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Game 77: Sixers at Celtics

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  April 5, 2011 04:55 PM

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sixersiguo.jpg
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Celtics (53-23), Sixers(40-37)
Broadcast info: CSN, WEEI (850 AM)


Probable starters:
Celtics:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Jermaine O'Neal

Sixers:
PG Jrue Holiday
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: Elton Brand
C: Spencer Hawes


Storylines:

Possible playoff preview: If the regular season ended today -- and it's doubtful a single NBA player would complain -- the Celtics would get the No. 3 seed and match up against the No. 6-seeded 76ers in the first round. The C's are currently a half a game behind Miami for the No. 2 seed, so the matchup isn't set in stone. If the Celtics pass Miami they could face the Knicks in the first round, which is probably an easier matchup. Tonight's game may be one of the few statement games left in the season's last two weeks. The Celtics want a good showing here.

Nenad back?: Nenad Krstic could return from a right knee bruise tonight, which is crucial because Shaquille O'Neal just went down again. If Kristic, Shaq, and Jermaine O'Neal all do get healthy, they'll provide a nice rotation at center. If any one of them has to play more than 25 minutes, this team could be in trouble.

Minutes: It's the time of year when Doc Rivers likes to give his starters minutes, halves, or full games off. It's possible someone sits tonight so as not to show Philadelphia everything a week before a possible playoff series.

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