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Potential Playoff Preview In Philly

60-20 Bos_medium @ Phi_medium 40-40
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
8:00 pm ET
Wachovia Center (Philadelphia, PA)

Game Thread | Chat

If the playoffs were to begin today, Boston's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup would be tonight's opponent, the Philadelphia 76ers. However, it is not set in stone. Chicago holds just a half-game advantage over the Sixers, and Philly has two games remaining on their regular season schedule (including tonight) while Chicago has just one. Therefore, there is a chance that Philly could win out and gain control of the sixth seed, which will square off with Orlando in the first round.

Now, when I say that there is a chance, I'm only speaking mathematically. The likeliness of Philly beating the Celtics tonight and handing Cleveland their second home loss of the season tomorrow is... well... it's just not going to happen. To top that off, Chicago's regular season finale is a more than winnable home game against the underwhelming 32-49 Toronto Raptors, who at this point are playing for nothing more or less than lottery odds.

Here's where it gets interesting. Should Philly split their last two games while Chicago takes care of business in their finale, the Sixers and Bulls would tie for overall record (41-41), record against Eastern Conference teams (25-27), and wins against one another (2). If all of that transpires, the deciding factor would come down to winning percentage within each team's respective division. Should that be the case, Chicago would control the rights to the sixth Eastern Conference seed, as they are currently 9-7 against Central Division teams while Philadelphia is just 6-9 against Atlantic Division clubs.

Or, we can forget everything above and just end the confusion tonight by racking up our sixty-first W of the season.

Projected Starters

Team Leaders
PPG: Paul Pierce (20.3)
RPG: Kevin Garnett (8.5)
APG: Rajon Rondo (8.4)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (1.9)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (2.0)

Projected Starters

Team Leaders
PPG: Andre Iguodala (18.7)
RPG: Elton Brand (8.8)
APG: Andre Miller (6.5)
SPG: Andre Iguodala (1.6)
BPG: Samuel Dalembert (1.8)

Key Matchup

Pts Reb Ast
2008 - Rajon Rondo 12.1 5.2 8.4

Pts Reb Ast
2008 - Andre Miller 16.2 4.5 6.5

Injury Report
Kevin Garnett (sore knee - out)
Glen Davis (stomach bug - gametime decision)
Leon Powe (bruised right knee - probable)
Brian Scalabrine (concussions/strained neck - out)
Elton Brand (dislocated right shoulder - out)
Thaddeus Young (sprained right ankle - out)
Jason Smith (torn left ACL - out)

Keys to Victory

  • Limit Turnovers
  • Ball Movement
  • Transition Defense
  • Control the Glass

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