Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
This matchup also serves as a big chance for Holiday to step up both offensively and defensively. Rajon Rondo, who has extended his assist streak to 34 games, has become virtually unstoppable in that aspect of the game. Just imagine if his streak ended against the Sixers with Holiday playing shutdown defense.
OK, perhaps I'm an idealist, but it is an interesting thought. Plus it shows the potential value this series has as a whole. Any outcome can be seen as a big deal.
Although Holiday recorded 21 points and 14 assists in their win against Boston this season, Rondo managed to record 20 assists.
Sixers fans are still bitter after losing to Boston in a seven-game series. Their playoff run was stopped by their historically largest rival. Not only that, but a quiet player rivalry was formed between Lavoy Allen and Kevin Garnett.
Obviously the offense will not be focused on Allen, but his defensive presence against Garnett has a significant impact on the game. Averaging over 15 points and seven rebounds per game, he and Rondo have been carrying the Celtics thus far. That means that if Allen's offensive groove is disrupted, you know he will have a Garnett freak-out.
Tension between these two teams is generally always high. The extra reasons only point to even more of a rivalry.