Celtics @ Sixers
7:00 PM EDT
Wells Fargo Center
Boston: 94.0 points per 100 possessions (11th)
Philadelphia: 95.6 points per 100 possessions (10th)
Boston: 90.4 points allowed per 100 possessions (1st)
Philadelphia: 91.7 points allowed per 100 possessions (3rd)
Probable Sixers Starters: Jrue Holiday (PG), Evan Turner (SG), Andre Iguodala (SF), Elton Brand (PF), Spencer Hawes (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Philadunkia
All eyes on number 5.
And as well they should be. Kevin Garnett is been pretty much the single reason the Celtics have won playoff games. He’s dominating all facets of the game right now. Scoring, rebounding, defending the post, pick and roll- you name it. It seems oddly fitting that the man responsible for the Celtics success in the post season is the same man who everyone will remember for losing Game 2.
Wait, I should clarify: …is the man everyone will *misremember* for losing Game 2.
There are plenty of reasons why the Celtics lost Game 2 and chief among them was not Kevin Garnett’s moving screen. The Celtics turned the ball over 17 times and were outrebounded 47-36. It’s hard to win when either scenario occurs. The problem with the C’s is that they’ve been able to see a level of success despite their shortcomings. Shortcomings that have been year-long struggles and are unlikely to get solved within a playoff series.
The Celtics will have to continue to win despite their failings, something that can only happen if the desire is there. Game 2 started out with very little playoff intensity and the closer the score remained the bigger the complacency got. Players are obviously injured so when I say complacency, I’m not strictly monitoring how fast someone is running. I looking for players to make the correct plays. Players not turning the ball over. Players not settling for bucket trading. Players being ready to extend the game at all costs if behind.
After Game 2, I asked Doc Rivers if the C’s were prepared to foul after Ray Allen made the three with 3 seconds left. His answer was logical but not inspiring:
No, they had probably given up. But I don’t think that’s a big deal, to be honest. It’s three seconds left. With no time-outs. It was a Hail Mary, basically, by Ray and he made it. So I hope you’re not going to make that an issue tonight. There’s other issues we can make.
Sure. The Celtics were longshots at the point. No one, not even them, expected Allen to make that three. But the question becomes, why take it at all? Why not just dribble out the clock and move on?
The issue I want to make isn’t about those last three seconds. The issue I want to make is about desire. The Celtics are a better team than Philadelphia and they need to show it starting tonight.
I think they will.
Celtics 92, Sixers 83