The pick: Pistons 95-92
I want to start this by saying that I don’t like either one of these teams long term. The Pistons lack backcourt talent and the Celtics lack talent pretty much everywhere. That being said, the C’s do have one quality that figures to give the offensively-limited Pistons plenty of problems.
Boston has plenty of big bodies (Brandon Bass, Vitor Faverani, Jared Sullinger, Kris Humphries and Kelly Olynyk), so they can afford to aggressively defend the crowded frontcourt that Detroit relies so heavily on (Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe). That physical style of defense will either slow down the Pistons’ trio or send them to the line, both of which would keep this game very close.
The Celtics, despite being 0-2, have scored the exact same number of points in the paint as they have allowed, and if they can extend that trend into this game, they give themselves a good chance to win (or at the very least cover). For my money, Jeff Green is the best scorer in this game, yet another reason to like the Celtics to keep this one close.
Trevor Ariza torched this defense for 28 points on only 14 field goal attempts, and while Green may not replicate that stat line, an efficient 20-plus evening is a decent bet. I’m looking for Jordan Crawford to be a bit more involved in this game (he has a PER of 30.00 through two games), giving the Celtics a very real chance to win the perimeter battle.
I’ll say the Pistons grind out a win here, but it’ll be a battle, and I’ll happily take 9.5 points in what I view as a solid personal matchup for the visitors.
Follow Kyle @unSOPable23
Related: Last night’s accurate pick