Christmas Day Showdown: 76ers vs. Celtics
The Celtics saw their eight-game winning streak snapped in Motown on Saturday night as the Pistons took advantage of a totally gassed Boston crew that had played three times in four nights. Despite their heavy workload, one of the most trusted online sportsbooks in the business Bookmaker installed the road-weary Celtics as two-point favorites. The Shamrocks were game, trailing by just one point at the half but they were running on empty and eventually Detroit put their foot on the throttle and drew away to a 113-104 victory. All streaks must end and the Pistons are a solid 10-6 at home, Blake Griffin is having a monster season, and Andre Drummond owned the glass with 20 boards on the night. Perhaps the only cause for pause regarding the Celtics’ winning streak, prior to its abrupt disruption on Saturday, was the caliber of opponent that Boston faced over that three week stretch. None of the teams Boston beat had a winning record but, in all fairness, the road to the title is not littered only with worthy adversaries. A win is a win, yet, it is unfortunately typical of Boston fans and writers to nitpick the details and turn lemonade into lemons. It’s just what we do around here because we have been spoiled by an embarrassment of riches, and championships delivered, from all four of the local franchises over the past two decades. The Celtics get a well-deserved respite before they get back into action on Wednesday night when they welcome the worst team in basketball, the Phoenix Suns, into the cozy confines of the TD Garden. If that’s not a slam dunk then this is not a championship caliber team. Thus, we will assume they will be gunning for two-straight when the Greek Freak and the Milwaukee Bucks come calling two nights later. You may recall their previous meeting earlier in the season when the Celtics knocked down a franchise high 24 three-pointers and tarnished Milwaukee’s previously unblemished record. The Bucks are currently within spitting distance of the Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the East and a win on Friday night would be a shot across the bow to the rest of the league. However, the showdown looming is the one on Christmas Day, broadcast live to a living room, and barroom, near you as the Philadelphia 76ers make their second trek to Boston after getting blown out 105-87 in their season opener. As good as Milwaukee is, and they could very well wind up better than both the Sixers and the Celtics, there is a rivalry between these two cities that Milwaukee cannot match nor even manufacture. The Bucks are from a flyover state where people are polite, say ma’am and sir, and how can I help? However, if you’re a Boston fan, Philadelphia is the enemy. Not just the sports teams but the whole miserable town. They’re hustlers who try to pull of the whole New Jersey swag thing without the street cred. Try to wear a Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, or Bruins jersey at one of their stadiums on game day. Good luck with that and make sure you’ve got the name of a good dentist handy. Philadelphia fans are miserable because they desperately want to be considered a big deal like New York but their first cousin is New Jersey so they have to act like them in order to get a nod, or maybe even a “What’s up?” from New Yorkers. That’s as good as it gets for them and don’t think for a moment, they’re looking for a Boston blessing. Oh, no, because you see we are a small city that continually kicks ass and takes names no matter how big the city we’re facing and that most definitely includes New York. That fact irks Philly and on Christmas Day they are hoping to have a little piece of their Super Bowl win all over again with the 76ers looking to avenge their earlier loss to the Green. Well, we shall see but in the meantime if you want more than just a rooting interest on the Celtics, get on over to Bookmaker where you can bet on - or God forbid - against, the Celtics or any other team for that matter whether it be NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and all the rest. If you’re a Celtics fan, a big win over the 76ers will be the last present you unwrap on Christmas day so get ready to put Philly back in check…again.