|Elton Brand, PF 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -7
For all but an 8 minute stretch of the 3rd Q, the “Ol’ Skool Chevy” was simply terrible. EB was clearly scared to challenge KG on the offensive end and on defense, #42 had no answers either. There is some talk of a shoulder injury and the C’s present some match-up issues for Brand, but we’re not sure those items can fully explain his disappearing act in Games 1 & 2. Still, for one glorious stretch in the 3rd Q Brand simply carried this team when they needed someone to step up in th worst way. EB led the way with 7 points in the Q, including scoring 4 straight points for the Sixers.
|Andre Iguodala, SF 37 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-7 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 13 PTS | +8
A solid all around night for Dre, including a reverse lay-in over KG for an And 1 that is all over SC’s Top 10 plays. His defense on Pierce was absolutely suffocating (2-9 on FGAs). However his FT shooting remains a major issue and his missess from the charity stripe last night almost cost us this game.
|Spencer Hawes, C 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | -12On the offensive end, I’ll take 8 & 10 out of Hawes every night, but his defense on KG is brutal. He simply can not guard #5 on Boston, so why Collins keeps sending out there is beyond me. Every time he comes out on KG, Boston quickly sets up a pick-n-pop for Garnett and it’s an automatic bucket as Hawes can not close out on the jump shot. By my count the “Hawes Hand off” was only run twice last night which is good news for the Sixers.|
|Evan Turner, SG 28 MIN | 4-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | -15
I had a very tough time picking a grade for ET as he was a roller coaster in this one. For most of the game I thought Turner was terrible on offense. He took several ill-advised shots including a 3PA on which his feet were not set, had 5 TOs and in general seemed to be out of sync for three Q’s. However he was simply huge in the 4th Q. Obviously he scored two big baskets down the stretch, including a carzy lay-in with 40 ticks remaining, but I thought the key play from ET came with 5 mins. remaining and the score 65-63 Sixers. On a defensive switch, ET got caught on Garnett, so of course KG tried to back him down. Turner did a nice job of holding his ground and when KG spun for the fade-away jumper, ET striped the ball from him. Well done kid!
|Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 7-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -7
Another hot start by Holiday as he hit two 3PAs and scored 8 points in the 1st Q. He followed that up with four more points in the 2nd Q. Then he disappeared for a time during that hard-to-watch 3rd Q. But he came out like a man possessed in the 4th. “The Jruth” had two dribble-drives (1 for a bucket; 1 that led to a follow tip by Hawes) to open the 4th that were simply beautiful. Then his 3-ball with just under 2 mins. remaining brought us out of our seats. His defense was solid through out Game 2.
|Lou Williams, PG 39 MIN | 3-13 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +17
LW’s struggles continue and last night it was enough to make you throw the remote. He continues to force ill-advised long jumpers or fade-aways or off-balanced runners. The shot he had blocked by Pierce in the 4th had me cursing up a storm. When he was forced to guard Rondo in the 3rd Q, you could actually see Rondo smiling. Louis — watch some game tape and get a clue.
|Thaddeus Young, F 13 MIN | 0-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +1
When he was inserted into the game in the 1st Q, Thad came out aggressive and went on the attack. Unfortunately his shot was not falling, but he did nail all of his FTA’s. Collins limited his minutes because of “match-up” problems on the perimeter, but Collins must find a way to keep Thad in the game because the Sixers need to get this key member of the “Night Shift” going if they want to win this series.
|Jodie Meeks, G 6 MIN | 1-2 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -1
A not so bad effort from Capt. Streaky, but watching him chase (more like trail) Ray Allen all over the court was uncomfortable.
|Lavoy Allen, PF 30 MIN | 4-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +21
The rookie has been huge in games 1 & 2. Last night, he held KG in check, rebounded the ball, blocked some shots, hit a few buckets and for good measure tossed in a miracle bank shot with 4 mins left in the 4th Q and the shot clock running out.
After the Jump, Six Things We Saw
1. This game may have set basketball back 30 years. The 76ers got things off to a brutal start, making only 3 of their first 12 FGAs and going 8-23 overall in the 1st Q. They also had a host of TOs. But the C’s only led by 4 after one quarter. Not to be out done, in the 3rd Q Boston put up one of the worst Q’s in the history of hoops. The C’s scored 11 points on 2-16 shooting (23%) and had 7 TOs. Despite a 13-2 run during that stretch, the Sixers only led by 8 after the 3rd Q.
2. The stretch to close the 2nd Q was horribly executed by the Sixers. First, Collins had Dre and Turner on the bench. In their place on the court were Louis and Meeks. Of course with the clock winding down Collins called for a Louis isolation at the top of the key. Louis promptly dribbled the air out of the ball while making no progress towards the cup. He then dished the ball to Meeks at the last second who was forced to chuck up a deep 3-ball with the shot clock expiring and a hand in his face. The C’s went down the other end, set up Paul Pierce and “The Truth” drained a 3-ball to give Boston a 38-36 lead. Piss poor execution by the 7-6 at the end of the half / game — what a shock.
3. If the Sixers could have gotten anything going in the 2nd Q and early 3rd, they could have breezed through this game. The Celtics scored 13 points in the 2nd Q and again only 11 in the 3rd Q and the Sixers made little headway. Boston was not good for two straight Q’s. What didn’t help the Sixers gain any momentum towards a big W was LW’s 2-8 shooting in the 2nd (0-3 on 3PAs) and 4 straight TOs by Collins’ troops to start the 3rd Q. The sloppy play in the 3rd led to no points in the first 3 minutes of the 2nd half by Philadunkia’s home team.
4. Was it me or do the refs have a horrible night last night (both ways)? I thought they missed or got wrong several offensive foul calls during the game. Specifically Allen absolutely pushed Jrue off (and to the floor) on that one jumper in the 4th and ET clearly walked on his first driving basket in the 4th Q. However I thought the call on KG at the end of the game was the correct one. There’s no doubt that was an illegal screen.
5. The “young” Sixers showed great poise in this game. They fell behind 9-0 in the 1st Q and didn’t panic. Instead they buckled down and clawed their way back into the game to trail by only four after one quarter. They eventually grabbed the lead with 8 mins. left in the 2nd Q. After squandering a 6 point lead in the 4th Q, the Sixers again responded with nerves of steel. They played tough D down the stretch, hit some key buckets and drilled 6-6 from the FT line.
6. So we won a game in Boston and lost the other by a single point despite getting nothing from Thad, horrible shooting from Louis and 8 total minutes of solid play from Brand. I’d say I am feeling pretty good about our chances in this series right now.