Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 7:30PM at TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Updated: January 29, 2014 (10:50am)
On Wednesday, the Sixers (14-31) and Celtics (15-32) will meet for the first time this season. If the fact that the two Atlantic Division teams have yet to meet with more than half the season in the books surprises you, it should.
This is the latest a first meeting between the rival franchises has been in their collective histories (dating back to 1949) – this excludes the lockout-shortened seasons of 1998-99 and 2011-12.
Point guard Rajon Rondo returned to action two weeks ago after being sidelined for just over 11 months while rehabbing from a torn ACL. Since then, he’s appeared in every game for the Celtics (6 appearances) except one that fell on the second day of a back-to-back. With the Celtics coming off Tuesday road loss to the New York Knicks, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters that it is unlikely Rondo will suit up to face the Sixers. If were to play, it will be his first game against Philadelphia since December 8, 2012, when he posted seven points, 11 assists, nine rebounds, and three steals in a 92-79 win at TD Garden. If he doesn't rookie Phil Pressey is expected to start in his place. In two starts this season, Pressey is averaging 10.0 points (46.7 FG%) and 7.0 assists.
For head coach Brett Brown and rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams, Wednesday’s game in Boston will be a pleasant homecoming. Brown was born in South Portland, Maine – a two-hour shot up the New England coast from Boston University, where he attended college, and Carter-Williams was born in Hamilton, a suburb just outside of Boston. The game will be Brown’s first at TD Garden as a head coach and Carter-Williams’ first game professional game in his hometown.
Since being reinserted into the Sixers’ starting lineup earlier this month, swingman James Anderson has experienced resurgence. In 10 starts during the month of January, the 24-year-old is averaging 11.0 points (51.1 FG%) and 5.3 rebounds in 29.8 minutes per game. In the 10 games prior, he had averaged 8.7 points (40.5 FG%) and 4.4 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game.
Tale of the Tape
|Category||Sixers (14-31)||Celtics (15-31)|
|PPG||Evan Turner – 18.5||Jeff Green – 16.0
|RPG||Spencer Hawes – 8.7||Jared Sullinger – 7.6|
|APG||Michael Carter-Williams – 6.7||Jordan Crawford – 5.7
|SPG||Michael Carter-Williams – 2.4||Gerald Wallace – 1.2
|BPG||Spencer Hawes – 1.3||Kris Humphries – 1.0|