The Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons will both be gunning for a victory on 2/26/2017 at 6:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Boston Celtics vs Detroit Pistons
When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 26, 2017
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan
|811||Boston Celtics||1.5 (-110)||213.5 (-110)||-120
TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), FSN Detroit
PREDICTION: Celtics 103, Pistons 99
Oddsmakers currently have the Boston listed as 1.5 point favorites versus the Detroit, while the game’s total is sitting at 213.5.
The Boston Celtics look much more vulnerable when Isaiah Thomas doesn’t deliver a late-game outburst.
Thomas leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring but was limited to four points in the final quarter of a 107-97 loss at Toronto on Friday, Boston’s first outing since the All-Star break. Thomas was averaging 10.7 fourth-quarter points prior to the break.
The All-Star point guard and his team will try to bounce back when the Celtics visit the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
“Every time I came off a pick they had two or three guys on me, so their point of emphasis was probably to stop me in the fourth quarter. And they did a good job of that,” Thomas told the Boston Herald and other media outlets. “They played harder than us in the second half.”
Thomas did extend his franchise record of scoring 20 or more points to 42 consecutive games, but just barely. He hit the 20-point mark on the nose.
Thomas would like to hit the Celtics’ top frontcourt threat with more pinpoint passes. Al Horford was held to eight points in 29 minutes on Friday and Thomas knows he has to get Horford more involved in the attack.
“I have to get him the ball. There’s no excuse for it,” Thomas said to the Herald. “I’m the point guard of this team and I know I have to do a better job of getting him the ball, and getting him the ball in his spots. He has to do a good job of getting open and demanding the ball. But I’ll do a better job of that (Sunday).”
Horford made the game-winning layup in Boston’s other trip to The Palace of Auburn Hills this season. He also added a game-saving block in that 94-92 victory on Nov. 19.
Boston leads the season series, 2-1, with Thomas averaging 30.7 points. He poured in 41 points in the teams’ last meeting on Jan. 30, a 113-109 Celtics victory.
The status of shooting guard Avery Bradley remains in question. Bradley has missed 21 games with a sore Achilles tendon but has returned to practice.
Detroit won its first game after the All-Star break, rallying from an 18-point, second-half deficit to defeat Charlotte 114-108 in overtime on Thursday.
Shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope erupted in the late going, scoring 11 points in the last 2:17 of regulation and seven more in overtime. The Pistons also received major contributions from two reserves — forward Tobias Harris had 25 points and Ish Smith handed out 16 assists, the most by any NBA bench player since 2005.
Starting point guard Reggie Jackson only played seven second-half minutes. Center Andre Drummond was benched throughout the fourth quarter and overtime as Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy opted to go with a smaller look.
“We’ve got to figure it out. We need to get Reggie going,” Van Gundy said. “With Andre, it was more of a matchup thing. (But) we’ve got to be able to play with the same energy and spirit that we do with Ish in the game.”
Van Gundy is reluctant to make a lineup change. His bench has been so productive, he doesn’t want to mess up the second unit’s chemistry.
“I just want to see us play hard more consistently and we’re having trouble, quite honestly, with that first group,” he said. “We’re just having trouble finding energy on a consistent basis. We’ve got to get that turned around and we’ve got to figure out a way to juggle things.”