Friday, December 18th, 2009
TD Garden – Boston, MA
7:30 PM ET Tip
To put it lightly, the 76ers have not had a good month. They have lose 15 of their last 17 games where the 2 victories were against the Bobcats, and Warriors, both at home. Not even the aquirement of Allen Iverson has helped this team out like some thought it may. The Celtics will not have to worry about Iverson tonight, as he is out of the game with arthritis in his knee. The C’s are the complete opposite to the 76ers and have won 11 straight, 8 of them on the road. The team has a highly anticipated game against the Orlando Magic on Christmas, but must first get through these 3 games at home in which they should win handily.
A matchup to look for tonight is Andre Iguodala and Paul Pierce. Last game against the C’s, Iggy put up 25 points so the captain is going to have to do a better job of limiting his attempts in and around the basket. Pierce on the other hand is looking to get himself back on track after having a rough start to the month of December. No worries, though, he is always ready to perform in the clutch. At the power forward position, Thaddeus Young and Kevin Garnett is something to keep an eye on. Young can put up points well into the twenties if he is having a good night. He is quick, but so is KG. If Pierce and KG do their job in these matchups, it will be very difficult for the 76ers to find any scoring.
As a team, the Celtics can not feel comfortable simply because they are playing at home. We have noticed that this year they appear to play down a level on the homecourt, maybe because they feel no one can beat them there, so they dont have to play as tough. I have become more nervous about home games because of this fact. On road games, the team understands they have to get out quick and they do. Tonight, if they don’t jump on the 76ers, Philadelphia will feel in it, and can stay in it with their abundance of athleticism. Instead of the 2nd and 3rd quarters being the Celtics strong point, look to see if the Celtics can jump out early in the 1st quarter to end it then and there.
The Celtics have a chance to be 23-4 after starting at 9-4. We knew the team could go on runs like these, its just a matter of if they could regroup their focus to. For them to get there all it takes is beating Philadelphia (6-19), Minnesota (4-22), and Indiana (9-14) all at home. Lets hope this is a good stretch for the team to get some rest in preperation for Christmas. Starting on the 25th of December, the team has new challenges ahead.
Check in at 7:00 pm ET for our LIVE CHAT that will be running throughout the game. Stop by and throw in a comment on anything NBA related.