Tip Time: 8:00 PM EDT
Location: Wells Fargo Center
Vegas Line: 5.5 (Celtics)
Mortal Enemies of the Night: CelticsBlog
Celtics vs 76ers coverage
Two winning streaks will be on the line tonight. The Celtics look to make it nine straight wins, while the Sixers go for their third in a row. Based on the teams' record, talent, pedigree and overall awesomeness the Celtics should win in a landslide, but not so fast my friend. Two of the Celtics four losses this season have come on the road against inferior opponents (@Toronto and @Cleveland), and they're an old team coming off a back-to-back.
Another factor in the Sixers favor tonight is the TNT/motivation factor. This is the Sixers one and only TNT game this season, against arguably the best team in the NBA. This is their time to show the basketball world what they got. Coach Collins has these players working hard every game, and tonight will be extra motivation. If the Celtics underestimate the Sixers and let them hang around early and get the crowd involved we could be in for a good game. If the Celtics come out focused and determined to get their big four rest in the fourth quarter, the Sixers will get blown out of the gym.
There are a couple intriguing match-ups to keep an eye on tonight.
- Jodie v. Ray - Both players are capable of catching fire from beyond during any game. Allen is a career 40% three-point shooter and Meeks is shooting 47% this season. They're very similar players, and both know how to move without the ball, and they probably have a good idea on how to stop or slow down each other. If both get hot, we could be in for a shootout.
- Holiday v. Rondo - It's always fun to measure the Sixers future point guard against the League's best. Rondo is one of my favorite players to watch in general, and he'll be an extremely tough match-up for Jrue on both sides of the ball.
- Hawes vs. Celtics Bigs - As Derek pointed out Hawes has been playing well as of late, and one of the main reasons the Sixers have won 4 of 5. The past three games Hawes has been murdering opponents on the defensive glass. Tonight will be a good litmus test for Hawes' recent improvement, because he'll be going against Kevin Garnett, Shaq, and Big Baby.
Go Sixers! 30 for Jodiac tonight!