at Boston Celtics (31-27) at Philadelphia 76ers (23-35)
Regular Season Game #59, Road Game #29
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
7:00 PM ET
TV: TNT, CSNNE, NBA-C
Radio: WEEI, WPEN
Wells Fargo CenterProbable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Avery Bradley vs Jrue Holiday Shooting Guard
Courtney Lee vs Royal IveySmall Forward
Paul Pierce vs Evan TurnerPower Forward
Brandon Bass vs Thaddeus Young Center
Kevin Garnett vs Spencer HawesCeltics Reserves
Terrence Williams Injuries
Jared Sullinger (back) out
Rajon Rondo (knee) out D-League
Fab Melo Sixers Reserves
Andrew Bynum (knee) out
Nick Young (ankle) game time decision
Jason Richardson (knee) out Game Notes
The Celtics face division rivals Philadelphia 76ers for the 4th and final time. Philly leads the series 2-1, having won one in Boston 106-100 and one at home 95-94 while the Celtics won their last meeting in Boston 92-79.
The Celtics have changed quite a bit since that last victory over the Sixers. They have 4 new players since the trade deadline. Fortunately they have had some time off to run a mini training camp for the new players and hopefully we will get a look at what White and Randolph bring to the team in this game. Hopefully it will be some much needed rebounding.
With the playoffs approaching, every game now becomes important. Things are tight in the conference and a loss can mean the difference between 4th seed and 8th. The Sixers are 6.5 games behind the 8th spot and are more than likely lottery bound, but they wouldn't mind playing spoiler for the Celtics, who are sitting in the 7th spot right now, 1.5 games ahead of the Bucks and 2 games behind Atlanta, Chicago and Brooklyn for the 4th, 5th and 6th spots.
The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Sixers are just 2-8 in their last 10. They had lost 7 straight and then pulled out a win over the slumping Warriors before losing to the Wizards in their last game. The Sixers are a decent home team with a 17-5 record while the Celtics have struggled considerably on the road with just a 10-18 record away from the Garden. They are looking for their 3rd straight win while the Sixers are hoping to avoid another losing streak.
The Celtics play in Indiana on Wednesday, and so hopefully they can put this game away early and get some rest for the veterans while the young guns hold the fort down the stretch. Key Matchups
Avery Bradley vs Jrue Holiday
Holiday has become an all star level point guard and he is capable of putting up points in a hurry. Bradley's defense will be important to keep the Sixers from getting into their offense and getting out on the break.
Paul Pierce vs Evan Turner
Turner is a streaky player. When he is on, he's very tough to guard. He has given the Celtics problems in the past. Pierce has also been up and down, dominating one game and then struggling the next. Turner is a good defender and so this would be a good time for Jeff Green to step up.
Kevin Garnett vs Spencer Hawes
Keeping Hawes from getting inside for easy baskets and rebounds will be key to stopping the Sixers.
Keys to the GameDefense
- As always, defense is key to winning. Period. The offense so often feeds off the defense and when they are hustling on defense, the offense seems to flow much smoother. As the playoffs get closer, defense becomes more and more important and the Celtics need to be more consistent in clamping down on teams. Rebound
- The Celtics play a lot of small ball and so it becomes important for every player to crash the boards and not leave it to just the bigs. The Celtics have added DJ White and Shavlik Randolph to plus up the rebounding and hopefully they can contribute right away.
- The Celtics need to be the more aggressive team. They have to be more aggressive going to the basket, diving for loose balls, playing defense, and grabbing rebounds. The more aggressive team will have the momentum and will get the calls. They especially need to be aggressive in getting to the basket and not settle for outside shots the entire game. Ball Movement
- The Celtics are at their best when they move the ball quickly up the court and also when they move the ball to find the open man. The can't settle into over-dribbling and playing hero ball. X-Factors
Focus on the Road
The Celtics have struggled on the road and they must be focused on playing the right way if they want to get this win. They can't let playing on the road distract them from playing their game.