With Philly out of the way, it’s derby time at Ford Center

By John Rohde Modified: December 3, 2009 at 4:42 am •  Published: December 3, 2009

/> Presumably, he’ll start out on future Hall of Famer Pierce, but also figures to spend some time on future Hall of Famer Allen. Sefolosha might as well guard the ghosts of Bird, Jo Jo White, John Havlicek and Sam Jones while he’s out there. It’s tough to ignore the Celtic mystique.

"It’s going to be a tough game, but it’s going to be a fun game having a challenge like that,” Sefolosha said. "We’re playing pretty well, so it’ll be a good chance to see where we stand against those guys.”

Brooks was kind enough to share what his team’s focus will be from now until tipoff.

"We definitely just have to compete,” Brooks said. "They will defend as well as anybody. That’s how they win games.” A simple plan that’s not so simple to execute.

The Thunder could be catching Boston at a vulnerable moment. Friday will be the final stop in the Celtics’ four-game road trip that took them to Miami on Sunday, Charlotte on Tuesday and San Antonio tonight.

Then again, are teams as good as Boston ever really vulnerable?

"They’re good,” Brooks repeated. "They’re good from their (top) guy to their last guy ... They do a great job of just playing basketball ... It’s always good stuff ... They’re such smart players.”

If you have to face the Celtics, it’s got to help somewhat getting to face them the night after they played at San Antonio.

Brooks smiled and said it would help if tonight’s Celtics-Spurs game goes into triple-overtime.

Post time Friday is 7:05 p.m.

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.