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Celtics Look to Continue Atlantic Dominance


Philadelphia 76ers (15-24) at Boston Celtics (31-6)

Friday, January 18
7:30 PM ET
Game #38, Home Game #21
TV:  NBA LP ch 753, CSNHD, CSN
Sirius 130
TD Banknorth Garden 
Chat   l   Game Thread     

Sixers Coverage    Passion and Pride     

Since this is a division matchup, the Celtics need to win it.  Staying perfect  within the division should be a priority for this team.   Both teams are coming off a win with the Sixers having beaten the Rockets on the road. 

The Sixers are 2-8 in their last 10 games and 8-13 on the road.  This is the kind of game that the Celtics could take for granted but shouldn't.   At least the Celtics won't have to deal with Kyle Korver's outside shooting in this time. 

Rondo is likely out for this game and since House did a good job in the last game, he will likely start.  Pruitt did a good job coming off the bench and hopefully Doc will give him more time in this game.  The Sixers are a good inside team and the real battles will be in the paint as Perk and KG will try to keep Iguodala, Evans and Dalembert out of the paint and off the glass. 

Probable Starting Matchups
PG:  Eddie House vs  Andre Miller
SG:   Ray Allen vs Willie Green
SF:   Paul Pierce vs Andre Iguodala
PF:   Kevin Garnett vs Reggie Evans
C:    Kendrick Perkins vs  Samuel Dalembert 
Key Matchups
SF:  Paul Pierce   PPG 20.6 | RPG 5.8 | APG 4.9
SF:  Andre Iguodala    PPG 19 | RPG 5.7 | APG 4.5
Iguodala is now the Sixers' best player.  Pierce will have a tough matchup against him on both ends of the court.  The Celtics will need good team defense to stop Iguodala inside. 

C:   Kendrick Perkins   PPG 6.8 | RPG 5.7 | BPG 1.3
C:  Samuel Dalembert    PPG 11.6 | RPG 10 | BPG 2.6   
Dalembert has had double doubles in his last 4 games and is averaging a double double for the season.  He has also become a very good shot blocker. The Celtics will need Perk's defense to keep Dalembert from getting his 5th straight double double. 
Honorable Mention:   KG vs Reggie Evans.   KG should be able to get the better of this match up, although Evans is a tough player and has been known to play dirty at times.  
Keys to the Game
Be Aggressive.
The Celtics were successful in their last game because they took the ball to the hoop and were aggressive on both ends of the floor.  They have to keep this up.  The aggressiveness was missing in their losses. 

Defense.  In the last game, the Celtics got back to the team defense that made them successful early and they need to continue that in this game.  They have to hustle on the defensive end and continue to play team defense.   

Play 48 minutes.   The Celtics have to hustle for 48 minutes.  They have gotten into the habit of coming out flat and then playing catchup or getting a lead and then coasting.  They have to come out strong and if they get a lead, keep the pressure on.

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