The 76ers will look to run tonight against a Boston Celtics team that is unforgiving on defense. The Celtics are allowing the second fewest number of points per game in the NBA (91.86). Only Chicago at 91.43 has done better.
Against a team like Boston, the Sixers will need to score some fast break baskets. In their first two games against the Boston - two losses by a total of five points - the fast break success was mixed.
During a 102-101 home loss on Dec. 9, the Sixers outscored Boston, 22-20 in fast break points. In an 84-80 defeat at Boston on Dec. 22, the Celtics had the edge in fast break points 14-7.
The Sixers are a much different team now. So it will be interesting if they are able to run on Boston.
Sixers coach Doug Collins spoke this morning after the shootaround about running on Boston. Collins feels much hinges on the play of Celtics' point guard Rajon Rondo, who didn't play in the second Sixers game due to a sprained left ankle.
"Rondo does a lot of penetrating and we feel if we can do a good job rebounding the ball we can get the opportunity to use our speed in the open court," Collins said.
So that will be a key for the Sixers. Also at play is that the Sixers haven't lost two consecutive home games since falling to Cleveland Nov. 5 and then to Toronto on Nov. 17.
Elton Brand has talked about the team's motto - "We don't lose two in a row at home."
That will be seriously tested by a Celtics team not in the best of moods after losing on Wednesday to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.
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