The Boston Celtics (31-27) are in the thick of a tough on-the-road schedule. Out of the last six away games, they've only won three. The road ahead won't be any easier. From here on out, every game counts.
Tonight's game against Philadelphia (23-35) will be no different from any other. The 76ers are down, but they've had their success against the Celtics. Boston has only won one of three against Philadelphia this season. Only one game was in Philadelphia, which resulted in a loss.
Boston has had three days to prepare, and it was a much-needed break. After grueling battles against Utah and Golden State, the Celtics need a win here to conquer their road game struggles. They are 10-18 on the road, while Philly is 17-15 at home.
Since the All-Star game, the Celtics have struggled to win away games against teams that aren't nearly as competitive. Aside from Denver, the Celtics have dropped games to teams that are struggling to make the playoffs.
This alone should put fear into the Celtics. The 76ers are not in a competitive position, but in this game, that won't matter. The 76ers have risen to the occasion each time these two teams have met. Boston has kept it close, but it hasn't been able to finish.
However, that was three months ago. Times are different, and the Celtics are a different team. They will finish off their season series tonight, and Boston is more than prepared.
At the time of their first meeting, Philly was 11-8.
Since then, they've lost 27 of 39. They have lost the last eight of their nine games. Philadelphia is not the team they were at the start of the season.
Boston is going to take advantage of that. Over the last four games, Boston has limited their opponents to an average of 90.8 points. Philly is averaging 86.9 points over their last 12. Points will be hard to come by for the Sixers.
Both teams are defending well. Boston has allowed an average of 95.9 points this season while the Sixers have allowed 95.7. Defensively, they are on the same level.
Boston, however, has an up offensively. Paul Pierce is averaging 25.0 points per game on 54.9 percent shooting in his last three games.
And, with Jordan Crawford on the roster, the Celtics have a guard that can give them points off the bench. With the added depth to their roster, the Celtics should have no problem with the 76ers.