Feb 5, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger (7) battles Philadelphia 76ers guard Tony Wroten (8) for the ball during the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics Must Answer the Question, "To Tank, Or Not To Tank?" Against Philly Tonight

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Oh Boston Celtics fans – you know you’re conflicted about tonight’s game.

On the one hand, you were so embarrassed by Boston’s most recent loss to the Philadelphia 76ers that you wanted to call in sick to work the next day, or at the very least wear a paper bag over your head when you showed to your place of gainful employment.  Tanking is one thing, but losing to a team that had nearly set an NBA-record losing streak?  Come on – it’s the Boston Celtics, not the Charlotte Bobcats!

(And dammit, I can’t even make THAT joke any more!)

Whenever someone says “On the one hand,” though, you know what’s coming next: the other hand.   And oh, what an other hand it is!

Anyone else reminded of this classic Seinfeld exchange: “I’ve got hand!”  “And you’re going to need it!”

The “other hand,” of course, is that the Celtics have already won two games in a row and moved from being tied for the third-worst record in the NBA, to being tied for the fifth.  Another win or two, and Boston could find itself all alone in sixth place in the NBA Draft Lottery standings.   This scenario is troubling, not just because it decreases the chance that the Boston Celtics might land the top pick in the draft, but because it also makes Boston’s worst-case scenario the 9th pick in the draft, as it is possible that three teams could leap-frog over the Celtics as a result of how the ping pong balls bounce once the lottery is conducted.

I know the players on the Celtics’ roster want to win this game, and I’m okay with that.  Like any die-hard Boston fan, I would love for the team to land the top pick in this year’s draft, but not at the expense of learning how to accept defeat.  I was impressed with Kelly Olynyk‘s 25 points and 12 rebounds against Cleveland Saturday, and the 26 dimes Phil Pressey has shared with his teammates over the last two games.  Sharing, after all, is caring!  I can’t complain if the youngsters finish strong – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m.  Follow us @HoudiniCeltics and see what we have to say about the action later tonight!

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Tags: Boston Celtics

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