8 a.m. ET: Absence makes the heart grow fonder and familiarity breeds contempt, so by the end of the weekend the Celtics and Sixers should be good and sick of each other.
The Celtics travel to Philadelphia on Friday for the opener of a two-game, home-and-home set with the rival Sixers. Although back-to-backs are not unusual in the NBA – this will be the sixth one of the season for the C’s — back-to-backs against the same team during the regular season are.
Every pertinent player reportedly traveled to Philadelphia despite an illness that has been working its way around the locker room. Leandro Barbosa and Chris Wilcox were the latest victims, but both appear to be active for Friday’s game. The Sixers are dealing with more serious health issues. Andrew Bynum’s ongoing knee saga is well-documented, but Jason Richardson and Nick Young have also been hit with injuries.
Join us for updates and analysis during the game, which tips off at 7 p.m. ET.