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Detroit Pistons Vs. Boston Celtics

Eastern Conference Finals
Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics Series Preview

This series comes down to the two top teams in the East—both presenting fine defenses with the Celtics holding opponents to 90.3 PPG and the Pistons keeping offenses at 90.1 PPG. Boston outscored opponents during the regular season by plus-10.3, while Detroit was plus-7.4 in that category.

The Pistons have had an easier time in the post season, beating Philadelphia in six and Orlando in five. The team from Motown proved that they could win on the road, while the Celtics, who saw each of their series go to seven games, has yet to win when away from the garden. In Beantown, Boston has been perfect. (They had to be to get this far.)

For the Pistons, shooting guard Richard Hamilton (21.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.36 SPG) has been the leading scorer and a solid defensive presence. The paint has been controlled by a force of three—small forward Tayshaun Prince (16.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG), power forward Rasheed Wallace (15.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG) and center Antonio McDyess (7.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG). Wallace has been mammoth on defense posting 1.27 steals and 1.91 blocks per playoff game. Point guard Chauncey Billups (17.0 PPG. 6.8 APG, 1.29 SPG) has proven to be the court general this team needs.

The Celtics trio of power forward Kevin Garnett (19.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.26 SPG), small forward Paul Pierce (18.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.41 SPG, 1.25 BPG) and shooting guard Ray Allen (17.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG) has provided the club’s offensive punch. Pierce has been massive on both offense and defense. Young point guard Rajon Rondo (10.6 PPG. 5.1 APG, 1.68 SPG) has played solid ball and point vets Sam Cassell and Eddie House have together contributed 15.1 PPG.

The Celtics hold a slight edge in foul shooting, hitting .771 to the Pistons’ .767. Boston is also better in the playoffs from downtown (.381 to .366), in shooting twos (.506 to .495) and from the field in general (.475 to .458).

This could be a real battle in the trenches. Paul Pierce is tough in the paint and is hungry for a title, while Rasheed Wallace and the rest of Piston frontcourt won’t be pushed around. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen have turned the Celtics around, and the Boston bench is deep. If it goes seven, and it should, the edge in this series goes to Boston. If Detroit can steal a game when in Boston, the Celtics will be in trouble.

Maddux Sports Series Prediction:

Boston Celtics in 6 Games

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