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Posted By Warren Shaw On Apr 6 2011 @ 1:33 am In Boston Celtics | 2 Comments
How many times do you hear the saying “If the playoffs started today” followed by some random statement as a basketball fan? Well if the playoffs did start today the Boston Celtics are finally looking like a team that would be ready. After dispensing of the Detroit Pistons on Sunday 101-90, Team Green got a chance to test their skills against their potential first round opponent in the Philadelphia 76ers. The previous 3 games between these two teams have all been close. The Celtics put some separation between themselves and the 6ers with an easy 99-82 victory behind Rajon Rondo’s 16points, 13 assists and 4 rebounds.
The Sixers are not a great offensive team but get by thanks to the stellar coaching and teaching of Doug Collins. Tonight his chalkboard mastery was not enough to overcome the stingy Boston defense that held Philly to just 39% from the floor. Meanwhile the Celtics were once again efficient with 53% shooting and 29 assists on 40 made field goals. When Boston is that efficient offensively and play the defense they did they are nearly impossible to beat.
Tonight Boston welcomed back Nenad Kristc and Troy Murphy after short absences. The Celtics hope the injury to Shaq’s calf will not keep him out past the weekend as River’s is anxious to get the players in the rhythm of their potential rotations. Barring another injury the Celtics could have its full complement of players healthy for the first time all year by the start of the playoffs. That is welcome news for a team that hasn’t been fully healthy at any point this season and seems to be back on track after a recent slide. “You can see what they’re all doing, they’re sharpening their tools” said Rivers in reference to the team’s better play over the last two games. Kevin Garnett added “We want all these games…Playoff is like the main course. This will definitely be an appetizer.” Garnett’s hunger has never been in question and the team will need an appetite for destruction of their opponents to feast their eyes on banner 18. The Bulls and a final shot at the number one seed are next on Thursday night on TNT.
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