Monday, May 19, 2008

Quick Pistons Preview

Everybody sick of predictions and breakdowns of the Celtics/Pistons series already? Of course! Even so, here are my few thoughts heading in...

1) I'm expecting Ray Allen to get himself some JD Drew like redemption in this series. If I had to make a prediction for that game I'd say Game 4 in Detroit. I really think he's busting out on the road and playing an instrumental role in the Celtics first road victory of the postseason.

2) I expect to see more ugly basketball like we saw in the Cleveland series. Ugh. Everybody's fired up about a seven game KG/Rasheed matchup and you can throw me into that group too. I just fear that KG will be SO fired up for this that he ends up strong arming hook shots and bricking layups which he tends to do sometimes when all the spotlight is on him. Either that or he'll fire a bullet pass from two feet away at Leon Powe or Kendrick Perkins that will clang off of their unsuspecting hands. I'm really pulling for KG to make himself The Man in this series, but quite honestly I'm not going to believe it until I see him do it for more than one game intervals.

3) For me, the real key to series is the Chauncey Billups/Rajon Rondo matchup. Remember from their first meeting in December when Rajon was running all over Chauncey in the first half of the game but then in the second half Billups summoned the ghosts of the great Mark Jackson and Gary Payton to use his strength and savvy to destroy Rondo while backing him down. Then, just when Rondo would key on the post game, Billups would step back and drain some threes to keep him honest. It was quite the clinic. If Rajon can keep Billups from doing that at will then I think the Celtics will be in good shape.

4) You want to know what I'm hoping for? I'm hoping that after about 4 minutes in Game 1, Ray Allen sees his UConn protege, Rip Hamilton running all over the court off of double and triple screens and draining jumpers, then realizes that he can do that too and all of a sudden becomes a factor. That's my hope at least.

5) As for my outlandish prediction, I actually don't think it will go Seven. I think it goes five or six and I say Celtics in Five. If you want my reasoning for that, it's quite simple. I don't see them losing at home during the postseason except maybe against a Western team and I think they win a game on the road eventually. My guess is it is Game 4 in Detroit. After that, they come home up 3-1 and clinch in a rout over a Pistons team that has already packed it in. There you have it. I have zero confidence in that call because I could definitely see them splitting Games One and Two with Detroit and things going downhill from there but C's in five was my first inclination and I am going with it.

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