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Sixers Look to Repeat History

12-15 Phi_medium @ Bos_medium 26-2
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
7:30 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

Game Thread | Chat

The 1981-1982 Boston Celtics were the first Celtic team to record an 18-game winning streak, similar to that of this year's bunch. On March 28, 1982, the Philadelphia 76ers ended the illustrious streak with a 116-98 victory over the Celts at the Boston Garden.

Just over 26 years later, the 76ers will be looking to end Boston's 18-game winning streak once again, as they could prevent the C's from making franchise history (19 straight wins) with a road victory tonight.

However, they will be shorthanded. High-priced free agent signing Elton Brand will be out for Philadelphia with a dislocated right shoulder, obtained in last week's win over Milwaukee.

In some ways, it may be reasonable to say that the injury could be a blessing in disguise. Obviously, it's never a good thing to lose a capable 20-10 threat, but based on the formula Philly won with last season, maybe it won't be such a low blow after all. A year ago, Mo Cheeks' Sixers shocked many by earning a playoff berth. The reason? Tommy Heinsohn's favorite - run n' gun basketball. This team got out in transition and made you pay with their tremendous array of athletes, to go along with a big time distributor in Andre Miller.

This season, the Sixers have gone away from that and have elected to adjust to Brand rather than having Brand adjust to them. As a result Philly started off the season in disappointing fashion, winning just nine of their first 23 games. Subsequently, Mo Cheeks was axed and assistant general manager Tony DiLeo was handed the reigns as the team's interim head coach.

Since DiLeo took over, the Sixers have gone 3-1, but the team could be on a four-game winning streak had T.J. Ford not knocked down a clutch elbow jumper on Saturday night to give Indiana a 95-94 edge at the Wachovia Center. Throughout the Brand-less four-game period, the Sixers have averaged 100 points per game, which is nearly six PPG higher than their season average of 94.3 (28th in NBA).

Have the Sixers reacquired their niche? Will they repeat history? Stay tuned.

Projected Starters

Team Leaders
PPG: Elton Brand (15.9)
RPG: Elton Brand (9.8)
APG: Andre Miller (6.1)
SPG: Andre Iguodala (1.4)
BPG: Samuel Dalembert (1.4)

Projected Starters

Team Leaders
PPG: Ray Allen (18.8)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (9.1)
APG: Rajon Rondo (7.5)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (2.4)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (1.9)

Key Matchup

Pts Reb Ast
2008 - Andre Iguodala 14.4 6.6 5.1

Pts Reb Ast
2008 - Paul Pierce 18.5 5.8 3.8

Injury Report
Elton Brand (dislocated right shoulder - out)
Jason Smith (torn left ACL - out)
Glen Davis (concussion - out)

Keys to Victory

  • Attack the Basket
  • Control the Glass
  • Transition Defense

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