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Welcome to Manchester

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  October 6, 2010 05:46 PM

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The first look at a rededicated Celtics squad comes tonight at Manchester's Verizon Wireless Center against the Philadelphia 76ers, who've done some retooling themselves over the offseason, bringing in Doug Collins as head coach and drafting Evan Turner with the No. 2 pick. With new faces surrounding the solid core, there are more than a handful of intriguing elements to tonight's game.

A few things to watch:

Kevin Garnett: Doc Rivers gushed during training camp about Garnett's explosiveness, emphasizing that if he was playing that way during the season a year ago they would have been more of a force. He hasn't said it, but Garnett undoubtedly has a list of players that had his number last season. The Sixers' Marrese Speights is likely on the list after having his way with Garnett last season.

Shaquille O'NealEnjoy your first look at the Big Shamrock, who will start by default tonight. Newly signed center Jermaine O'Neal tweaked his hamstring last Friday during training camp and will miss the first two preseason games. The Shaqtus will be in the frontcourt with Garnett. The forecast calls for lots of pick-and-rolls.

Delonte West:He's been the hardest worker in camp -- and has the back spasms to prove it. Captain Paul Pierce called him one of the top three players last week. He understands more than anything that this is his second chance, so he has something to prove.

Von Wafer:Slim pickings for practice time has made it frustrating for Wafer, but Rivers said he should see some time with the starters tonight. He's fighting for a spot with Mario West, and feels the pressure.

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