Boston Celtics – Philadelphia 76ers: Preview

The Boston Celtics have gone on the record as saying they want to use the month of February to make a push to get back into the

Jan 29, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries (43) shoots the ball against Philadelphia 76ers power forward Thaddeus Young (left) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

playoff race.

In order to do so, the Celtics must beat the teams that they are capable of beating.  On Sunday, the Celtics did exactly that by defeating the Orlando Magic, 96-89.  Tonight, Boston must follow the same script when it faces the lowly Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.

On paper, earning a win against Philly doesn’t seem all that difficult: their record of 15-34 is good for last place in the Eastern Conference; they are second-to-last in the NBA in point differential, getting outscored by an average of 8.8 points per game; and they have lost their last three games by an average of 16.3 points.  Easy win tonight, right?

Errrr . . . .

I should remind you that Boston lost to these very same 76ers, at home, 95-94 exactly one week ago tonight.  Of course, the Celtics were without the services of Rajon Rondo, who took the night off as a precautionary measure.  Even so, the Celtics lost, are not exactly the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference, themselves, so this game is no gimme, folks!

Clearly, the Boston Celtics will look different when tonight’s game tips off in Philadelphia.  Not only will the Cs have Rondo in the line-up, they will also be starting Avery Bradley, another starter who missed last week’s meeting with the 76ers.  Both Rondo and Bradley were instrumental in helping Boston defeat Orlando Sunday, so their presence could be enough to help them do tonight what they should have done last Wednesday: beat the 76ers.

Of course, it would help if Jeff Green could also pick a personality and stick with it.  Celtics fans have seen the good-to-great Jeff Green – remember him, the guy who nailed the game-winning three in Miami back in November and who went off against the Washington Wizards for 39 points? – but the Boston faithful have seen just as much, if not slightly more, appearances of the fair-to-middling Jeff Green, who showed up Sunday and chipped in all of 8 points on 2-13 shooting against the Magic.  Will the real Jeff Green please stand up, and knock the hell out of the other version?

Tonight’s game is set to tip-off at 7 p.m.  I’ll be on Twitter – @HoudiniCeltics and @theamazingMrS – so hit me up, and check out my post game thoughts after the game!

Topics: Boston Celtics

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