The Boston Celtics are still looking for their first win under coach Brad Stevens, and their next stop - Detroit - is a place that hasn't been kind to the Celtics recently. The Pistons claimed two of three matchups with Boston last season and have won four straight meetings in Detroit going into Sunday's contest. Detroit has won its only home game so far this season and is beginning a three-game home stand.
The Celtics led by 22 in the third quarter of a 105-98 loss to Milwaukee on Friday but were unable to close it out with star point guard Rajon Rondo still out recovering from a torn ACL. "Honestly, we've got a lot of guys who don't have the experience that we did last year," Boston forward Jared Sullinger told reporters. "So we're just learning on the fly." The Pistons also had a tough time finishing out their last game, losing 111-108 in overtime at Memphis despite leading by seven in the final three minutes of regulation.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN New England (Boston), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE CELTICS (0-2): Boston is in rebuilding mode after trading veteran stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn in the offseason and watching Doc Rivers leave to coach the Clippers. The lack of star power has shown in the first two games, but Jeff Green (19 points, seven rebounds) and Brandon Bass (17 points, 5.5 rebounds per game) have put up solid numbers. Rookie center Vitor Faverani also has been a bright spot, averaging 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (1-1): Forward Josh Smith has scored 19 points in each of his first two games with Detroit and brings a veteran, superstar presence to a young team. He and centers Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond give the Pistons one of the most talented frontcourts in the league. Detroit doesn't have a star in the backcourt - at least until point guard Brandon Jennings returns to the lineup - but they start a pair of capable veterans in Will Bynum and Chauncey Billups.
1. Pistons PG Brandon Jennings will be a game-time decision. Jennings has been out since Oct. 10 with an impacted wisdom tooth and hairline jaw fracture.
2. Second-year Detroit F Andre Drummond needs three blocks to reach 100 in his brief career.
3. Boston's bench has accounted for only 55 points, compared to 95 from its opponents' reserves.
PREDICTION: Pistons 107, Celtics 101