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Game 5: Sixers (2-2) @ Celtics (2-2) Open Thread

Game 5
Sixers @ Celtics
7:00 PM EST
TD Garden

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 95.4 points per 100 possessions (11th)
Philadelphia: 96.6 points per 100 possessions (10th)

Defensive Efficiency:
 90.6 points allowed per 100 possessions (1st)
Philadelphia: 92.8 points allowed per 100 possessions (4th)

Probable Sixers Starters: Jrue Holiday (PG), Evan Turner (SG), Andre Iguodala (SF), Elton Brand (PF), Spencer Hawes (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: Philadunkia

Thumbnail: Avery Bradley is out of the lineup with two sore shoulders, meaning Ray Allen gets his first start of the postseason. Don’t take Bradley’s absence as as a sign Doc will reach further into the bench though, as Doc indicated those extra minutes would be split between Keyon Dooling and Mickael Pietrus

For Game 5, I joined Chris Forsberg over at ESPNBoston to break down what to expect tonight. Here’s a sampling of what we covered in our game of 2-on-2. You can check out the full post at ESPNBoston

2. What else will you be focused on in Game 5?

Robb: The lineup choices. Rivers and his staff had their first major hiccup of the postseason by riding their small lineup into the group against a larger Philadelphia front line featuring Lavoy Allen and Thaddeus Young in the fourth quarter of Game 4. The fact Rivers admitted as much in practice on Sunday has to be encouraging, but now that the Sixers have seemingly found the best counter to Boston’s smaller lineup in the Allen/Young duo, the question now is what adjustment will Rivers make with his troops. Does Brandon Bass start to see the floor in the fourth quarter now? And if so, who sits in crunch time for Boston, Avery Bradley or Ray Allen? There will be lots of decisions to be made with no easy answers, as the stakes increase for Game 5.

Forsberg: It really is an intriguing little chess match developing between Doug Collins and Rivers in regards to small lineups. For the first three games of the series, the Celtics went small to counter when the 76ers did the same, often operating with four guards (some combination of Rajon Rondo, Bradley, Paul Pierce, Allen, and Mickael Pietrus) along with one big (Kevin Garnett or Ryan Hollins). With the 76ers utilizing Young at the 4, the Celtics would pull Bass off the floor and hope that a smaller guard could neutralize Young’s versatility. Over the first three games, that strategy worked. But it crumbled in Game 4, the 76ers making their runs against Boston’s small unit and exploits the lack of size in the paint (particularly with the combination of Young and Allen). Will the Celtics flirt with staying big when the 76ers go small on Monday? Was Game 4 the outlier? Rivers admits it’s going to be a decision made on the fly and it will likely determine how Game 5 — and maybe this entire series — plays out.

  • Kafel

    I' m afraid that without Bradley it could be too much for Celtics, especially if Allen keeps cold…
    But I hope that our vets will show heart of a champion. GO CELTICS!

  • WTF

    Huh, we brought this upon ourselves giving Philly unnecessary boost of confidence in Game 4. Now it's a dog fight. The problem is if we have enough, especially in last three minutes of the game to survive.

  • someguyinsac

    Haven't been able to pay full attention to the game yet, but it seems that Philly is getting way too many 2nd and 3rd opportunities to score.

    Nice to see Stiemsma before Hollins too.

  • I_Love_Green

    This is maddening. We're better than this team but we aren't playing like it at all. Also giving up wayyyy too many offensive rebounds.

    Come on guys!

    • High Rollers

      Patience, Grasshopper! Somebody done flipped the switch.

  • WTF

    Why is Rondo always one step behind the player he's guarding?

  • WTF

    offensively Bass and Rondo two men game saves the day.

    • High Rollers

      Yup. Just about every other play was Rondo to Bass.

      • High Rollers

        And Ray really created tonight off the ball. The man came through.

  • WTF

    never let the foot off the gas pedal, keep pushing!

  • someguyinsac

    Hey, where did this Bass guy come from and why hasn't that teams GM been fired for trading him yet? =)

    • Anthony

      Is this sarcasm for Otis Smith getting fired? Lol.

      Hope this game will boost Bass' confidence for the rest of the post season.

      • someguyinsac

        Just a little. 😉

  • I_Love_Green

    See!!! We ARE better than them!! We just have to put the effort into it.

    • High Rollers

      That was Basstastic.

  • skeeds

    If Bass has a quarter like tonight's 3rd every 2 games, we win a championship. He was BALLIN tonight, and there was nothing at all the Sixers could do about it.

    Let's end this in Philly now, so the old folks can have an extra day of!!!

    • jman

      If they do what they did in the 2nd half tonight wednesday then the game is theirs. 1st half was same ole bullshit Rondo walking up the court instead of pushing. 2nd half they ran it, rebounded, and went to the basket. Nice job hopefully they remember that for the whole game on Wednesday

  • Josh

    Bass proved tonight why the Spurs are so good. They have a team that is deep and at any one time some random guy can blow up for 20+. Tonight Bass's performance was HUGE and severely needed. If he can be a little more consistent, we go far.