at Philadelphia 76ers (7-5, 3-3) at Boston Celtics (7-5,3-3)
Saturday, May 26, 2012
8:00 PM ET
Playoff Game #7, Home Game #4
TV: ABC, TSN2
Radio: WEEI, 97.5 The Fanatic, ABC Radio, ESPN Radio
TD GardenProbable Starters PG:
Rajon Rondo 15.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 12.5 APG, + 24.45 EFF *SG:
Ray Allen 9.8 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, +9.10 EFF C:
Kevin Garnett 19.3 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, +24.08 EFF SF:
Paul Pierce 19.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, + 20.58 EFF PF:
Brandon Bass 11.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 0.4 APG, +11.75 EFF
* Playoff Statistics Coach:
Doc RiversCeltics Reserves
Mickael Pietrus Injured
Paul Pierce (knee) probable
Mickael Pietrus (hamstring) probable
Avery Bradley (shoulder) out
Ray Allen (ankle) probable
Greg Stiemsma (feet) probable Probable Starters PG:
Jrue Holiday 15.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 4.8 APG, +17.42 EFF SG:
Evan Turner 11.6 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, +11.83 EFF C:
Spencer Hawes 9.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, +12.75 EFF SF:
Andre Iguodala 12.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, +13.83 EFF PF:
Elton Brand 8.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, +10.50 EFFSixers Reserves
Craig Brackens Injuries
None Key Matchups
Paul Pierce vs Andre Iguodala
Both of these players have been up and down in the series. Pierce has had some big games but mostly has struggled due to his knee injury. He needs to reach deep down and pull out a big game for the Celtics on both ends of the court.
Rajon Rondo vs Jrue Holiday
As has been the case so many times, as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. He is coming off a poor showing in game 6 and the big question is will we get good Rondo or bad Rondo for this game. It is on the big stage, being televised on ABC, and that seems to bring out the best in the Celtics mercurial point guard. They could sure use the aggressive "Triple Double Rondo" in this one.
Honorable Mention [/b]
Kevin Garnett vs Spencer Hawes/Lavoy Allen
Many pointed to KG's failure to go inside or even attempt one shot in the paint in game 6 as a reason that the Celtics lost. He has been able to score easily against Hawes for the most part, but has struggled against Allen. The Celtics need KG to be aggressive and especially to play more inside.
Key Off the Bench
Mickael Pietrus needs to give the Celtics a boost off the bench. They need him to hit his shots as well as to play some good defense. With Bradley out, and Ray limited, both Pietrus and Dooling will need to give the team quality minutes.
Lou Williams gives the Sixers a boost off the bench scoring over 11 points per game. He has hit some big shots against the Celtics and they need to keep him from getting hot in this game. Keys to the Game Defense
- As always, defense is key to winning. Period. The Celtics must play tough in your face defense from start to finish. They can't let themselves get caught up in a shoot out (especially since their shots haven't seemed to fall) and must concentrate on getting stops. The offense feeds off the defense and so tough defense is absolutely the key to a win in this game. Rebound
- The Sixers are a good rebounding team. The Celtics have been considered a weak rebounding team, but when they really try, they can out rebound their opponents. Much of rebounding is effort and the Celtics have got to continue to crash the boards as a team since the team that wins the rebounding battle will more than likely win the war. Focus and Take Care of the Ball
- When the Celtics aren't focused, they tend to turn the ball over way too much. The Celtics tend to lapse into sloppy ball at times and turn the ball over too many times. Against a team like the Sixers, turnovers are sure points for them. The Celtics turned the ball over 16 times in game 6 and the Celtics have to cut that way down. Before the series started, Doc singled out limiting turnovers as the most important thing they have to do. And now we are at game 7 and it is still key to winning the series. Bench Play
- The Celtics need to get quality minutes from their bench. The Celtics bench was outscored 16-5 in game 6 and the Celtics must get more than that from their bench. With Avery out and Ray limited, Pietrus and Dooling must find a way to contribute on both offense and defense. Stiemsma has to overcome the pain in his feet and try to give the Celtics quality minutes to give KG a break. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics must come out as the more aggressive team from the start. They must be more aggressive chasing loose balls, going after rebounds, playing defense, and most of all driving into the paint and getting to the rim. They can't settle for jumpers. They were too passive in game 6 and have to be the more aggressive team in game 7 if they want to get the win. Ubuntu
- The Celtics must play together as a team. They have to move the ball and run their plays and trust each other on offense and they have to play team defense. At times they have lapsed into too much individual play and have gotten away from team play. They must play for each other and as a team in order to get this win. Game Notes
The Celtics have blown several chances to close this series out and rest up for the next round and so here we are at another game 7. The Heat, on the other hand, are the team sitting back and getting rest while the Celtics duke it out tor the privilege to play again on Monday in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics were dealt a big blow when they lost Avery Bradley for the rest of the post season. Other players must step up to help fill the void he leaves, especially on defense. The Celtics especially need both Keyon Dooling and Mickael Pietrus to step up and give the Celtics some quality minutes.
This Celtics team is well acquainted with game 7's, the Sixers, not so much. Having game 7 at home is one bonus for the Celtics. The crowd will be loud and behind them. Hopefully it will give them a lift. But home court in itself isn't a guarantee of a win. The Celtics have already lost at home to the Sixers once in this series. They can't just depend on being at home, they have to be the team that plays harder and smarter. X-Factors
Focus, Effort, Officiating
The Celtics have to come out focused and keep their focus throughout the game. Along with focus, they have to put out a strong effort from start to finish. They can't afford lapses against this team. As much as we don't like it, officiating can change the outcome of a game. We can only hope for fair and even officiating to give the teams a chance to decide the game.