By the end of the night the Philadelphia 76ers will either have vanquished the hated Celtics and pushed their lead in the Atlantic Division to two games, or they'll be percentage points behind Rondo and the old men, looking up in the standings for the first time in a long time. Let's hope for the former.
I purposely avoided x's and o's in my preview because I truly believe this game can be won on effort alone. When you get down to an individual level, though, one matchup stands out to me. Jrue Holiday vs. Rajon Rondo. Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings have each put up monster numbers on the Sixers in the past two games. The same cannot happen with Rondo tonight. Jrue needs to lock Rondo down, make it impossible for him to penetrate, make it hard for him to make interior passes, make him take jumpers. If Rondo gets hot from the perimeter like Rose and Jennings did, take that away from him as well. The point of attack will be the key tonight. Rondo is the only guy who has a prayer of having his legs under him (even though he played 45 minutes last night), Jrue has to cut off the head of the snake.
Collins is apparently going to stick with his new starting lineup: Vucevic, Brand, Iguodala, Turner, Holiday. Turner really needs to keep his focus on the defensive end tonight. Ray Allen isn't much of a threat off the dribble, but he'll kill you if you lose track of him. Face guard him if you have to, but don't let him find openings.
The tip is at 7pm. This is your game thread. I'll be right here throughout. Join me if you feel like the Sixers might make a statement tonight (even if you think it's not going to be a good statement).
Prediction: PHI 93, BOS 79