Saturday, December 8, 2012
W2W4: Celtics vs. 76ers (Game 20 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty ImagesThe Boston Celtics (10-9, 6-4 home) host the Philadelphia 76ers (11-8, 4-3 road) to wrap up a consecutive-day, home-and-home series on Saturday night at TD Garden (7:30 p.m., CSN). Here’s what to watch for:
The Celtics will look to avenge Friday's loss in Philadelphia during a rematch on Saturday.
* A SHOT AT REDEMPTION: The Celtics lamented all the missed opportunities they had to put Friday’s game away and how many quality shots were wasted. Said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, reaffirming his common declaration that it's a make/miss league: “When you make open shots, you probably win a lot of the games, but when you miss open shots, you probably lose a lot of games.” After a dismal 1-for-12 shooting performance, Jason Terry added: “If this game was only about looks, boy, it was our night tonight. Because we had all the looks we wanted. I know me personally, I always look at myself first. If I just made one shot, that’s the difference in the ballgame. Being the competitor that I am, I can almost bet on myself. Actually, I will bet on myself [Saturday]. If I get those same looks, [the shots are] going down.”
* VALUE EACH POSSESSION: The Celtics shot themselves in the foot by committing 19 turnovers, which opportunistic Philadelphia cashed in for 21 points. Even though Boston nearly overcame that carelessness on Friday, Philadelphia’s emphasis on ball security makes mental miscues nearly impossible to overcome.
* RUN IT BACK: Throw out the scouting reports. The Celtics and 76ers have now played each other a ridiculous 15 times in less than a year's span (six regular-season games, seven postseason, two preseason). There will be absolutely no secrets during Saturday's rematch. “It’s good because it’s sort of like a playoff setting,” said captain Paul Pierce. “At this point, we already know everything they are going to do. We know their tendencies and it’s going to probably be a grit, tooth-and-nail type of fight. [Saturday] should also be low-scoring, because we know everything they are going to do; they know everything we are going to do. It’ll be a tougher game.”
* RETURN TO SENDER: The Celtics rallied around the notion of an immediate chance to strike back at the 76ers. Said Terry: “When we have a game like that, the best thing about it is it’s coming right back and we’ll be able to erase a lot of bad memories, can come out [Saturday] and have a good game.” Echoed Courtney Lee: “[Friday’s game] is definitely one we could have got, we get to see them again [Saturday]. We can’t take the bitter taste out of our mouths until we play them [Saturday], but it’s going to be good when we get them.” Added Jeff Green: “They beat us, so we have to return the favor.” The Celtics can ill afford to lose both games. Not only does a loss drop them to .500, but assures that the 76ers will win the season series in a beefed-up Atlantic Division.