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Celtics-Pistons Game Blog: First Quarter

03.01.09 at 1:02 pm ET
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We are live from snowy Boston Garden for today’s game between the Celtics and Pistons. The excitement from Stephon Marbury’s debut Friday night has subsisted a little, but not entirely. Marbury was greeted by the familiar throng of notebooks and mini-cams before the game anxious to hear his every word.

In truth there isn’t much more Marbury can say at this point. The real work begins tomorrow and Tuesday when the team is able to hold practices. For now Doc Rivers gave his new guard a few more sets and a few more defensive principles. For his part, Marbury spoke in glowing terms about Tom Thibodeau. “He’s everything they say,” Marbury told the press. “He’s precise on what he wants on the defensive end.”

The Pistons, meanwhile, are in the midst of a transition of their own. Allen Iverson has been moved to the bench and they are struggling.

FIRST QUARTER WRAP: After a slow start, the Celtics have taken a 22-20 lead after one quarter. Paul Pierce has nine points and Rajon Rondo posted a Fat Lever-esque line of two points, four rebounds and two assists. The C’s were able to play their pace in last four minutes or so and wiped out a seven-point Piston lead with a 9-0 run.

First Quarter Observations

– Rondo can get by Rodney Stuckey whenever he wants. It will be interesting to see how he attacks the Detroit defense. On the first possession he had a clear lane but dished it back out. On the second he was met by Rasheed Wallace who altered his shot.

– Now that Detroit has moved Iverson to the bench, and he’s not active today, the Pistons are back to being a team that runs sets for Rip Hamilton and plays inside out with Wallace and Antonio McDyess. It helped them win at Orlando the other night.

– It feels like we’re in the Boston Public Library today. The crowd is a little sleepy.

– If you remember, Ray Allen began wearing his protective sleeve in the playoffs last year after he said fellow UCONNer Rip Hamilton left him with scratch marks up and down his arm. The two are battling pretty good today.

– The pace is entirely in Detroit’s favor right now. They are one of the slowest teams in the league in terms of pace and it is incumbent upon the Celtics to run whenever they can. Of course they need to get stops in order to run and the Pistons are shooting just a tick under 50 percent.

– Joey Crawford is not taking anything off Rasheed. He just banged him for a T. So if you have the first quarter in the Joey-Sheed Technical Pool you’re a winner!

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