NBA Picks: Celtics vs. Pistons

Joe Catalano

Sunday, January 20, 2013 3:04 PM GMT

It’s back to “the States” for the Detroit Pistons, as their trek to jolly ole’ England led to a loss to the New York Knicks. Detroit has had time to rest as they face the veteran laced Boston Celtics.

Regardless of their record, Boston is always a dangerous team.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm ET on Sunday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan.

5 Dimes Sportsbook currently lists the Celtics as a 2 point betting odds favorite and the total for the game is 185.

At 20-19, Boston is currently 8th in the Eastern Conference, 3.5 games in front of Philadelphia. All that it takes is for a team like the Celtics to make it into the playoffs and create havoc. This game has definite relevance.

Visiting the Sites

This is about all that Detroit accomplished in their last game which was held in England. The Knicks controlled the action throughout the game and on to a 102-87 victory. Detroit was simply overmatched as Will Bynum came off of the bench to lead the Pistons with 22 points. There should be no lasting effect from the change in time zones and the long plane flight because this is what NBA players do for a living.

Owned

While the Pistons might come into this matchup on a low point, they’ve owned the Celtics recently with some key players really stepping up. Detroit has won 3 games in a row against Boston and have won 3 in a row at home against the Celts by a margin of 15.7 points.

Center, Greg Monroe, has been key against the Celtics as he’s averaged 20.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in his last 4 games against the green and white. Monroe has also shot a sizzling 64.3% from the field against Boston in his last 4 games.

Monroe is the best player on the Pistons squad. He can put up some huge games, but his overall lack of consistency isn’t there and is partially why Detroit has such a poor record. Detroit will only go as far as Monroe take’s them.

Rodney Stuckey

Before Greg Monroe came along, Rodney Stuckey was the best player on this squad. Stuckey’s production has steadily declined. He’s averaging just 7.3 points in his last 3 games and is really a non-factor in the offensive scheme. That said. Stuckey is averaging 18.3 points per game in his last 3 efforts against Boston. Will Rodney Stuckey step up and give this team some needed offense against one of the better defenses in the league in Boston?

Rebounding

The Boston Celtics have lost back to back games at home, but the last one was heartbreaking, a 100-99 defeat to Chicago in OT. Marco Belinelli hit the winning shot with just 3.1 second to go in the game. Boston must break the chain of past poor performances against Detroit. This is a team that they should beat in their sleep.

Step Up and Be a Leader!

The Celtic’s “Big 3” of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen have come and gone as Allen has moved to South Beach. Point guard, Rajon Rondo, is the only player to taste championship experience and be in his prime at the present time. There are a lot of strong personalities on the Celtics team, but make no mistake about it, this is Rondo’s team.

Garnett need’s to stop the trash talking and teach the younger players on what a future hall of famer is about. Jared Sullinger is coming off of a 15 rebound performance against Chicago. The talent is there. Lastly, Rondo need’s to avoid the confrontations and suspensions and do what he does best, play basketball.

When Rondo’s head is in the game, the he’s the best pure point guard in the game. Russell Westbrook is a better overall player, but the primary role of being a point guard is to run the offense and to “assist” in making the rest of your team better. Nobody does this better than Rajon Rondo, who’s the best assist-getter in the NBA.

Outcome

Boston is by far the better basketball squad. From what I saw in London, the Pistons are outright awful. Home court and history are the two things that the Pistons have to their advantage which should make this game competitive. Look for Boston to break the trend and cover in Motown for your NBA Picks.

[gameodds]5/134448/43/us[/gameodds]

NBA Free Picks: Boston -2 at 5 Dimes