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News » Celtics-76ers Preview 2009-11-02

Celtics-76ers Preview 2009-11-02

Celtics-76ers Preview 2009-11-02Rajon Rondo's emergence for the Boston Celtics has earned the point guard a five-year extension. The Philadelphia 76ers, meanwhile, are pretty happy with their new starter at that position.

Rondo and Philadelphia's Lou Williams form an intriguing matchup of talented young floor leaders Tuesday night as the Sixers try to hand the visiting Celtics their first defeat of the season.

After an impressive postseason and a strong start during which Rondo is averaging 11.8 assists per game, the 23-year-old signed an extension just before the Monday deadline after which he would have become a restricted free agent this summer.

Rondo will hope to make headlines for his on-court performance one game after gaining attention for a strange feud with star New Orleans point guard Chris Paul. The two got tangled under the basket during the second quarter Sunday, and Paul followed Rondo toward Boston's locker room after the Celtics' 97-87 victory.

Paul said after the game that Rondo is a "lucky guy" to play with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

"We have different styles based on what each team needs," Rondo said of Paul. "He has to do a lot more than what I have to do. My job is easy playing with these guys."

Still, Rondo has been one of the reasons Boston (4-0) has had few problems during the season's first week. After opening with a 95-89 victory at Cleveland, the Celtics won three home games by an average of nearly 25 points.

Pierce scored 27 while another strong defensive effort buoyed Boston against the Hornets. With Garnett back after missing the end of last season and the playoffs with knee problems, the Celtics' first four opponents have all scored 90 or fewer, shooting a combined 39.1 percent from the field.

"That's what I'm in there for," Garnett told the league's official Web site. "I'm in there trying to wreak havoc on defense and then trying to make it easy for everybody else."

The Sixers (2-1) will likely have a tougher time offensively than they did during a 141-127 overtime win at New York on Saturday night. Behind impressive efforts from Andre Iguodala (32 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists) and Williams, Philadelphia shot 60.7 percent from the field.

In his third NBA start after taking over for departed point guard Andre Miller, Williams had 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, shooting 10 of 12 from the field. He scored six of his points and grabbed four rebounds in overtime as the Sixers outscored the Knicks 19-5.

"We just continued to attack and attack," first-year coach Eddie Jordan said.

After losing in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, Philadelphia is hoping to make strides under Jordan, and a win over the Celtics would certainly help. Boston swept the Sixers in the 2008-09 season series and is 4-0 at the Wachovia Center since trading for Garnett and Allen in 2007.

The Celtics' two victories in Philadelphia last season - both without Garnett - came by a total of three points, with Pierce averaging 30.0 in those games.

Allen hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of a 100-99 win Feb. 3, while Pierce's clutch shot put Boston ahead for good with 2 minutes left in a 100-98 victory April 14.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 2, 2009


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