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Sure they’re great but…

12.23.08 at 8:57 pm ET
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Call it sour grapes, call it frustration or just simple truth but Philadelphia 76ers star Andre Iguodala is of the belief that the Celtics talk too much on the court. Following Boston’s 110-91 beat down of the Sixers on Tuesday night for their new franchise-best 19th straight win and an NBA best-ever 27-2 start, the OTHER ‘AI’ had this to say about the Green and what they say on the court and if they Celtics are peaking too soon.

“I think teams would hope that but 27-2, you can’t knock that. It is what it is,” he began. “They’re playing good ball, no matter if they’re peaking or not. They just won the title and I’m sure they want to play to perfection and just try to keep it going the whole way. Similar to the Patriots, they were undefeated and they lost in the (Super Bowl). I’m sure they’re aware of that and want to keep it going the whole year.

“Everybody knows they won a championship and everybody knows they are a great team,” he continued. “They’ve got great players in Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, those guys go out there and play hard. But they try to go overboard with it sometimes. I think it takes away from actually how good a team they are, it takes away from the respect factor. Teams don’t respect them as much because of that.”

As for other teams in the NBA and whether they’re intimidated by the Celtics.

“I think they’re a good team but I don’t think they have that intimidation factor like the Detroit teams had those years when they were going to the Finals every year,” Iguodala said. “I think people respect them in as far as they’re a good team and they play great defensively but they have a lot of trash talkers out there so that kind of takes away from them sometimes.

“As a basketball group, they do a great job of executing and do a good job of sticking to their game plan.”

The two teams meet again on Feb. 3 in Philly.

Read More: Andre Iguodala, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots undefeated, Philadelphia 76ers

Celtics-Sixers Game Blog: Fourth Quarter

12.23.08 at 7:30 pm ET
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At the start of the fourth … Celtics 78, Sixers 66

– Speights vs. Scal … dum dum dum. Speights was ejected back in November for commiting a flagrant foul on Scal. Let’s see if they can keep their hands to themselves tonight.

– Lou Williams vs. Eddie House … another good match up. Both are feisty guards, but House has the long-range advantage.

– The Garden just erupted for the announcement of the Bruins sixth consecutive win. A fan proudly flashed a Patrice Bergeron jersey, who like Big Baby suffered a concussion.

– It’s garbage time right now with the Celtics up by 20+. Scal, House, and Pruitt are tossing up threes while both teams are resting their starters.

– Both teams have hit 32 field goals and the 76ers are actually shooting better from the field (50% FG). Behind the arc, though, the Celtics are 4/10 while the Sixers are 0/9. The Cs are also beating them up on the boards even though Dalembert has finally decided to start rebounding.

– A “Beat LA” chant has started. It’s getting louder … and louder … and louder.

– Gino Time. The Cs are up 104-86 and KG is pointing to Gino like he’s never seen him before. Ray Allen added a shoulder shimmy.

- Game over. Celtics 110-91. The Celtics broke a franchise record set by the 1981-82 team with their 19th consecutive victory.

Celtics-Sixers Game Blog: Third Quarter

12.23.08 at 7:00 pm ET
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You get the feeling the Celtics are just toying with Philly tonight? They had a nice little nine-point lead, the Sixers came back and tied it and now it’s back up to 14 points. Know this: Getting on a cross-country flight on Christmas Eve would be a king-hell bummer for the C’s, to quote Hunter S. Thompson.

Onward… Read the rest of this entry »

Celtics-Sixers Game Blog: Second Quarter

12.23.08 at 6:12 pm ET
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At the start of the second quarter … Celtics 29, Sixers 25

Junior Seau is here. No one has tackled him … yet. Ben Watson is also in the building.

– Early minutes for Gabe Pruitt. He checked in at 10:48. Makes sense to use Pruitt’s speed and explosiveness against the 76ers, who have been able to get out and run without Brand. The second unit’s getting an early look: Pruitt, Leon Powe, Tony Allen, Scal, and Eddie House.

– The 76ers are cringing at every blow of the whistle. First Andre Miller looked stunned when called for fouling Rondo, then Reggie Evans and Lou Williams looked perplexed by a offensive foul call on Evans. The Celtics are 8/8 from the line.

– Airball on a Reggie Evans free throw and it’s not the first time it happened here either. From November 28: The Celtics came out swinging with a 10-0 lead to kick off the quarter. Reggie Evans only added fuel to their fire by airballing a free throw.

– During a timeout Celtics President Rich Gotham and legend JoJo White presented former Celtics ball boy James Tolland with his 2008 championship ring. Tolland, who worked for the Celtics during their title run, will be deployed to Iraq in the coming months.

– Is this the Slam Dunk Contest? Iguodala is showing off his stuff with two emphatic jams in the quarter.

– The dunks didn’t look so impressive after Rondo drove through the Sixers for two reverse lay-ins.

– Paging Samuel Dalembert: Doing something, anything, in the paint. Dalembert is scoreless and has only four rebounds. He let Rondo, who is at least a foot shorter than him, make his way to the hoop without putting up a fight.

- At the half … Celtics 58, Sixers 44

Celtics-Sixers Game Blog: First Quarter

12.23.08 at 5:28 pm ET
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We are live from the Garden where the word for tonight is “distractions.” Several of the Celtics were late arriving to the building, although they are all present and accounted for. Immediately after tonight’s game the team will head to the airport for a cross-country flight for a Christmas Day game with the Lakers you may be aware of.

Distractions? This team? “It’s tough,” Doc Rivers said. “Let’s be honest. That game has been built up since the season started.” Wow. A bit of candor from the coach.

But the Sixers had their own issues. Their bus from their downtown hotel took well over an hour to arrive and by 6:30 there were a sizable portion of ballers somewhere on the streets of Boston (Should have taken the MBTA, guys). But arrive they did.

So, what will it be tonight? Will it be 19 in a row? Will the Sixers continue their improved play under Tony DiLeo? Will people start booing Mark Teixeira, just because? Those answers and more tonight… Read the rest of this entry »

Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers

12.22.08 at 10:50 pm ET
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On Tuesday night the Boston Celtics (26-2) will take on the Philadelphia 76ers (12-15) at the TD BankNorth Garden. The Celtics enter the game on an 18-game winning streak and could break the franchise mark for consecutive wins with a victory over the Sixers. They also have the chance to set a new NBA record for best start with two losses.

The Big Three + Two
The impressive play by Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins is making headlines nationwide, from features on Rondo to CBS Sports plugs for Perk as a fantasy basketball must-have. So just how well have these two young starters been playing as of late? Let’s take a look at the last five games …

17 blocked shots (T-4 NBA): ahead of Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, and Yao Ming
13.8 PPG: ahead of centers Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, and Andrew Bogut
11.4 RPG: ahead of Chris Bosh, Shaquille O’Neal, and Zach Randolph, tied fourth among all centers with Al Jefferson

16.0 PPG: ahead of Andre Iguodala, Baron Davis, and Manu Ginobili
7.4 APG: ahead of Chauncey Billups, Jason Kidd, and Tony Parker
6.4 RPG: ahead of Kobe Bryant, Brandon Roy, and Dwyane Wade

Injury Update
The Celtics bench will be one-man short for the second game in a row. Glen ‘€œBig Baby’€ Davis will sit out with a concussion and cervical strain sustained in a car accident on Sunday. Davis is listed as day-to-day. The 76ers will be without starting forward Elton Brand, who is sidelined at least a month with a dislocated shoulder. Last season, before acquiring Brand, the Sixers stifled the Celtics with their running game. Their post-game failed miserably this season against the Cs but the absence of Brand may allow them to get out and go, which could pose a challenge. Sixers guard Willie Green (ankle) is also day-to-day.

Making Enemies Early
Marreese Speights made a rookie mistake by losing his poise late in the Celtics 102-78 win back in November. The big man was ejected with 43 seconds left for committing a flagrant foul against Brian Scalabrine. Don’t be surprised if Speights is booed for messing with Scal.

In the Last Five Games …
Celtics: 106.4 PPG, +12.2 differential, 53.5% FG, 41.8% 3PG, 71.2% FT, 24.2 APG, 45.0 RPG, 8.4 SPG
76ers: 94.4 PPG, +1.8 differential, 46.8% FG, 26.2% 3PG, 76.3% FT, 20.6 APG, 42.0 RPG, 7.6 SPG

Check back with WEEI’s Celtics Game Day Blog for all the action from the TD BankNorth Garden.

Big Baby Injury Update

12.22.08 at 1:00 pm ET
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After seeing Boston Celtics team physician, Dr. Brian McKeon, it was determined that Glen Davis will not play on Tuesday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Davis sustained a concussion and cervical strain in a car accident on Sunday en route to the Celtics/New York Knicks game. He is listed as day-to-day.

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