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Celtics Look for 9th Win in a Row in Philly

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Boston Celtics (49-12) at Philadelphia 76ers (29-33)
Regular Season Game #62 – Road Game #30
Monday, March 10
7:00 PM ET
TV:  NBA LP ch 751, CSN HD
Wachovia Center
 
Chat   l  Game Thread      

Sixers Coverage:   Passion and Pride      l     76ers Locker     

The Celtics look to win their ninth straight and reach 50 for the first time in 16 years tonight when they visit the surging Philadelphia 76ers, who are trying to win their 9th straight home game for the first time in more than five years. This is the 4th game in a row that will involve a team playing in the second of back to back games.  The Pistons and Bulls  played the night before playing the Celtics who played the night before facing the Grizzlies.  The Celtics came away winners in all 3.  
 
The Sixers have been playing well lately and are currently in the seventh spot for the playoffs and are pushing hard to move up even further.   They are coming off a win on Sunday in Milwaukee and have won 3 in a row and 7 of their last 10.  The Celtics have won 8 in a row and 8 of their last 10.  The Sixers are 17-14 at home and the Celtics are 21-8 on the road.  The Celtics have only lost one game to Atlantic Division teams. The Sixers are motivated as they are in a fight for playoff seeding.  The Celtics have already clinched a playoff spot and right now have the best record in the league but need to match the Sixers intensity to keep the top spot as Detroit is breathing down their necks.  
 
The Sixers have won 9 of their last 10 home games.  The Sixers have been winning with defense and are ranked 6th in the league in points allowed with 95.5 points per game. 
  The Celtics should win this one if they continue playing like they have been in their last 4 games.
 

Probable Starting Matchups

PG:   Rajon Rondo vs Andre Miller
SG:  Ray Allen vs Willie Green
SF:   Paul Pierce vs  Andre Iguodala
PF:  Kevin Garnett vs Thadeus Young
C:   Kendrick Perkins vs Samuel Dalembert  

Key Matchups
Paul Pierce
     PPG 20.4 RPG 5.40 APG 4.7 EFF + 20.12
Andre Iguodala   PPG 19.7 RPG 5.50 APG 4.6 EFF + 19.63 
Iguodala is their best player and it will be up to Pierce to contain him.  Making him work on the defensive end could help to get him into foul trouble.

Kendrick Perkins     PPG 7.5 RPG 6.00 APG 1.1 EFF + 11.82
Samuel Dalembert   PPG 10.9 RPG 10.00 APG 0.5 EFF + 17.42
Perk should be able to keep Dalembert off the boards as well as limiting his effectiveness in the paint especially with the way Perk has been playing lately.

Honorable Mention
KG vs Thadeus Young
KG has height and experience on Young and the Celtics should look to exploit this matchup.

Keys to the Game
1.  Defense, both in the paint and on the perimeter
2.  Ball movement
3.  Be aggressive on both ends of the court
4.  Don't play down to their level

X-Factor
Motivation and Hustle
The team that wants it more will win this game.  If the Celtics come in motivated and play their game on both ends of the floor, they will win.  The Sixers will be motivated and like every team against the Celtics will bring out their best.  The team that puts out the most effort will win it.