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Game 22/82: Celtics (17-4) @ 76ers (7-14) Open Thread

 

Boston at Philadelphia
Wells Fargo Center
8:00 pm
TNT, CSN

Offensive Efficiency (hoopdata.com)
Boston: 107.1 points/100 possessions (6th in NBA)
Philadelphia: 103.2 points/100 possessions (16th)

Defensive Efficiency
Boston: 96.9 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Philadelphia: 102.9 points allowed/100 possessions (12th)

Probable Philadelphia starters: Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes

View from opposing bench: Philadunkia

Thumbnail: This is the first meeting of the season for Boston and Philadelphia. Last year the C’s took 3 out of 4. The Sixers have won 4 of their last 5, most recently a 117-97 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Celtics have won 8 in a row, but have suffered just as many injuries in the process.

WHAT THE SIXERS DO WELL:

Run, run, run. As you would expect, the Sixers get up and down the floor quite well. It’s kinda been their thing in recent years. Not simply because they’re young and athletic, but also because they still lack a truly polished/reliable scorer in the half-court (sorry Andre). This year the Sixers are 3rd in the NBA in fast break points, averaging 18.4 points/game. They rebound the ball well (9th in defensive rebound rate at  75.4%) and look for Holiday to run the break. And for a team constantly on the move, Philly does a relatively good job of taking care of the basketball, committing under 14 turnovers per game.

WHAT THE SIXERS DO POORLY:

Consistency. When you strictly look at the numbers, the Sixers don’t appear to be half-bad. Their NBA rankings in many important statistical categories are actually pretty decent. Defensive efficiency (12th), opponent’s eFG% (7th), assist rate (7th), turnover rate (10th). But let’s be serious. We know the Sixers aren’t a good team. That’s why they’re 7-14. The reason for this statistical inflation?  When the Sixers do win games, they make sure to win big. Of their 7 wins this season, 6 have been by double digits, and their average margin of victory is 15.7 points. Only problem is that only happens one-third of the time.

PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY:

Holiday and Lou Williams: The Sixers point guard duo is working out so far this season. Holiday is emerging as a very serviceable point guard in this league, and Williams has accepted his role as a bench player (not that he had a choice). Together, Holiday and Williams are combining for 10.5 assists/game between them, and as I mentioned, are taking care of the basketball.

Thaddeus Young: Not actually worried about him, but I’ll be paying attention to him. He did put up 20 and 26 points in the Sixers’ last two games, both victories. And let’s just say I don’t see the Sixers having enough offensively without another big contribution from Thaddeus.

PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:

Iguodala: Look at Iggy’s average PPG over the last 4 seasons: 19.9 (’07-08), 18.8 (’08-09), 17.1 (’09-10) and only 13.9 this season. Not the direction you want to be going in if you’re 26 years old. Not to mention his eFG% is also a career low 46.5%. Honestly, I never understood what all the fuss was about with this guy.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM THE CELTICS: Let’s see if they can make it through 48 minutes of basketball without any new injuries coming about. Seriously, I would settle for a recurring injury at this point, that’s how bad the Celtics’ luck has been. Other than that, tonight provides another big edge for the Celtics inside. KG-Brand? Shaq-A guy named Spencer? I like the Celtics’ chances.

PREDICTION: Celtics 101, Sixers 84

  • CsFanInArkansas

    Good primer, Mike.
    I'm with you on Iggy, too – he's basically a Shannon Brown or a Sonny Weems with a LOT more responsibility to be "the guy" for the 6ers…not gonna happen.

    GO CELTS!

  • zebulon

    "Honestly, I never understood what all the fuss was about with this guy."

    He's one of the best wing defenders in the game, an excellent passer, an above average rebounder (for his position), and in 07-08 was one of the league leaders in adjusted +/-. He's shooting the ball badly at the moment, but he is a very, very good player.

  • complexity

    Doesn't the Celtics streak always get broke at 8?

    Well, beat the curse!

  • MP!

    We would have won 15 straight last year if it wasn't for that dumb last second loss to Philly at home. Not tonight!

  • I_Love_Green

    Rondo should not be playing, but it looks like he is. Let him rest the hammy for a few days Doc!

  • hdavenport

    The Nate Robinson pull-up threes with 20 seconds left on the shot clock are officially back, everyone. Just thought I'd drop by and let you know.

    • TedL

      Yah, that was hideous – did it last night too.

  • complexity

    Pierce hasn't been playing very good.

    Flu must be messing him up.

    • paul

      I hope so, he wasn't good yesterday either. Hope it's not something worse.

  • Morpheus

    Yeah i hate those quick Nate 3s…it's dumb and BAD very very BAD

  • Ryan DeGama

    Marquis Daniels has gone 33 straight minutes without scoring a point.

  • I_Love_Green

    Alright what the hell. I just got home, how are we down in the 4th quarter to this team?

  • hdavenport

    Elton Brand has more offensive boards than defensive. 7 to 6.

  • JCP

    I just had a flashback to the infamous Manny Ramirez cutoff play as BBD intercepted that pass from Pierce to Rondo… I'm glad he found RayRay and didn't heave one up himself.

  • Batman

    I am so stressed out….from vsing the 76ers
    Although we have been wrecked on the offensive boards

  • I_Love_Green

    Are we seriously going to lose to the Sixers?

    • complexity

      No

  • Batman

    RONDO TO KG BUZZER BEATEEER!!!!!

  • TedL

    Doc Rivers is a freaking GENIUS! The man has drawn up so many great out of bounds plays.

    • JCP

      Ha… My words exactly! I didn't see this as I posted "Doc is a genius" below".

  • Ryan DeGama

    Wonderful play call.

    Great catch and finish by KG.

  • JCP

    Doc is a genius.

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