and focus on crisp passes and careful ball handling. You also need to focus on getting good shots and getting them. The Celtics need to come into the game focused and maintain that focus throughout the game. Their offense was very good but they still fall into isoballs from time to time and they have to avoid that and keep the ball moving.

be aggressive – The Celtics can’t come in and expect an easy game and take it easy at both ends of the pitch because the Pistons aren’t a very good team. You need to come in and be aggressive on defense, get the ball in the basket, jump for loose balls, rebound and play as a team. If they allow the Pistons to play harder than they do, they could be caught off guard by a loss.

X Factors
home game – The Celtics are back home after a successful 2-game road trip. The Celtics must be ready to protect home court and improve their home record to 4-1. Young teams often fight in the streets and hopefully the yard will be noisy and able to distract the young Pistons team and the Celtics will be ready to play their best in this game.

Officiate – Officiating is always an X-factor. Each crew names the game differently. Some call it tight and call every contact, while others allow for more physical play. Some favor the home side, while others name both sides evenly. The lead hasn’t been very good so far this season and so the Celtics need to adapt to the way the refs call the game and not allow no calls and bad calls to spoil their focus on the game.

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