Posted January 19, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Boston Celtics' recent roller-coaster ride of results has taken another downward dip. That's the same trend they've been on against the Detroit Pistons lately.
The streaky Celtics look to get back on track Sunday night when they visit a Detroit team playing for the first time since its trip to London.
After losing four straight Dec. 27-Jan. 2, Boston won six in a row. The Celtics (20-19), however, have since suffered back-to-back losses at home - the latest coming when Marco Belinelli made an off-balance fadeaway with 3.1 seconds left to give Chicago a 100-99 overtime victory Friday.
"I didn't think we played very well," coach Doc Rivers said. "I didn't think we played very smart. We hung in there, which is a good sign."
Boston will try for its third straight road victory Sunday, but recent history suggests it won't come easy. The Pistons (14-25) have won three in a row at home against the Celtics by an average of 15.7 points, and they've taken three in a row in the series overall.
Greg Monroe, Detroit's leader with 15.4 points per game, has played a big role in that. He's averaged 20.3 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting 64.3 percent in the last four against Boston, scoring 20 and grabbing 13 boards as the Pistons took the latest meeting 103-83 at home Nov. 18.
Guard Rodney Stuckey, who's totaled 22 points in his last three games, has scored 18.3 per contest in his past three against the Celtics.
The Pistons have also been very inconsistent recently, dropping three of four since a 6-1 stretch that followed a six-game losing streak. They'll be looking to avoid their third straight home defeat while trying to shake off a 102-87 rout by New York in London on Thursday.
"We came here to play a competition ... on an international stage, which is a privilege and an honor to be selected, so it's disappointing that we came up short and didn't play our best," coach Lawrence Frank said.
Detroit will try to regain its shooting touch, having made 32.3 percent from 3-point range and 61.1 percent from the free-throw line in the past five games.
That may not be easy to do against Boston, which has limited opponents to 26.1 percent from beyond the arc in its latest five contests.
Rajon Rondo will look to carry over the momentum from a season-high 30-point performance against the Bulls. The point guard had a career-high 35 points in a 98-88 loss to the Pistons on Feb. 15, but he's totaled 17 points in the last two meetings and had six turnovers both times despite also recording 10 assists in those two games.
Boston needs stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to get their shooting back on track. Pierce has made 32.7 from the floor in the last three games, while Garnett has shot 31.3 or below in two of those three contests.
The Celtics have averaged 88.7 points in that stretch. They've scored 84.0 per contest during their three-game skid versus the Pistons.
Boston guard Avery Bradley is doubtful to play Sunday after missing Friday's game because of a rib injury.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Joakim Noah and Kevin Garnett have a history against each other, and Noah had a funny response when asked about KG's trash talk.
A few days ago, we posted an article about Jason Terry's description of Rajon Rondo's really bizarre pre-game ritual:
"(Rajon Rondo's) routine is long-winded and it lasts all the way through tip-off.
It starts in the back hallway. He runs down a corridor and he throws the
ball to our team chaplain, who throws it back. Then [Rondo] runs out
into a circle, high...
If you thought the trade rumors were bad before, just wait.
According to Boston Globe writer Gary Washburn, Doc Rivers ripped into the Celtics Sunday night after their loss to Detroit 103-88. One tactic he unleashed was threatening to shakeup the roster to get players who are “committed to being a good basketball team.”
I gotta either find the right combination, the right...
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Doc Rivers can't stand mediocrity. If his Boston Celtics don't shape up soon, he wants some of his players shipped out. Rivers, the Celtics' coach, was mortified by his team's third straight loss, a 103-88 thumping by the Detroit Pistons at The Palace on Sunday. His club never had a lead as it sank to .500 nearing the season's midway point...
Kevin Garnett will never be misunderstood as a nice guy. The NBA is full of personalities that are competitive yet not capable of the misdeeds that Garnett is capable of. Joakim Noah is not exactly a pillar of virtue either. His history does not reflect someone who is afraid to sneak in a low-blow from time [...]
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links...
Here we are, winners of 6 out of our last 10 games and trying to right our ship, lets see what the writers from Celticslife think in our newest addiction of 5 on 5:
1. The Celtics have been playing really well lately (other then that stinker the other night). What has been the difference?
Terry P: Jeff Green. Now look, I have been hard on him PLENTY and still want to trade his...
After being down 27-18 after the first quarter, the Celtics cut the deficit to 4 points at the half. The Pistons then proceeded to outscore the Celtics 29-13 in the 3rd and 22-17 in the 4th.
Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee both scores 16 points, a game high, and Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple double, notching 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 15 assists. Box score below, highlights...
7:10: The Celtics, after their loss to the Hornets, will host the Bulls tonight. Avery Bradley will not play due to a rib injury. Barbosa will start in his place. The game can be seen on ESPN. Keep checking here after each quarter for updates.
Clifford Ray isn't so sure about all this.
Ray watched the Olympic gold medal game in August. He watched as a Spanish team without Ricky Rubio gave the U.S. men a scare, and he has a theory about why the Spaniards didn't end up handing the Americans a silver and keeping gold for themselves.
"I knew that whenever they went to the Olympics and they went to the Olympics...
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Greg Oden, the No. 1 pick in 2007 who hasn’t played in an NBA game since 2009 due to a litany of knee injuries, is aiming for a comeback. Part of Oden’s plan is to sign with a team in the next month and get...
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- So much for jet leg.
Three days after flying across the Atlantic and back for a game in London, the Pistons came out Sunday and beat the Boston Celtics, 103-88.
"We got into the gym when we got back, just to get the jet lag out of here and get some shots up," said Brandon Knight, who finished with 15 points. "We had some great workouts and...
By now it is no secret that Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett likes to talk on the court. Whether it is an attempt to gain a mental edge over an opponent or KG genuinely not liking his adversary, he has been known to let his opponent know how he feels.
Typically opposing players won’t elaborate on on the court trash talk, but Bulls center Joakim Noah had some interesting...
After the game last night Joakim Noah (son of French professional tennis player Yannick Noah) was asked about playing defense against Kevin Garnett. Here's what Noah had to say:
(I was) just playing defense. Just playing sound defense, just contesting his shots. He's a helluva competitor. He's always on some bulls---. Always on some bulls---. Just trying to throw elbows...
Highlights from tonight's overtime loss above. Celtics box score below.
8 a.m. ET: Not having Derrick Rose has not turned out to be much of a problem for the Chicago Bulls. Then again, that should not be much of a surprise, given their leadership.
Former Celtics assistant coach Tom Thibodeau is the head man in Chicago, of course, and under his direction the Bulls have not let the absence of the former NBA Most Valuable Player hold them back. The Bulls...