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Celtics Shooting for 7th Win in a Row as Sixers Come to Town

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Philadelphia 76ers (7-8) at Boston Celtics (14-2)
Friday, November 28
7:30 PM ET
Game #17, Home Game #10
TV: CSNHD, CSN, NBA LP 752
Radio: WEEI, WPHT
TD Banknorth Garden

Game Thread l Chat

Sixers Blogs Recliner GM l 76ers Locker l Passion and Pride

The Philadelphia 76ers were expected to be one of the teams at the top of the Eastern Conference with the addition of Elton Brand. But, they have struggled so far this season and are below .500 at this point. They have lost their last two games after winning 5 of their previous 6. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are 3-6 in the Eastern Conference and 2-1 in the Atlantic Division.

These two teams met in the Celtics first preseason game. The Celtics lost that game 98-92. The starters played less than 18 minutes a piece and Patrick O'Bryant started in place of the still rehabbing Kendrick Perkins. The Celtics won the series last season 3 games to 1.

It is always important to beat teams in your division and so both teams will come to play in this one. The Sixers are just 2-5 on the road while the Celtics are 8-1 at home. These two teams always physical so expect a battle, especially in the paint where Elton Brand, Samuel Dalembert, KG, and Perk will be battling.

Probable Starting Matchups
PG:
Rajon Rondo vs Andre Miller
SG: Ray Allen vs Andre Iguodala
SF: Paul Pierce vs Thaddeus Young
PF: Kevin Garnett vs Elton Brand
C: Kendrick Perkins vs Samuel Dalembert

InjuriesBoston Celtics None
Philadelphia 76ers Jason Smith (knee) out

Key Matchups
vs
Kevin Garnett PPG 16.5 RPG 9.00 APG 2.3 EFF + 20.20
Elton Brand PPG 16.9 RPG 10.10 APG 1.6 EFF + 18.27
Their stats are similar. Brand gives up 3 inches KG. Both are among the premier power forwards in the league.

vs
Ray Allen PPG 17.4 RPG 4.30 APG 2.9 EFF + 16.12
Andre Iguodala PPG 13.6 RPG 6.50 APG 5.4 EFF + 16.40
The Sixers are experimenting with moving Iguodala from small forward to shooting guard. Ray Allen will have his work cut out for him on the defensive end to keep Igoudala in check.

Honorable Mention
Kendrick Perkins vs Samuel Dalembert
This should be a battle inside. Perk has played well against Dalembert in the past and hopefully will continue that in this game.

Connections:
Donyell Marshall and Ray Allen are former UConn Huskies
Tom Thibodeau was an assistant coach for the Sixers from '94-96
Elton Brand and Eddie House were teammates on the Clippers
Reggie Evans and Ray Allen were teammates in Seattle.
Keys to the Game
Rebound - The Sixers are a good rebounding team and only 3 teams have out rebounded them so far this season. The Celtics need to crash the boards and concentrate on getting rebounds away from the Sixers.
Defend - The Celtics got caught up in the Warriors' game on Wednesday and forgot about their defense for much of the game. The Celtics need to get that defensive mindset back. The Sixers have some players who can stretch the floor as well as good inside scorers and the Celtics need to defend both inside and the perimeter.

Consistent Effort
The Celtics need to come out strong and keep up that effort throughout the game. They don't want to dig a hole in the beginning or if they should get a big lead, let the Sixers back into the game. They need to take this team seriously and put out a consistent effort throughout.

X Factor
Rajon Rondo - We have seen over the past few games that as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. When he is aggressive on both ends of the court, the Celtics are very hard to beat. Last season, Rondo struggled somewhat against Miller but this season, he should be able to match up with him better.