Friday, May 23, 2008

BEANTOWN VS MOTOWN: CELTICS AND PISTONS FACE-OFF

Quotable: "A lot of the teams they played in the postseason and the regular season were scared of them, as far as KG and Ray and Paul. They are good players, but we have good players, also." Rasheed Wallace, Pistons forward.


Boston Celtics vs Detroit Pistons.

Sound familiar? It should. It's the most predictable yet still widely anticipated Eastern Conference match up in the playoffs. Both teams have so much in common. For one, they both soar above other contenders in the East and even though I hate to say it, my Pistons also share the Celtics' lack of intensity and focus at times. There are some major differences though. Starting with the fact that Boston is hungry, having never won a ring and never playing together collectively in the playoffs let alone the Eastern Conference Finals, they have a lot to prove. Then again so do the Pistons after being dethroned by the Spurs in the 2005 Finals, the Heat in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals and the Cavs in 2007 Eastern Conference Finals.

Home Court Advantage

Detroit handed Boston their first home loss, 87-85 during the regular season. Add that to the can of whoop ass they unleashed on Boston at the Garden Thursday and the once invincible Celtics are now 10-1 at home against the Pistons in the post-season. Pistons have won three road games in the playoffs whereas the Celtics are flat out zero away from "Beantown", going 0-6 on the road. Detroit shutdown their series against Philadelphia in six games and against Orlando in five games while Boston allowed teams hang on for 7 games in both series (Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers).

Winner: Boston Celtics or Detroit Pistons


Big Man Matchup

The matchup to watch of course lies between Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace. KG and company have outrebounded the Pistons each time they've met in the regular season.

Winner: Boston Celtics


Shooting


The argument can swing either way on this one. If Ray Allen doesn't show up, the Pistons have the perimeter on lock! In the Cavs series, Allen was 32.8% from the field, averaging a measly 9.3 ppg, an 8.1 difference between his normal stats. The usually 3 point threat's noticeable decline falls from beyond the arch, dropping to 16.2% from the field or 6 for 37.

If Tayshaun Prince can't get open shots, Boston can edge the Pistons out the paint. The Pistons third leading scorer outside Rip and Chauncey only brought in 16pts during the team's previous games. Now that Chauncey close to 100% scoring, however after suffering a hamstring strain that had him sitting out for two games.

Winner: Boston Celtics or Detroit Pistons

Bench

While the Celtics have the "Big Three" consisting of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, the Pistons have the "Big Six", Rip, Chauncey, Sheed, Tayshaun, McDyess and now X factor, rookie Rodney Stuckey -- a key role player doing damage against the Celtics' defense in critical, scene stealing moments. You do the math!

Winner: Detroit Pistons

Coaching


Detroit is tried and true championship winning team with veteran coach,Flip Saunders at its helm.

Winner: Detroit Pistons

Best of 7 Series Winner: Pistons in 7

Game 1 - Celtics 88 Pistons 79
Game 2 - Celtics 103 Pistons 97

Related Articles:

Pistons pull even, Win Game 2

2 comments:

AnthoNorm6 said...

I have to agree...The big man advantage does go to the Celtics because Kevin Garnett give a presence that Rasheed Wallace does not on both ends of the floor even though Wallace is a better three point shooter than Garnett...Shooting advantage can go to the Celtics if Ray Allen (Jesus from "HE GOT GAME") shows up in the series and the advantage would go to the Celtics because right now Pistons are shooting 45% from 3s and the Celtics are shooting 25% from 3s...The bench goes to the Celtics because of the energy and what they give them...Coaching does go to the Pistons because Flip has been there before...Home court advantage will go the Celtics as long as they win on the road because if they do not, the Pistons will win that series...

A Tru Gentleman said...

I agree with most of your post. This was the clear Eastern Conference Finals since November. Home court advantage always favor the team that possesses it so it's definitely a benefit for the Celtics. I have very disappointed at times with them for the lack of focus and intensity you mentioned. Also, it seems that all of a sudden the Celtics lost their identity and struggled in their first two series, while the D regulated the Philly and the Magic. They looked like the better team going into this matchup despite the reg season so I was a lil worried. However, I'm ridin with the Cs all the way.

I also agree with your view of the big man matchup. KG was the NBA MVP until he got injured with his adominal strain midseason and rightfully won Defensive Player of the year. His play sets the tone for the entire team. He has bested Sheed in every game this series. I loved Sheed when he played for the Trailblazers. His versatility is crazy and he gave the Lakers all they could handle in the playoffs, but you now on the D he doesn't always show up every night. Edge definitely goes to Boston here.

I think shooting is a toss-up because each team shoots better on their home floors. Detroit has a better collection of shooters because rely much more on jumpers because they dont post Sheed up much (Unfortunately). Rip (the Reggie Miller of this generation), Prince, and Mr. Big Shot can all hit jumpers consistently. Boston has Ray Allen who is probably the best pure shooter in the league. Posey who is underrated from the 3 pt line. However, Boston has the edge inside with KG, Pierce, and Perkins, and Powe all able to have a presence in the paint. The key to this matchup is which team can execute and get better shots. I believe the Pistons are at a slight disadvantage bc if the jumpers don't fall then they will be in trouble. If the Cs can't get open looks for the interior players then they will have to rely on their perimeter guys to step up and right now Ray isn't making his shots. Who dominates their particular area will be crucial in this series.

As far as the bench is concerned, yes Detroit's is better. However, your answer was CLEEEEEARLY BIASED!!! The topic was the bench, but you didnt name one bench player for the Cs! The funny thing is Stuckey didnt get a lot of burn during the reg. season and a lot of Pistons fan probably wasnt even checking for him til the playoffs came along. Needless to say, I'm impressed with his game. I think he is a star in the making. Having said that, the Cs have some good bench players, PJ has hit open shots, Perkins played well in game 3. Powe is a underrated presence in the paint. Their bench won them game 3 in Detroit!!! Don't forget about that. Detroit's bench is clearly better, but when the Cs' bench players put in work the outcome is usually a W.

Lastly, I also think that you gave Flip a lil too much credit for his coaching. The Pistons' core players have been together for six years or more so they know how to play well together. They are veterans that know how to win and have playoff experience. However, Flip came after Larry Brown who got them their first championship since the Bad Boy era. I think both coaches are a lil overrated because of the players. Let's not forget that Flip coached KG and Minnesota and that didn't work out too well with all those first round playoff exits. Doc Rivers was let go from Orlando for their terrible play. Both benefit from the greatness of the players and balls of their GMs, especially Dumars! Dumars well been the most well respected, yet slightly overlooked GM in the past 6-7 yrs. I look for Cs in 7 if Rondo makes better decisions with the ball, the bench steps up, and Ray Ray gets his stroke back! Playing at home will help. It will be close but I think the Cs pull it out at home in game 7!