Boston Celtics (4-0) at Philadelphia 76ers (2-1)
Tuesday, November 3
7:00 PM ET
Game #5 Road Game #2
TV: CSN, CSN HD, LP 755
The Celtics visit the Sixers looking for their 5th straight victory, and their 2nd on the road. The Sixers are looking for their 3rd straight. The Sixers are scoring in bunches early in the season but they are averaging 115 points per game but they are also giving up 111. If you give the Celtics 111 points, odds are they are going to get the win.
The Sixers have a nice starting lineup and may be able to stay with the Celtics while both teams' starters are in, but the Celtics are a much deeper team than the Sixers and that should be the difference in this game. The Celtics play in Minnesota tomorrow night and so hopefully they can get this one in hand early so the starters can get some extra rest in the 4th quarter.
Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 27.8
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 224
Rajon Rondo PPG 6.5 RPG 5.00 APG 11.8 EFF + 21.00
Ray Allen PPG 17.8 RPG 1.8 APG 2.3 EFF + 13.25
Paul Pierce PPG 21.8 RPG 6.5 APG 2.8 EFF +25.25
Kevin Garnett PPG 13.3 RPG 7.0 APG 2.3 EFF +17.00
Kendrick Perkins PPG 9.8 RPG 4.8 BPG 2.2 EFF + 11.5
Tony Allen (ankle) out
Bill Walker (knee) out
Brian Scalabrine (ankle) day to day
Big Baby Davis (thumb) out
Coach: Eddie JordanAverage Age: 25.3
Average Height: 6-7
Average Weight: 220
Lou Williams PPG 20.3 RPG 5.3 APG 5.0 EFF + 26.67
Andre Iguodala PPG 19.7 RPG 8.3 APG 6.7 EFF + 24.33
Thaddeus Young PPG 15.3 RPG 3.7 APG 3.0 EFF + 16.00
Elton Brand PPG 13.7 RPG 6.30 APG 1.3 EFF + 16.00
Samuel Dalembert PPG 8.0 RPG 6.0 APG 0.0 EFF +9.33
Rajon Rondo vs Lou Williams
Lou Williams is a young point guard getting is first chance at starting and is making the most of it. He is averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the first three games. Rondo is coming into this contest with his new 5 year contract in hand. In the past, he has gotten up for games with the premiere point guards like Chris Paul and then had let down games against the other PGs. It's time for Rondo to show he deserves that contract and play consistently against every PG in the league. Williams will make Rondo pay if he underestimates him.
Kevin Garnett vs Elton Brand
This is a matchup that has taken a year to materialize. Brand was out all last season for the Sixers and KG missed the last two games vs Philly with the flu and then the knee injury. KG has a height advantage but Brand has a power advantage. KG and Perk will have to work together to guard the interior against a strong Philly front line.
Ray Allen vs Andre Iguodala
Iguodala is a handful to try to guard. He has a strength advantage over Ray and Ray is going to have to keep Iguodala busy running off screens and chasing him on defense so that he wears out on offense by the end of the game. This will be a battle of scorers. Ray is the better perimeter scorer, but Iguodala is better getting to the basket.
• Celtics swept the season series 4-0 against Philadelphia in 2008-09
• Ray Allen led the Celtics with 20.7 points per game last season
• Andre Iguodala led the 76ers with 17.5 points per game against the Celtics last season
• It marked the first time since the 1995-96 season that the Celtics swept the season series with the 76ers
• The Celtics are leading the all-time series 234-175 with the Celtics 137-48 at home
Keys to the Game
As I have said before, defense is going to be the key to every game this season and to winning the championship. The Celtics have committed to becoming the best defensive teams ever. So far, they are making good on their promise. They need to continue to commit to playing lock down defense every game including this one.
The Sixers have a good rebounding team and the Celtics have to crash the boards to prevent the Sixers from getting second chance baskets and they also need to crash the offensive boards to keep the Sixers from running the break, which they do well.
The Celtics got sloppy against the Hornets and allowed the Hornets to hang around and tighten up a game that otherwise wouldn't have been near as close.
The Celtics have several combustible players on the team in KG, Perk, Sheed and now Rondo. They need to keep their composure as when they lose their cool and are T'd up, it gives the advantage to the other team.