While there are still some Sixers' fans who chose to temper their excitement with the "it's only preseason" mantra, there comes a moment where many simply accept the fact that their team might actually be pretty good.
And for a number of those fans, that moment came tonight.
After a sluggish start which found the Sixers down by nine points early in the first quarter, Doug Collins' squad took care of business for the final three quarters en route to a 88-79 win at the TD Garden.
The Sixers' bench led the way, scoring 56 of the team's 88 points on the night. Dorell Wright led all scorers with 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. Wright didn't merely settle for threes against the Celtics: He was aggressive in attacking the basket, he grabbed a few boards, and even caused some havoc in the passing lanes for good measure.
Nick Young did Nick Young things (15 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter), and rookie point guard Maalik Wayns was more in control (read: less reckless) tonight than he has been in recent outings (7 points, 4 assists, no turnovers).
Boston called off the dogs early in the fourth quarter, but the Sixers' starters still had enough time to make their presence felt. As impressive as Jrue Holiday's line was (10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals), the fourth-year guard had an even bigger impact on the flow of the game itself, rarely playing out of control and setting his teammates up perfectly for open looks.
One of the few negatives? The play of Lavoy Allen (4 points, 3 rebounds), who had a devil of a time guarding the Celtics' bigs tonight, fouling out after only 16 minutes of action.
Tonight was Thaddeus Young's turn to get the night off - Jrue Holiday will likely get the DNP-CD tomorrow when the Sixers square off against the Knicks in the preseason finale.
On the injury front, Evan Turner sprained his left ankle late in the third quarter and missed the rest of the game. I'm no betting man, but the smart money says that he won't play against the Knicks either.
Player of the game: Dorell Wright (20 points on 7-for-11 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals)
Next up: Monday against the New York Knicks at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. While the game will be broadcast on the MSG Network for the New York audience, it will not be televised in the Philadelphia area. The game can be heard, however, on ESPN Radio 950.