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“View From the Philly Pressbox” – 76ers – Celtics, Game 7

In Philadelphia 76ers on May 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm

 

 

There is nothing like a Game 7 in any sport, in any round of the playoffs and Saturday night we will get to see the 76ers and Celtics go at it to earn the right to play the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. The national media never gave the 76ers a chance in this series, and still don’t. They’ve credited Boston more with losing the series than the 76ers winning it. If you’ve followed Philly Pressbox you know that we thought that both Chicago and Boston were good matchups for the 76ers. Our feeling before the playoffs ever started was that the 76ers were as good, if not better, than the Celtics, so going to seven games isn’t a surprise. Now they need to win Game 7!!

We have stated every night that the magic number is 86, as in points the 76ers could allow and still win the game. It has played out every time. In the three wins they have allowed 81, 83 and 75 points. In the games they’ve lost they have allowed 92, 107 and 101 points. In Game 6 the Celtics did not score more than 20 points in any quarter and were outscored 42-16 in the paint. The outstanding 76ers defense forced the Celtics to the perimeter where they shot just 3-14, 21.4% from the 3-point line and 33.3% from the field for the game. It wasn’t an off day for the Celtics; it was outstanding defense by the 76ers. The 76ers have done a great job of controlling Rajon Rondo, the key to the Boston offense. Rondo’s numbers are still good for most players, but not for him. Jrue Holiday has taken the game to Rondo and matched him throughout the series. The 76ers cannot let Rondo loose in Game 7. The 76ers have done a decent job of controlling the basketball and not turning it over. In their wins they are averaging 11 turnovers per game. They will need to keep that going in Game 7. They survived some erratic play early in Game 6 before taking control of the game. The big need of improvement in Game 7 will be foul shooting. The 76ers made only 17-28 free throws, 60.7%, while the Celtics made 20-23, 87.0%. If the 76ers hit their free throws they win Game 6 big.  

The Game 7 prediction from the Philly Pressbox

 We’re sticking with the 76ers to win this game 90-83. We’ve liked this series all along and feel the 76ers will win because they play better defense as a team and they have younger players that have played less total minutes than the older Celtic starters.

Following are our keys to the game:

  • ·        Hold the Celtics under 86 points.
  • ·        Be disciplined with the basketball. Commit less than 11 turnovers.
  • ·        Shoot 75% or better from the free throw line.
  • ·        Do not allow Rondo to get his triple-double.
  • ·        Get off to a strong start and get the Boston fans out of the game.
  • ·        Win the 3rd quarter. The team that has won the 3rd quarter has won all 6 games.
  • ·        Force the Celtics out of the paint as they did in Game 6.
  • ·        Force someone besides Kevin Garnett to beat them. Without Garnett, Rondo and Paul Pierce it gets thin for Boston.
  • ·        Doug Collins has done a nice job all season of rotating in a lot of players and spreading out the minutes. This will allow the 76ers young players to continue to pressure the older Celtics players. The Celtics bench only contributed 5 points in Game 6.

 There you have it.  LET’S GO 76ERS!!!!

 

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