As the clock winds down on this NBA season, we'll take periodic looks at the teams ahead of the Celtics in the standings in order to get a better understanding of them, and the Celtics' situation.
The Philadelphia 76'ers lost last night, putting the Celtics, once again, in a position to take the Atlantic division lead an vault into the 4th seed in the East. Philadelphia is now 26-21 while the Celtics are 24-21. So a win tonight in Milwaukee and tomorrow in Philadelphia would give the Celtics a half game lead in the Atlantic.
We'll deal with Milwaukee later in the preview. First, a look at the 76'ers.
They are 5-6 in March and 6-12 since February 15. And some Philly fans are starting to blame the coach:
I don’t like blaming coaches, but does anyone else think Doug Collins has lost his way a bit? Zero minutes for Vucevic. Thad didn’t play in the last 8 minutes of the game. He’s simply toying with Turner’s minutes and mind right now. Playing Sam Young only 2 minutes. And the small lineup of Dre / LW / Meeks / Holiday / Thad that Collins went with in the early 4th Q was a ridiculous idea. Look Doug, has done a HoF job with this team over the last two years, but right now, he’s not pushing the right buttons with this roster. C’mon Doug, you’re better then this…
"We got outmuscled for some loose balls," Collins said. "They got into us physically, sped us up, and we hurried everything. I told the team that the scouting report on us from now on will be to get into us physically. It's going to be tough for us."
That seems to fit what the Celtics would like to do to teams. Beat 'em up, make the game ugly, and go home with an ugly win. It's not pretty to watch, but if it's effective, it's tough to care. The Knicks beat the Sixers 82-79 in a grinding, less-than-pretty game.
Of course, the Philly game means less if the C's lose tonight. And while I get to look ahead to tomorrow, the Celtics can't. What they should be focusing on is getting this game tonight so they can get their revenge for getting embarrassed the last time they were in Philly.