- Celtics try to bounce back in rematch against Pistons after loss on Friday night
- Detroit earned their first win of the season, holding an opponent under 100 points for the first time this year
- Check the odds, analysis and our betting prediction below
Despite a rude awakening loss at the hands of the previously winless Detroit Pistons on Friday night, the Boston Celtics remain a heavy 7.5-point favorite as the teams conclude a mini two-game set in Motown Sunday afternoon.
Celtics vs Pistons Odds
|Boston Celtics||-7.5 (-110)||-330||N/A|
|Detroit Pistons||+7.5 (-110)||+265||N/A|
Odds from FanDuel taken January 2. Tip-off is Sunday at 3pm ET
That loss dropped Boston to 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games. Is this a trend that continues, or can they bring the Pistons back down to earth?
Slow Start, Finish For Boston
You can’t win a game in the first quarter, but you can certainly lose one. A sluggish start on Friday night had Boston playing catchup all game. They found themselves down 23-5 eight minutes into this one, connecting on just two of 13 field goals in that span.
Despite us getting back in the game in the second half, the Pistons finished with a 96-93 victory. pic.twitter.com/x43A3Vpw2w
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 2, 2021
Though they fought their way back, powered by Jaylen Brown’s personal 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter and a Jayson Tatum triple to lead 93-88 with just over four minutes to play, those were the final points they would score, missing their final 10 field goals to lose 96-93.
Despite the offensive struggles, the Celtics did get back to some of that trademark defense they have been known for in the Brad Stevens era, holding Detroit to under 100 points. Still, they are surrendering better than 111 points a game this season, putting them outside the top 10. This was a squad that ranked second in the NBA last year, holding teams to just over 107 points a contest.
“He won’t play anytime soon.”#Celtics head coach Brad Stevens with a somewhat ominous message about the status of Kemba Walker.
Coverage ⚡️ @betonline_ag
? FULL INTERVIEW: https://t.co/S8ZgCNcswe pic.twitter.com/kQZxfOxzFb
— Celtics on CLNS (@CelticsCLNS) December 29, 2020
While they are again powered by the dynamic wing duo of Brown, who leads the team in scoring at 27.5 points per game on 56.9% from the field and 37.5% from deep and Tatum, averaging 24.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists, the team is missing Kemba Walker, who hasn’t played yet because of a troublesome left knee.
Marcus Smart is filling in for now, but he, Payton Pritchard and Jeff Teague just aren’t producing at Walker’s rate. It’s no wonder Brown and Tatum represent 47.2% of Boston’s points per game.
Detroit Finds Its Groove
At 0-4, the Pistons needed something to spark them, and a couple of new faces provided just that in their win against Boston. Prized free agent Jerami Grant led the way with 24 points, the fourth straight game he’s topped 24 or more points this season. He’s shooting 47% from the floor this season, including 36.7% from beyond the arc.
? JERAMI GRANT, HOW DO YOU DO?? ? pic.twitter.com/ONnIaA8aJt
— NBA (@NBA) January 2, 2021
Grant was helped by the breakout performance from rookie Saddiq Bey, who had his best game as a pro with 17 points, on the strength of 5-for-8 from three point range, while also adding seven rebounds. Vet Derrick Rose also added 17 in the W.
Detroit will look for more contributions from others again, as it appears Blake Griffin, the team’s second-leading scorer behind Grant, will likely remain sidelined after suffering a concussion from an inadvertent elbow from Golden State rookie James Wiseman.
Saddiq Bey gets tonight’s Drain of the Game ?
Presented by: John’s Sewer & draining pic.twitter.com/T6aLDyESeb
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 2, 2021
Defensively, this was the first time all year Detroit held an opponent to under 100 points, surrendering at least 111 points in each of their first four games.
Perhaps the win can ignite the offensive side too, where the Pistons rank 28th in field goal shooting (42.4%) and three-point shooting (32.1%).
What’s The Best Bet?
This Celtics team is going to be in the thick of the playoff picture in the East. For now, in this adjustment period, they’re still trying to find the right balance without Walker, while working in new rotation guys like Tristan Thompson and Teague, who they’ll need more from if Walker isn’t able to grind a full season.
Great look for Jaylen Brown and the #Celtics doesn’t go. #Pistons get their first win of the year 96-93. pic.twitter.com/MLAQRKtiwp
— Jonathan Deutsch (@JonathanD_TV) January 2, 2021
Even after struggling mightily in Detroit, they were able to take the lead, and still were just a Brown missed three from forcing overtime. That was probably the wake-up call they needed. The Pistons are going to find winning back-to-back games against the same opponent a difficult task.
The pick: Celtics -7.5 (-110)