Rajon Rondo, Rodney Stuckey Set to Battle As Celtics Head to Detroit to Face Pistons

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Rajon Rondo, Rodney Stuckey Set to Battle As Celtics Head to Detroit to Face Pistons The Celtics are moving on from last Friday, from both the good and the bad. They've put behind them the locker-room scuffle between Delonte West and Von Wafer, but they're also not basking in the glory of Friday night's win over the Knicks. Rajon Rondo's triple-double, Paul Pierce's 25-point night and the team's solid effort in the fourth quarter will all be forgotten. It's on to the next one — on Tuesday night, the C's take on the Detroit Pistons for the first time this season.

When and Where

Celtics at Pistons
Tuesday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mich.

Head to Head

The Celtics were 2-1 against the Pistons last season, with the one loss coming on the road on Jan. 20, giving the C's a three-game losing streak at the time. Rodney Stuckey went off for a near-triple-double that night in Auburn Hills, finishing with 27 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and leading the Pistons on a fourth-quarter surge to a 92-86 victory.

Key Matchup

Rajon Rondo vs. Rodney Stuckey

Rondo and Stuckey are two very different types of point guards. Rondo's an athletic, defensively oriented guard that capitalizes on opponents' mistakes, turning steals and rebounds into transition points. Stuckey can create for himself. He's a scorer in the half-court, and he can make things happen from anywhere on the floor. Stuckey's going to be a handful for Rondo — but if he slips up and gives Rondo a chance to take over the game with the fast break, he's in trouble.

Starting Lineups

Celtics

Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Jermaine O'Neal

Pistons

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

Stat Sheet

Celtics

  • Only two players in NBA history have recorded 50 assists in the first three games of the season: John Stockton (1989-90) and Rajon Rondo (2010-11).
  • Glen Davis is 20-for-30 from the field this season. He's the Celtics' third-leading scorer, trailing only Paul Pierce and Ray Allen at 14.3 points per game.
  • Kevin Garnett is averaging 14.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game this season. He's one point short of notching double-doubles in all three contests — he managed just nine points against the Cavs last Wednesday to go with his 15 rebounds.

Pistons

  • Ben Gordon has had a white-hot shooting start this season, 21-of-32 from the field and 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
  • Charlie Villanueva is 9-for-20 from downtown. He's one of only nine NBA players with 20-plus 3-point attempts already this season.
  • Ben Wallace leads the Pistons with 31 rebounds in three games, 14 of them on the offensive end.

Black and Blue

Celtics

  • Shaquille O'Neal is very unlikely to play due to a bruised right knee.
  • Avery Bradley has recovered slowly from offseason ankle surgery and has yet to play.
  • Kendrick Perkins has a torn ACL and hopes to return in January.

Pistons

  • Will Bynum and Chris Wilcox are both questionable due to hamstring soreness.
  • Jonas Jerebko had surgery on his right Achilles' heel last month. He may miss the entire season.
  • Terrico White underwent surgery on his right foot last month and is out indefinitely.

Outlook

The Pistons have had another rough start at 0-3, and they appear headed for the NBA draft lottery again in 2011. But when asked about Tuesday night's game, Paul Pierce opined that in each of their three opening losses, the Pistons have made it a game and even held big leads over good teams.

The captain is setting the tone for this one — he doesn't want his team taking an opponent likely. The Celtics are the better team on paper, but they have to make sure they execute well and don't overlook the last-place Pistons.

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