Boston: 106.5 points/100 possessions (18th)
Philadelphia: 106.9 points/100 possessions (17th)
Boston: 100.2 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)
Philadelphia: 104.8 points allowed/100 possessions (8th)
Probable Sixers starters: Jrue Holiday (PG), Jodie Meeks (SG), Andre Iguodala (SF), Elton Brand (PF), Spencer Hawes (C)
View from the Opposing Bench: Philadunkia
Thumbnail: Tonight the Boston Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers in what will in all likelihood serve as a preview for the Celtics first round playoff opponent. If you saw ESPN’s 5-on-5 today, you may have read a few words from wisdom from Brian Robb about this potential matchup:
“Athletic teams have given Boston fits for the past couple of years, and this squad certainly fits the bill. With a balanced starting lineup, a top-10 defense and an explosive bench, the Sixers have the pieces to hang with Boston or Miami in the first round, as long as Lou Williams recovers from his hamstring injury in time.”
BRobb, as per usual, hits the nail on the head. This season, the Sixers have given the Celtics the most trouble out of any Eastern Conference playoff team. I know that sounds weird to read but it’s true. Each game has been incredibly competitive with a total point differential of 8 points in three games. Eight points!
Despite the likely impending playoff matchup, neither team is playing with a full deck. Shaquille O’Neal is out with a strained right calf muscle and coach Doc Rivers will likely play an assortment of semi-injured bigs tonight, including guys that won’t crack the playoff rotation (ahem, Troy Murphy). Still, all in all, tonight’s game should be pretty fun and is a very winnable game even if Rivers limits the minutes of his starters.
Prediction: Celtics 102, Sixers 96