Celtics Visit Motor City Looking to Rebound From Saturday’s Embarrassing Loss

Celtics Visit Motor City Looking to Rebound From Saturday's Embarrassing Loss The first time Celtics newcomer Rasheed Wallace returned home to Detroit to face the Pistons, his former team, things didn't go so well.

Sheed played 38 minutes for Boston and finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn't enough. The Pistons got the best of the Celtics, 92-86, behind a dominating performance from Rodney Stuckey and a shut-down defensive effort in the fourth quarter. The Celtics will look for revenge this time out — and coming off an embarrassing loss to the historically bad Nets this weekend, they're desperate to pick up any win they can get.

When and Where

Tuesday, March 7, 7:30 p.m. ET (CSNE)
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mich.

Records

Celtics (36-21, first place in Atlantic Division, fourth place in Eastern Conference)
Pistons (21-38, fourth place in Central Division, 12th place in Eastern Conference)

Head to Head

This is the second of three meetings this season between Boston and Detroit — the Pistons won the first of the three last month back in the Motor City, and the two teams meet in Boston on March 15 as well. Dating back the last three seasons, the Celtics are 5-3 in their last eight meetings with the Pistons. They also beat Detroit four games to two in the Eastern Conference finals in 2008.

Skinny

It's hard to believe that these two teams met up in the Eastern Conference finals just two years ago. The Celtics are aging and starting to fade, now sitting a distant fourth in the East dogpile, and things for the Pistons are much, much worse. A year ago, they were cleaning out salary cap space to make a run at a 2010 rebuilding effort. They've since spoiled that dream by spending boatloads of money on two bench scorers, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. The Pistons are going nowhere, stuck in basketball purgatory, and there's no way out.

Starting Lineups

Celtics
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins

Pistons

Point guard: Rodney Stuckey
Shooting guard: Richard Hamilton
Small forward: Tayshaun Prince
Power forward: Jonas Jerebko
Center: Ben Wallace

Stat Sheet

Celtics
The Celtics are 20-6 against losing teams.

They have 1,353 total assists, ranking them fourth in the NBA behind the Jazz, Mavericks and Suns.

Kendrick Perkins continues to lead the NBA in field-goal percentage, now shooting 61.4 percent from the field this season.

Rajon Rondo had three steals in the Celtics' 104-96 loss to the Nets on Saturday, giving him an NBA-best 142 for the season. That's only seven short of the career-high he set last year.

Marquis Daniels started three games for the Celtics in Paul Pierce's absence. He averaged 11.3 points and 2.7 rebounds.

Kevin Garnett poured in 26 points on Saturday, equaling the season-high he set on Nov. 6 in a 110-103 loss to the Suns.

Ray Allen finished the month of February 41-for-45 from the free-throw line.

Pistons

The Pistons are 5-19 in games decided by double digits.

They shoot 29.6 percent from 3-point range, an NBA-worst.

Richard Hamilton leads the Pistons with 19.2 points per game.

Ben Wallace ranks third in the NBA with 216 offensive rebounds.

Jonas Jerebko is averaging 8.9 points per game, 10th-most in the NBA among rookies.

Tayshaun Prince had eight assists, a season high, to go along with his 18 points and six rebounds in the Pistons' 95-88 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.

Rodney Stuckey had 17 points on Saturday for his 14th consecutive game in double-figures.

Black and Blue

Celtics
Paul Pierce is recovering from his sprained right thumb and plans to return Tuesday night.

Kendrick Perkins didn't fly to Detroit on Monday because of flu-like symptoms, but he hopes to make the flight Tuesday in time for the game.

Pistons

Jonas Jerebko has a sprained left ankle but is probable to return Tuesday night.

Chris Wilcox is questionable due to back soreness.

Chucky Atkins is out indefinitely with a sternum injury.

This Date in Celtics History

In 1951, the first All-Star Game in NBA history is held at the Boston Garden. "Easy" Ed Macauley of the Celtics scores 20 points to lead the Eastern Conference to a 111-94 victory, and Macauley is named the game’s MVP.

Overheard

"It felt good going up and down the court. I was able to catch the ball, dribble, and shoot it. Rest was good for me, to get my body back and I should be ready to go. If I played a couple games ago and hit it, it would have hurt really bad."
–Paul Pierce, in the Boston Globe, on his return to practice with the Celtics on Monday

Press Box

Celtics
The Celtics need home improvement.

Kendrick Perkins was left behind.

Michael Finley
is on the radar.

Pistons
The Pistons' bench is still struggling.

Jonas Jerebko was named Rookie of the Month.

Rodney Stuckey's got a nice touch.

NBA
Dirk Nowitzki has the Mavericks rolling.

Jameer Nelson stays consistent for the Magic.

LeBron James wants to switch uniform numbers.

Outlook

After suffering an embarrassing loss to the Nets on Saturday afternoon, the Celtics have undoubtedly seen better days. But the return of a healthy Paul Pierce should jump-start a team that's floundered offensively in the past week, and the Celtics should be in good shape to hammer out a road win over the Pistons and start off the month of March on the right foot. This month is going to be a grind, especially for a veteran Celtics team, and it sure would be nice for this group to start off the grueling 30-day stretch that lies ahead with a big win.

Celtics on Twitter

Yardbarker

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 183,826 other followers