The Celtics have won nine straight to bounce back from their 4-game losing slide earlier this month. Back Boston minus the points on the road at the Detroit Pistons.
The Palace at Auburn Hills will be the site of tonight’s Eastern Conference clash between the host Detroit Pistons and the visiting Boston Celtics. Boston enters tonight’s game off a home win over Sacramento 119 to 100 as a seventeen point home favorite. Detroit is also off a win as the Pistons went on the road and defeated Minnesota 98-89 as a 1½-point road chalk.
Boston appears to have corrected their problems that caused a recent losing skid; if they win tonight that will be 10 straight victories. In the process they have rewarded their backers by posting a record of 8-1 against the number during this winning streak. Over their most recent five game stretch, the Celtics have a 17-point game differential over their opponents, averaging 107.0 points per game and holding opponents to just 90.0 points per game. Not good news for Detroit as their struggles continue.
Although the Pistons are coming in off a win over the Timberwolves, they are only 3-7 both SU and ATS their last ten games overall. They are averaging 95.2 points per game versus teams that would normally allow over 99 points per game. Defensively they have held their opponents to 92.8 points per game and these teams average 98.9 points per game. This small point per game differential has not been enough to determine the outcome of games for the Pistons as they continue to struggle.
Pistons head coach Michael Curry has still not settled on a starting lineup and this has caused obvious problems for the men from the Motor City. This Pistons team looks nothing like the ones that were a major force in the East in years past. They no longer force opponents into bad shots or force turnovers or rebound or play solid defense all of which were staples of Pistons teams until now. There has certainly been a changing of the guard in the East.
The once feared Palace has been nothing but a money-maker for Celtic backers recently as the defending champs have cashed in seven of their last eight trips to the Motor City. They have also won three of the last four series meetings in Detroit and won those by double-digits as well. The Celtics are the ones doing it with defense as they have held this Detroit team to an average of only 78 points per game on less than 39 percent shooting from the field in their two meetings this season both of which were easy wins for Boston.
Overall this series has been dominated by the defending champs recently as they have won eight of the last 10 meetings and cashed the winning ticket in seven of those contests. We expect nothing less from the Celtics as the men from the Motor City search for an identity the Celtics are absolutely sure of who they are and what they do to this Detroit team is not in question tonight.
Projected Final Score: Boston-95 Detroit-84
Free Pick: Celtics -5½