PLAYOFFS, GM 11: RAPID REACTS

Philadelphia 76ers 85 FinalRecap | Box Score 101 Boston Celtics
Elton Brand, PF 30 MIN | 8-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 19 PTS | -10

After scoring 17 total in the first four games of this series, the “Ol’ Skool Chevy” put up an electric performance last night that unfortunately went to waste.  EB came out aggressive and looking for his shot.  The result was a 6-7 start on FGAs. He played with energy and passion and it seemed to catch on with the rest of the team (until the 3rd Q).  He still had a ton of trouble guarding KG and that caused some issues for the Sixers.

Andre Iguodala, SF 35 MIN | 3-10 FG | 1-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | -13

Just when you thought he had become a big game player, Dre goes out and lays an egg like this one.  But the thunderous dunk he had in traffic during the 2nd Q will certainly make SC.

Spencer Hawes, C 24 MIN | 4-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 10 PTS | +4

10 & 5 is a serviceable night from Hawes, but if you watched this game closely, you know Hawes was a roller coaster on offense last night and could have had a bigger impact.  One moment he’s hitting a J, the next he’s bricking a bunny.  On one trip he puts the ball on the floor and drives to the rim for a nice lay-in.  Two possessions later he throws the ball away.  Such a frustrating game from Spence.  Of course, he also has to do a better job with KG on the defensive end if the Sixers are to win this series.

Evan Turner, SG 37 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 11 PTS | -10

Even though his shooting touch still seems to be off, a solid night from Turner.  We love that he posted up Allen on several occasions for buckets and routinely drove the ball to the rack against the C’s.  The Sixers should have gone to ET vs. Allen more in the desperate 3rd Q.  He did struggle to contain Rondo in that 3rd Q, but what Sixer didn’t struggle in that stanza?

Jrue Holiday, PG 36 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 10 PTS | -11

A great first half — 10 & 5 — including an ice water in the veins 3PM with Ray Allen all over him is overshadowed by the disappearing act ‘The Jruth” pulled in the 2nd half.  Unfortunately hot starts and weak finishes have been a trend for Jrue in this series.

Lou Williams, PG 28 MIN | 3-10 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | -9

One game after carrying this team to a W, Louis craps the bead in Boston.

Thaddeus Young, F 18 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -14

After excellent performances in Game 3 and Game 4, we thought Thad had found his game.  We were wrong. His two TOs during the game breaking stretch of the 3rd Q were simply brutal for the Sixers.

Lavoy Allen, PF 19 MIN | 6-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 12 PTS | -15

So Collins doesn’t want to disrespect Brand by starting Lavoy in his place.  Does the same hold for Hawes?  The kid has been the steadiest player on the Sixers in this series.  FYI…As soon as KG got rolling in the 2nd Q I would have put Lavoy back in the game — even with his 2 fouls.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw

1.  We don’t need six items to analyze the 7-6’s debacle in Boston last night.  The Sixers were playing very solid basketball until everything went south at the 8:00 mark of the 3rd Q.  Leading by 5 points, Dre was awarded a clear path foul by the refs — two shots and the ball.  The Sixers had a major op to go up by 9 at this point. Dre missed both FTs, the Sixers turned the ball over on the free possession and Boston was off the hook.  The following stretch of basketball was simply ugly by the Sixers.  The 7-6 turned the ball over on 4-of-their-next-5 possessions.  The C’s scored 8 points off those TOs.  They allowed Rondo to run wild as well as Bass to go off (18 pts. in Q) and before you knew it Boston had put together a 14-2 run and led 63-57.  The Celtics grabbed all the momentum in this game right there and a sleepy Garden crowd suddenly came to life like it was the 1980s.  Despite a 5-0 run by the Sixers after a smart timeout by Doug at the end of this C’s run, the Sixers never got even in this game again.

2.  While that stretch of the 3rd Q put the proverbial nail in the Sixers Game 5 coffin, there was actually a stretch in the 2nd Q that raised a host of red flags for me that the Sixers were on the edge of losing this one.  With the Sixers leading 29-24 at 10:57 mark of the 2nd Q and the Sixers playing very well, EB checked in for Lavoy and KG went wild.  Neither Thad nor EB nor Hawes could check Garnett and “The Big Ticket” scored 10 points in the Q.  But it wasn’t just KG’s break out that made me nervous.  Outside of ET’s post up of Allen, look at most of the Sixers buckets from that moment on in the Q and you’ll see a disturbing trend.  Turner with a long two; Dre hit a 3-ball; LW hit a long two; Jrue drained a wild 3-ball; EB with a 15-footer; Dre had a FB dunk.  I didn’t list all the missed FGs in that stretch, but in short, we stop taking the ball to the rim.  We committed several TOs in that stretch and gave up six 2nd chance points.  These trends continued in the 3rd Q it came back to haunt us — big time.

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