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Initially, Detroit’s trade for Allen Iverson seemed to just set them up for a future spending spree in the 2009 or 2010 offseasons. They probably would make the playoffs with Iverson, but couldn’t expect anything big as they have in the past with Chauncey Billups. The Celtics made a trip to Detroit soon after the trade, and showed the Pistons may have taken a step back after thrashing them 88-76 earlier this month.
Recently though, the Pistons with Iverson have looked like a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference. They garnered big wins over Lakers (forcing L.A.’s first loss) and the Cavaliers (ending their eight-game winning streak). So, the Pistons then moved to Boston, hoping to knock off the NBA’s defending champions. They failed miserably, losing 98-80.
Rajon Rondo scored a game-high 18 points on 7-11 shooting with eight assists and three steals. Iverson, meanwhile, scored 16 points on just 5-13 shooting with four assists. Iverson is known as one of the quicker players in the NBA, but I think he may be handing that torch off to Rondo (Iverson is in his 30’s afterall). Rondo and Kevin Garnett did a nice give-and-go, allowing Rondo to score after moving quickly around Iverson and through the Pistons defense.
Tony Allen had another nice game against the Pistons. In the last match earlier in November, Tony led the Celtics with 23 points. Coming off the bench again Thursday night, Allen poured in 13 points on 6-7 shooting, including six rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Tony has quickly become a top candidate for the NBA’s sixth man award (with Manu Ginobili still injured).
Paul Pierce had an off night for the Green, shooting just 2-9 from the field. He finished with nine points, four rebounds, and three assists.
The Celtics next play again Friday night on the road against the Timberwolves in Minnesota. What is with this home-one-night, away-next-night scheduling?