Celtics visit Sixers: Tank battle Part Deux

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics take on the Sixers for the second time in a week.

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Boston Celtics (16-33) at Philadelphia 76ers (15-34)
Regular Season Game #50, Road Game #25
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
7:00 PM ET
TV: CSNNE, CSN-PHI, NBA-LP 753(DTV)/751 (Xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, WPEN
Wells Fargo Center
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Derrick Collins, Olandis Poole


Game Thread l Chat


They lost the first meeting on a last second shot by Evan Turner and will be looking for some revenge in this one. This is the second of 4 meetings between these two teams. They will meet twice more in April.

The Sixers have lost 3 in a row since winning that game vs the Celtics. They are 8-16 at home and 2-8 in their last 10 games. The Celtics are coming off a win over the Magic and are 3-7 in their last 10 games and 6-18 on the road.

When they played last week, the Celtics were just percentage points ahead of the Sixers for the 3rd and 4th worst records in the East. Since that time, the Sixers have moved into the 3rd worst record with the Celtics 1 game behind them with the 4th worst record.

Avery Bradley has returned to the lineup since they last played. With Avery back, the Celtics are at full strength. Vitor Faverani was assigned to the Red Claws once again on Tuesday and was recalled for this game but will be out due to a knee injury he suffered in last night's Red Claws game.




PG: Rajon Rondo .................................. SG: Avery Bradley

C: Jared Sullinger

SF: Jeff Green ....................................... PF: Brandon Bass

Celtics Reserves
Kelly Olynyk
Jerryd Bayless
Phil Pressey
Joel Anthony
Chris Johnson
Kris Humphries

Injuries

Keith Bogans (personal) out

Vitor Faverani (knee) out




PG: James Anderson .................................... SG: Michael Carter-Williams

C: Spencer Hawes

SF: Evan Turner ...................................... PF: Thaddeus Young

Sixers Reserves
Hollis Thompson
Lavoy Allen
Tony Wroten
Elliot Williams
Dewayne Dedmon
Lorenzo Brown

Injuries
Brandon Davies (finger) out
Arnett Moultrie (ankle) out
Nerlens Noel (knee) out
Jason Richardson (knee) out

Key Matchups
vs
Avery Bradley vs Michael Carter-Williams
Carter-Williams is in the running for rookie of the year. He has been playing very well, averaging 17.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game.

vs
Jeff Green vs Evan Turner
In the last game, Evan Turner burned the Celtics on the last second shot for the win. He is averaging 17.9 points, 6 rebounds and 3.8 assists and burned the Celtics for 16 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals in the last game.

Honorable Mention
Jared Sullinger vs Spencer Hawes
In the first meeting between these two teams, Hawes scored 20 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Sully needs to tighten the defense on him in this game.

Defense - As always, defense is key to winning. The Celtics have been slipping on defense and allowing teams to score way too many easy baskets, especially in the paint, including the very easy game winner by Turner in their last meeting. They must play better on the defensive end if they want to get back to winning.

Take Care of the Ball
- The Celtics tend to turn the ball over way too much. They need to keep their focus and make smart passes and avoid the costly turnovers that almost always lead to a score for the other team.

Rebound - Rebounding is mostly effort and desire and when the Celtics put the effort on the glass it usually shows up in other areas also. They have to rebound on both ends to keep the Sixers from getting second chance points and to give themselves more chances to score.

Be Aggressive - The Celtics need to stay aggressive. They have to be more aggressive going to the hoop and not settling for outside shots, especially if they aren't falling. They have to be aggressive on defense, in going after loose balls, and in going after rebounds. They have to be the team that wants it more.

Run - The Celtics have to run on every possession. Too often they walk the ball up the court. When they run, they get easy shots before the defenses set up. They have to set the pace right from the beginning and keep it up through the final buzzer.

X-Factors
Focus and Revenge
The Celtics are on the road and need to keep their focus on doing what works for them in spite of the hostile crowd. They should have revenge on their minds for the loss that the Sixers handed them last week.
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