I'm not going to waste my breath rehashing last night's choke job against the Magic. Check out the game capsule for the rotation chart and advanced stats.
The Celtics beat the Pacers, meaning they head into tonight's game in Boston with a 2 game lead on the Sixers. Win, and it's maybe a coin flip who takes the division because the Sixers hold the tie breaker and the Celts have a really tough schedule to close things out. Lose, and it's pretty much a foregone conclusion. The only drama left will be whether the Sixers finish with the #7, #8 or #9 seed. #9 is a trip to the lottery.
Both the Sixers and the Celts sold out on the first night of the back-to-back. The Sixers used a pretty balanced 8-man rotation, plus one minute of Tony Battie. The Celts used 7 guys for heavy minutes, plus 14 minutes off the bench for Pavlovic. They should both be tired. The big problem for the Sixers is Elton Brand played 36 minutes, most of them checking Dwight Howard with all that entails. I'll be shocked if he isn't a zombie tonight.
I'll be in Boston to take in the game first hand with Statman. I'd love to tell you I think the Sixers will show up, but I don't know how anyone can predict that at this point. I'm sure they'll play decent defense. And really, they should be able to run the Celts off the floor just because the Celts are so old. Garnett, Allen and Pierce combined to play 110 minutes last night, and Boston is paper thin. But I'm not sure it takes fresh legs to beat the Sixers these days. In fact, all you it seems you really have to do is take a step back and let the Sixers beat themselves.
The tip is at 6pm, on NBA TV. This is your game thread. I won't be here and I don't blame you if you aren't either.