Boston Celtics (36-21 SU 21-35-1) vs. Detroit Pistons (21-38 SU 25-31-1 ATS) The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI 7:30 PM EST Tuesday March 2, 2010 on NBA TV
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Celtics -4.5/Pistons +4.5
Tonight in an Eastern Conference match up the Detroit Pistons host the Boston Celtics. Even though the Celtics are still in 4th place in the East they have to start playing better or they will not make any noise in the post-season. The Celtics have lost 2 straight and are only 5-5 in their last 10 games. In their last game they lost to the worst team in the league in the New Jersey Nets AND the game was in Boston.
Things have not gone well in Detroit to say the least, as they are in the 13th position in the Eastern Conference and are 2 games under .500 at home. The playoffs are not in the cards for Detroit unless they catch fire, as they trail the 8th place Miami Heat in the East by 7.5 games. The Pistons have lost 3 straight and are 4-6 in their last 10 games.
This season the Pistons are 14-16 at home and the Celtics are 20-10 on the road.
OK, so the Celtics did lose to the Nets at home in their last game, but at least they are on the road tonight, as they have a better road record than home record.
The Celtics win with their defense, as they are not a high scoring team. While the Celtics still lead the NBA in opponents’ points allowed (94.2 ppg) they have given up 108 and 104 points in their last 2 games.
The only team that averages fewer points than the Pistons this season is the Nets and New Jersey scored 104 points against Boston on Saturday afternoon.
The Pistons do have a legit defensive team and they may have to win this game with their defense since they are not a good offensive team. They cannot count on the Celtics to play a poor defensive game for a 3rd straight contest.
The Celtics should get Paul Pierce (17.9 ppg) back tonight after he has missed the last three games with a thumb injury.
On Saturday in their last game the Celtics lost to the New Jersey Nets 104-96. The high scorer for Boston in the game was Kevin Garnett going for 26 points on 12/16 shooting and he also grabbed 9 boards. For the game the Celtics shot 32/72 from the floor for a FG% of 44.4%. On defense the Celtics did not play a good game, as they allowed the Nets to shoot 42/84 for a FG% of 50%.
In their last game, also on Saturday, the Pistons lost to the Golden State Warriors 95-88. The high scorer for Detroit in the game was Tayshaun Prince going for 18 points on 9/21 shooting. For the game the Pistons shot 37/86 for a FG% of 43%. On D the Pistons allowed the Warriors to shoot 35/85 for a FG% of 41.2%.
This season the Celtics rank 19th in scoring (98.5 ppg) while the Pistons only rank 29th (92.4 ppg). On defense Boston ranks #1 in the league in points allowed (94.2 ppg) and the Pistons rank a respectable 9th (96.8 ppg). Detroit has been better on the boards this season, as they have a rebounding differential of +1.8 rpg while the Celtics are at -0.8 rpg.
According to the Sagarin NBA ratings the Celtics rank 8th (93.64) and the Pistons rank 26th (85.72).
Boston is 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 games, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games against teams with a losing home record, and 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Boston has an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 games and an Under record of 5-1 in their last 6 road games.
Detroit is 11-24-1 ATS in their last 36 games, 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games, and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games against teams with a winning record.
Detroit has an Under record of 5-1 in their last 6 games against teams with a winning record and has an Under record of 10-3 in their last 13 games against teams in the Eastern Conference.
Boston is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in Detroit and in the last 7 games in Detroit between these 2 teams the total has gone Under 7 times.
On the injury front SF Paul Pierce and C Kendrick Perkins are day-to-day for Boston and C Kwame Brown and PF Chris Wilcox are day-to-day for Detroit.
Jason’s Pick: When handicapping games, one has to consider that a team is only as good as it’s last few games. In this case, Boston appears to be playing some pretty weak ball so we’re siding wtih the Pistons to cover the spread.