Wednesday, February 5, 2014
W2W4: C's vs. 76ers (Game 50 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (16-33, 6-18 away) visit the Philadelphia 76ers (15-34, 8-16 home) on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
- QUEST FOR 48 MINUTES: The recent theme from Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been a quest to get 48 consistent minutes out of his lull-prone team. And Stevens notes that Philadelphia, which beat Boston at the buzzer last week, is exactly the sort of team that feasts on lulls. "This is what Philly does. Philly takes advantage of your lulls. And you look at it [Monday] night, Brooklyn went on a little lull at the end of the first quarter, bang, Philly’s back in it; went on a lull about 4-5 minutes left in the game, Philly's bang, back in it. They throw the ball up the court fast, they attack the basket relentlessly and their bigs shoot 3s without thinking twice. The last game, that really made a difference, between Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes, they hit six of them. Between the transition and that, that kind of relentless style of attack, that’s the biggest thing for us -- is to be good for 48 minutes."
- BUILDING OFF SUNDAY'S WIN: Stevens scoffed when asked if the team had an opportunity here playing some of its company in the league's cellar. "We’re 16-33, so I don’t think it’s fair for us to judge anybody else." What Stevens does like is the ample practice time a relaxed February slate offer and he's hoping his team puts it to better use than it did in December. "I do think that the fewer games allow you to be at home and practice," said Stevens. "The last month we had that and practiced, it probably didn’t add up the way I hoped it would. I hope our practices are better this month than maybe December. We’ll see how it goes. I’m just looking at , ‘OK, are we, even though we are getting healthy, are we getting better? Are we playing better together?’"
- LOOSE BALLS: C'S LOOK DIFFERENT: The Celtics were operating without their starting backcourt of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley in last Wednesday's loss against the 76ers, but should have both this time out. ... Boston will also have a well-rested Gerald Wallace, who left the team last week due to a death in his family and did not play after returning on Sunday, said he's ready to go after a week away from game action. ... This is the second of four meetings this season; the two teams play twice in April. ... After last week's win in Boston, the 76ers have dropped three in a row (Atlanta, Detroit, Brooklyn) by an average of 16.3 points. ... The Celtics are a game ahead of Philadelphia, which owns the third worst record in basketball.
(Read full game preview)