I ended last night’s preview with the hope that after tonight we’d be one step closer to the sixth seed. That was one of those things that sounded nice in my head but had no basis in truth. Truth is there’s no telling if a win or a loss would be better for the Knicks’ playoff chances. Miami and Boston are tied for the second seed, so it’s pretty much up to you to pick the team you want to face and cheer accordingly.
Me, I’m a Celtics guy. I watch that team every night and I believe they can be had. They haven’t jelled since the trade, they aren’t likely to get anything out of Shaq, and Jeff Green looks like a totally different player. They started Jermaine O’Neal last night, and they’re getting minutes from Sasha Pavlovic, Carlos Arroyo and Troy Murphy. Outside of the big four there isn’t one guy, Glen Davis included, who is making a genuine contribution every night. I know we can take them.
As for tonight, Philly returns home for this game off a shellacking last night in Boston highlighted only by one of the best performances of Evan Turner’s young career (21 points, five assists). There’s more time for Turner now that Lou Williams is done for the regular season with a hamstring injury. The 76ers will start Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, and Spencer Hawes. Iguodala didn’t practice Monday to rest a sore knee but did log 33 unassertive minutes last night. Brand’s numbers have taken a nosedive in the last month, and he recently revealed to the New York Times that he’s played the last month with a fractured hand. Thad Young is your nightly Knick opponent that makes you wonder, “Does he grab this many rebounds every night?” Enjoy the game if possible, and Mike will have some recapping along at bedtime.