PHILADELPHIA – The preseason is all about shaking off the rust and getting ready for games that matter. To some degree, it’s also about adjusting the players’ bodies to a grueling schedule.

The Celtics will take another step forward in both of those categories when they take on the 76ers at 7 p.m. tonight in Philadelphia. Tonight’s contest will stand as Boston’s second in as many nights and should feature the same starting lineup we saw Wednesday night in Portland, Maine.

Brad Stevens used his third starting lineup of the preseason last night when the C’s took on the Raptors in Portland. Evan Turner slid over to the point guard position to allow Jeff Green to make his return from a strained left calf. In his first action of the preseason, Green finished with nine points and five rebounds while logging more than 31 minutes of action.

“As far as into the rhythm of the offense, it was his first game,” Stevens said of Green, who shot 3-of-12 from the field. “So we need to get him back and I’m glad he gets a couple of exhibition games to get back.”

Including tonight’s contest, Green and the rest of the Celtics have just three more exhibition games to prepare for Opening Night. With that in mind, Stevens is beginning to stretch his players’ minutes.

Three of Boston’s starters logged more than 30 minutes of playing time last night. A fourth, Evan Turner, would have reached the mark as well had he not been ejected from the contest late in the third quarter. To put that into perspective, there had only been three previous instances in the entire preseason in which even a single Celtic played more than 30 minutes.

We may see a similar workload tonight for the top Celtics, as this is their last opportunity …read more