PHILADELPHIA — The Celtics begin a difficult stretch tonight against the 76ers, a team they can’t possibly look past. Philadelphia has beaten the Celtics twice this season, including once at TD Garden.
The Celtics have struggled with Philadelphia for the past few years, but these 76ers have been one of the league’s most disappointing squads. They have lost eight of nine games and are seven games back of Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the East, with 24 to play.
BOSTON CELTICS (31-27)
PG Avery Bradley
SG Courtney Lee
SF Paul Pierce
PF Brandon Bass
C Kevin Garnett
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (23-35)
PG Jrue Holiday
SG Royal Ivey
SF Evan Turner
PF Thaddeus Young
C Spencer Hawes
Officials: Derrick Stafford, Matt Boland, John Goble
TV, radio: 7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, TNT, WEEI (93.7 FM)
• Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he is concerned about his team being rusty after three days off and one game in eight days, but he expects they will work that off in the early going.
• With the Celtics playing six games in the next nine days, Rivers said, the rotation will be expanded, but don’t expect him to go too deep. Newcomers D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph have yet to play.
• The 76ers will be without Andrew Bynum (bone bruises, both knees) and Jason Richardson (left knee surgery). Sharpshooter Nick Young is also out with a left ankle sprain.
• In three games against the Celtics this season, Evan Turner is averaging 21.3 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting 62.5 percent on 3-pointers. Jrue Holiday is averaging 8.7 assists.
• Rivers said he will monitor Paul Pierce’s minutes but he has no intentions of giving the veteran a game off any time soon. Pierce has played in all 58 games this season.