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Starting five: Celtics 94, Pistons 80

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  May 24, 2008 10:24 PM

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3. The most telling indication that Chauncey Billups is legitimately hurt wasn't the one field goal next to his name on the stat sheet, but the fact that he isn't even attempting to post up Rajon Rondo. The low post is where a healthy Billups usually does his damage, but all he appears capable of doing right now on that balky hammy is hoisting up jumpers, and his ill-considered decisions down the stretch tonight ended any hope of a Pistons' comeback. Rodney Stuckey was the best player in a Detroit uniform tonight, and I was glad to see the ball in Billups's hands rather than his when the Pistons were desperate for a basket. Really, that tells you all you need to know about the state of Billups's game.

4. Even in victory, I've got some grievances to air. Three, actually: 1) When the Celtics have a big lead, Rajon Rondo plays like he's auditioning for an And1 mixed tape. Settle down, kid. 2) If by some stroke of fortune I happen to be at the Palace at Auburn Hills the next time an Artest-style melee breaks out, I promise you I will be going straight for that incessantly jabbering moron of a PA announcer, and I won't stop busting my ninja moves on him until he can speak only in a whisper. 3) So much for his return to form. I'm beginning to think Allen is channeling his UConn buddy and chief apologist, Donny Marshall, a career 32.1 percent shooter.

5. As for today's Completely Random Basketball Card:

This Jackson card is my shoehorned way of praising his fellow analyst, Jeff Van Gundy, who has been an absolute revelation in this series. He's terrific on the technical stuff without depending on jargon (such as when he explained why the Celtics struggle with getting into their offense when Detroit presses), he pulls no punches (he called Rip Hamilton a flopper tonight, which he is) and he's much funnier than you would have ever suspected based on the dour image he projected as a coach. His best line? "I had to take the SAT to get into college. Who took yours [for you], Mark Jackson?" For the first time all night, Jackson was speechless.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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