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Philly, Blunted: C’s 107, Sixers 91

Philadelphia 76ers 91 Final

Recap | Box Score

107 Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce, SF 37 MIN | 6-17 FG | 11-14 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 24 PTS | +13
Pierce proved that you can miss 11 of 17 shots and still have a great game. He set up base camp around the rim tonight: only five of his shots came from anywhere else. Instead of points, Pierce asked to be compensated in 1) rebounds and 2) free throws, and the Sixers agreed to the terms of that deal. Not certain why he had to be in the game airballing threes with a 27-point lead and six minutes to go, but Doc decided it was important.
Brandon Bass, PF 27 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +21
Big game for Bass, who proved he can still achieve the minimum expected of him: five boards, ten points, and a shooting efficiency that reflects his almost constant openness. He got to that minimum in only 27 minutes. If he gets there or beyond for the rest of the playoffs, this team is deadlywinks.
Kevin Garnett, PF 30 MIN | 12-17 FG | 3-5 FT | 13 REB | 4 AST | 27 PTS | +27
He was the only Celtic who had his shot going in the early minutes. He forced Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes to basically give up on basketball. HE OUTREBOUNDED BRAND, HAWES, AND ANDRE IGUODALA COMBINED. This all happened in 30 minutes. I’m terrified of my love for KG at this point. I’m 90% of the way to becoming Swimfan.
Rajon Rondo, PG 41 MIN | 9-16 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 14 AST | 23 PTS | +15
Rondo went Cold Stone over and over tonight with that scoop off the glass. I’d trade this game for any of his triple-doubles: efficient scoring on a high volume of shots has escaped Rondo this series, but tonight he had that going along with full offensive orchestration. He DID say they’d be fine, you guys.
Avery Bradley, SG 20 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +10
Doc went easy on Avery’s shoulder tonight, at least until he pats him on the back at Friday’s shootaround and knocks it clean off his body. Avery had zero points, but he folded up Evan Turner and put him in his wallet.
Ray Allen, SG 25 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +11
Barely noticed him out there, which was a luxury Boston could afford. He had as big a role in the offense as E’Twaun Moore, but in 22 more minutes. Guess he’s a defensive specialist now. The free throw situation is becoming a puzzling concern.
Ryan Hollins, C 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -15
Shaq called him “Donnell” Hollins in the postgame show. Keep your head up, pal.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +8
Imagine Pietrus instead of Zooey Deschanel in that iPhone commercial, reacting to his own shooting:
Pietrus: “Is that rain?”
Siri: “Yes, Mickael. It appears to be raining threes.”
Pietrus: “Let’s get bouillabaisse delivered.”

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Sixers bit the proverbial curb in this one. Basically it’s that “hit in the mouth” analogy KG is always using, but much grosser and more violent. And just when Evan Turner probably felt like he’d blossomed into a star, the Celtics probably set his development back to Ohio State.
  2. KG won’t bow. Doesn’t know how.
  3. A newborn transition game. It starts with the defense: missed shots lead to fast breaks, and the Celtics forced a lot of missed shots. But on every one, Rondo started hurtling up the floor, and his frontcourt found him on the entry pass. Ryan’s been saying all year that the Celtics should run more often. Cool that Rondo’s finally listening to him.
  4. Home court advantage regained. A lot of pundits expected this series to be tight, but after dropping one in the Garden, Boston needed to pick up a win at Wells Fargo to avoid a comeback scenario. They somehow got even more.
  • JR99

    Yeah, but Zooey's way cuter than Mickael. Plus MP can't even spell his first name right. But I'll grant you that Pietrus hitting 3s is a lot cuter than Zooey ever was or ever will be.

  • High Rollers

    Swimfan? Hayes is getting close to the danger zone.

  • hdavenport

    Just glad somebody remembers that movie.

  • Robert

    I think it's more like, the other guys are finally running WITH Rondo when he's rocketing up the court. I'm pretty sure Rondo would run on about 90% of misses if the rest of the team could keep up. The chaotic nature of transition minimizes the need for his iffy jumper and maximizes his speed, craftiness around the rim, and unparalleled court vision.

    As currently constructed, the only Celtic who can consistently keep up with him at full speed is Bradley.

  • Greg Allan

    There's a finals meeting made in heaven.

    Duncan and Garnett. Jurassic Park meets the NBA finals.

    Would that it could.

  • Tich

    Where's the 5th?

  • henry

    looving the title of the post haha. HUGE momentum shift in the series. this wasn't just a win.
    also, not to state the obvious, but kg is on another level right now. like, a level he hasn't been on since 08.

  • Josh

    Hahaha I gotta say I wish Hayes did every grade post. Love the breakdown and the swimfan reference about KG is pretty much spot on with me as well. I have a problem, and KGs only making it worse.

  • Josh

    I just told a buddy that tonight! I want KG vs Duncan sooooo bad. I've always been of the belief that KG is better, Duncan just started in a better system. This Finals would solve the debate.

  • IBleedGreen

    I love you KG!!

  • Phil

    KG will get the majority of the attention, and its well deserved, but this might've been Rondo's best game of the playoffs. Four more rebounds in garbage time wouldn't make his performance any more impressive, just more attractive to casual fans. I thought he controlled the game early before KG put it to bed. Hopefully something clicked and he realized that Jrue Holliday can't guard him, because him driving is what really broke Philly down.

    Overall it was just a great game. Lets hope they can match that intensity in game four, otherwise its all for naught as far as ending the series quickly goes.

  • lyla

    funny and precise comments, especially the one on Pietrus. Thrilled by how amazing KG was in this game.

  • ElRoz

    Glad Hollins is getting minutes – he has energy and enthusiasm. I don't get how he can play and play and get 1 rebound – or none – in 12-16 minutes? I guess he is still useful as a body, defender, and banger.

    We are now somewhat impressed with Bass for 5-10 fg, 10 points and 5 rebs in 27 minutes…..ok, I guess we are thinking that it could be worse. There was a nice block by Bass in the game.

  • KG has been playing great and hopefully he'll be able to keep it up.

    The team as a whole has been playing together on both ends. Heck, they're even running together. Seeing that is huge and having the team play together as one unit on both ends of the floor will continue to lead to go things out of this team. What some of the individuals may lack per game, due to age, or what have you, they are making up by playing as one.

    One thing that stood out to me is how well Boston has been able to knock down mid-range jumpers (basketball's toughest shot), especially KG. They have also been doing a great job at forcing opponents to take them.

    Interesting stat: Celtics scored 1.23 points per possession in Game 3 and only turned the ball over on 8% of their plays.

  • lucidsportsfan

    C's went on a 50-21 run in the 2nd/3rd. They can still bring it when they need to. http://www.lucidsportsfan.com/2012_05_13_archive….

  • Hype

    I… I'm starting to really like Ryan Hollins lol. He was like, a wannabe player that people made fun of in Cleveland but with the Celtics he's been at least twice as good (and that's not saying much). Now imagine if he spent an offseason with us and KG taught him how to rebound… he could become a pretty useful player!

    • The Cardinal

      Agreed. I made a similar point when some people were bemoaning his being signed by the C's. The C's needed a backup big who was big, mobile who could run the floor and is active on defense, and Hollins fit the bill. He can actually cover power forwards too. Some were so focused on his deficiencies that they refused to see how a coachable and eager young man could fit into Doc's system.

      I'm sure they will keep him around and try to develop him through summer league and a personal "bigs" coach. He has more of an upside than Perk ever had but if it doesn't work out, he simply becomes the 15th man on the roster. Both he and Sean Williams are good potential investments in that (hopefully) the C's won't be tempted to overpay for some older, "experienced" free agent center who may be more skilled scoring, but who would be lost in Doc's defensive schemes (see Kristic, N.).

  • skeeds

    So this game proved that when we "bring it", there's not many teams that can stop us. Which is something we knew all along.
    I'm not going to be overly optimistic about it though. The thing is, there's a reason we're not "bringing" EVERY night. This is what old age, fatigue, injuries and being undermanned causes. You cannot avoid the "off" games, like game 2.
    There definitely is a pattern here. We can follow a loss with a blowout, but we can't cap a great game with another great game. So we'll have to live with that…
    Let's just hope the younger, and relatively healthier guys, Rondo, Bass, MP, Hollins, can finally push us to some wins the nights PP and KG simply can't do it.

  • Kafel

    Great game and great win! I'm glad I didn't go to sleep last night and saw Celtics stepping up and playing their game. Looks like they needed game 2 hangover.
    Hope that this fire will burn for next few games.
    In game 3 Celtics had only 7! turnovers and if They can keep it low Sixers can start packing.

  • felix

    whenever i hear those primal screams i know we gonna be fine. like, really fine. like, tonight.

  • IBleedGreen

    Rondo needs to play like this every game. Don't worry about assists, just attack. When you attack, guys are going to be open anyways. It really annoys me when he has an layups but chooses to pass the ball to get an assist instead. Those are selfish assists, not team ball.

  • CG12

    Rondo was huge keeping the Cs in it early in the game. He was really pushing the attack, and I think that that mojo carried over for the rest of the game. The Cs are sooo much better when they push with some pace on offense. Not necessarily running headlong trying to get fast break baskets (although that can be good), but just moving the ball up the floor quickly and looking to get into their offense right away. A lot of opportunities are generated by getting the ball moving in the half-court before the defense has enough time to get completely set.

  • Rondo

    Rondo's stat line says 0 FT's? I sure remember I saw some last night

    • The Cardinal

      You're right. I think he went 4 for 4, PTL!

  • Tha_Curtlandish

    Is deadlywinks good?

  • CelticsBIG3

    Doug Collins last night threw his team under the bus in his post game speech; stating that the Celtics see Chris Bosh out and see getting to Miami as a tremendous opportunity for them. Sounded more like the kind of speech you would make after losing in 5 games, not losing a game three.

    • Josh

      No, he was commenting about how HIS OWN SQUAD was looking ahead at the Pacer-Heat series and how they got seduced and may have looked past the C's.

      • Josh

        At least thats the impression I got.

  • tbunny

    After the two Pierce dunks I knew they looked real good. It was like everyone on the floor was looking at Pierce and saying "Can he dunk?" and Pierce went up and said YES I CAN.

  • Switcharoo

    Just watch the post game Interview with Doug Collins and he is defiantly talking about the C’s thinking ahead to Miami, so yea he threw his team under the bus for sure.

  • skeeds

    OK, with KG playing like this, (knock on wood), and Bosh out, the Heat should be really, really scared. He is a nightmare of a matchup anyway, but put anyone but an elite player against him, who can both defend him AND tire him in the post, and he can't be stopped.
    Then again, the thought of a hobbled PP trying to stop Lebron is equally scary, but I chose to be optimistic. KG for Finals MVP. That's about the only award he hasn't got yet, right? Let's go, then!!!
    And maybe next year he can get 6th man and win the dunk contest. Then he'll have it all.

  • High Rollers

    @Skeeds… I wouldn’t put it past Ticket to mess around and get himself that FMVP. But there are six W’s and two teams to knock down first. And the biggest number of all is 10. Can we get there? Can we expose the vulnerabilities of an OKC or even the invincible looking Pop group? Can we return to being LeBron’s nightmare? Can we put some room between us and the upstarts (Philly and perhaps Indy)? Everybody knows the two word answer to all of these questions. Anything’s possible.

    • skeeds

      Keep your cool man! I know, these things keep me wondering too. But you know what? 2 months ago we were at most a 2nd round out team. 4 months ago I had doubts we'd make the playoffs.
      None of this makes sense. Ray, Bradley, Pierce shouldn't be able to play this good, this hurt! We have no center. Rondo was supposed to be a limited PG with big gaps in his game. KG was supposed to be old and tired.

      But to quote Rondo. Look at them! They're killing themselves, playing (even if only sometimes) tough, gritty, Celtics basketball! So let's stay cool. If Miami kicks us out, it was an inspiring run for us. If we lose to the Thunder in the FInals, I'm ok with it. They deserve it, this bunch of 20y/o kids playing this great. If we fall to Pop's Spurs, well, frankly there's no better team to lose to.
      For me, this, up to now, has already been a rightful epilogue to the big 3 era. Going down fighting. Every win is an added bonus.

  • Tom

    I dont think the sixers are ready for this yet, they dont have enough talent and are outmatrched! i worte all about this right here http://nbagamblerscorner.com/2012/05/are-the-lake