76ers Notes

For the only time this NBA season, the 76ers played on TNT.

On Thursday night against the Boston Celtics, the Sixers were in the national spotlight, playing the best team in the Eastern Conference.

For Sixers coach Doug Collins, it was a situation he hoped his young team would learn from and embrace.

Asked about the opportunity presented the team, second-year point guard Jrue Holiday said he hadn't even noticed.

"I don't even know," Holiday said about the national audience. "I know Comcast broadcasts, but we're just coming in here trying to play, trying to work hard."

Collins, a former TNT employee, had a different perspective.

"I'm hoping our guys are going to take this as a great chance to see how exciting it is to be on TNT, and obviously I'm selling TNT here a little bit," Collins joked. "A team like Boston, they're on twice, three times every week. So it's old hat for them."

No Shaq

The Celtics deactivated star center Shaquille O'Neal, who was dealing with a sore right calf. Before the game, Boston coach Doc Rivers admitted that the team is monitoring O'Neal's minutes.

"We want him to play as many minutes as he can . . . but at the end of the day we need him healthy," Rivers said of his 38-year-old center. "We're not going to do anything that could take him out for the long haul."

Watching Allen

Sixers shooting guard Jodie Meeks, who entered the game shooting 47.2 percent from the three-point line this season, said that he modeled his game after Boston's Ray Allen while growing up.

"Always moving, constantly coming off of screens with a quick trigger like that," Meeks explained.

- Kate Fagan