PLAYOFFS, GM12: RAPID REACTS

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
05/23/12 11:47 pm EST
Boston Celtics 75 FinalRecap | Box Score 82 Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, PF 34 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +11

After struggling for much of the series–and the one that preceded it–Brand was large tonight for the Sixers. With 2:09 left, after KG cottoned a jumper to silence the “DEFENSE” chants echoing through the Wells Fargo Center and breath new life into beleaguered Boston, Brand buried a j to give the 7-6 a 78-69 lead and effectively ice Game 6.

Andre Iguodala, SF 38 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-7 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +2

Iguodala’s shot was absolutely brutal on Wednesday — he missed a few free throws in a way that would get a kid cut from most middle school basketball teams — but his defense was stout, he attacked the rim, and he came through when the leverage was highest.  Up six and on the line with under a minute left he drained a pair of FTs. Shades of the last series’ Game 6.

Spencer Hawes, C 21 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +8

The final numbers aren’t overwhelming, but Spencer turned it on in the back end.  As the Sixers took and protected the lead after the half, he scored seven points on four shots.

Evan Turner, SG 38 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-5 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | +7

Entering the game shooting just 32 percent from the floor in the series, Turner had a (slightly) more efficient offensive night than we’ve come to expect and continued to do work on the glass.

Jrue Holiday, PG 39 MIN | 7-15 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 20 PTS | +5

Holiday was outstanding tonight.  He flummoxed the unflummoxable Rajon Rondo — who had absolutely owned the series first five games–and was perfect from the line on a night when the rest of the 76ers decidedly weren’t.

Lou Williams, PG 27 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | +1

With Allen Iverson in the house, the hope was that his spiritual successor would recover from a sub-par Monday with a big performance.  Well, that didn’t quite happen, but ll the same, Lou, after a miserable first half, was 4-of-8 from the floor after the half.

Thaddeus Young, F 11 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -1

Thad struggled all game, and didn’t play a minute after the half.

Jodie Meeks, G 13 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2

Jodie Meeks did about as much to help the team win as I did tonight.

Lavoy Allen, PF 19 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +4

The defense was there – the Sixers, via ESPN Stats and Information, held the Celtics to under 40 percent shooting from inside five feet — but he didn’t do much on the offensive end.  We’ll take it.

After the Jump, Six Things We Saw

1.  The Sixers were outrebounded in Game 6 48-37 — and 14-7 on the offensive glass — but outscored Boston in the paint 42-16.

2.  More from the peculiar stats department: The Celtics started the game an incredible — especially considering what happened every other time they shot the ball — 17-of-17 from the line, only to finish 3-of-6 down the stretch, while the Sixers started a miserable 5-of-14 and finished 12-of-14.

3.  When the Celtics answered the Sixers 11-0 third quarter run with a quick five courtesy of Rondo and Pierce to tie things at 46, we all feared the worst.  The Sixers, struggling — badly — to generate points had hit them with their best shot and the veteran Cs shook it off like a excitable terrier from the cuff of their jeans.  The 7-6 battled though.  They got to the line, connected, built the lead back to four by the end of the quarter, and never trailed again.

4.  Holiday was the hero defensively for his work on Rondo, but the rest of the Sixers weren’t slouches either.  Boston shot only 26-of-78 from the floor after scorching in Game 5 (Brandon Bass, who went 2-of-12 after looking like an All-Star on Monday was most emblematic of the difference in the C’s “O”)

5.  The Sixers looked, for the entirety of the regular season — and much of 10-11 too, for that matter — like a team that was constitutionally incapable of winning close games.  Not anymore.  For each insurgent offensive burst of the trailing Celtics, the Sixers countered: Ray Allen hits a 3-pointer — they hit back.  Kevin Garnett drains a deep two — Elton Brand hits a jumper to hold the lead where it is.

6.  I spent most of yesterday night watching a Rocky 3 and 4, so take this with a rather large grain of salt, but I’m saying here the Celtics will be hard pressed — even on their home court — to hang in Game 7 with a Sixers team that is really starting to believe in itself.


 
 
 

7 Responses to “PLAYOFFS, GM12: RAPID REACTS”

  1. Geoff
    24. May 2012 at 01:14

    Lou deserves a higher grade. He didn’t have an outstanding performance but he was getting to the basket all night long!! Him and Jrue getting to the basket made a big difference tonight.

  2. Brian
    24. May 2012 at 04:49

    Lavoy Allen is not a 5 but he is the next in line after Brand. I say start Brand for the rest of this series but make Allen a starter or split the minutes beginning next season (if EB is still around).

    Don’t get me wrong, I love EB’s toughness but Allen deserves his minutes.

  3. Dan
    24. May 2012 at 10:33

    ET really spent as much time guarding Rondo as Jrue did, their conbined efforts on him were tremendous. More than anything whoever Rondo is guarding has to aggressively attack the rim, Rondo was continually getting torched last night and it affected his offensive game, plus he can’t get out in transition if he is trying to recover on the guy that just blew past him.

  4. Will
    24. May 2012 at 11:39

    I wonder why Thad Young was benched in the second half? Maybe Doug got fed up with his lack of production and turned elsewhere. And I say it every time, but BIG NIK SHOULD PLAY!!!! There.

  5. AI is Awesome
    24. May 2012 at 14:34

    AI is the best. It got me pumped to see him come to the game. Too bad he probably coudn’t afford courtside seats.

  6. Sloetry
    24. May 2012 at 19:36

    An aside to the above. If Pau Gasol is on the trade market this off season, do you think the Sixers should make an offer? I think he would fit Collins design perfectly, although his age would become an issue. I think a combination of AI, Hawes, Brand, or Vuc could be offered up. Brand prob wouldn’t be of interest to the Lakers, and Hawes may go through free agency, but I bet the Lakers would love AI. The important thing is we mustn’t give up our young talent with the upside (ET, Holiday, Allen). We would then need to draft a defensive orientated 2/3 perhaps. Any thoughts?

  7. Philadunkia
    25. May 2012 at 14:47

    Sloetry,

    I want no part of Gasol. Based in what I saw this post season, his heart is not in it anymore and he makes monster money (2 yrs. @ $19mil per) . If Kobe can’t motivate the guy by tearing him up in the media, then what exactly will get Gasol going?

    The off-season for the Sixers should start this way…Amnesty Brand. Let Hawes walk. Field offers for Dre, but don’t trade him unless it’s a great deal for the Sixers. Find a big man to play center!!! Find a legit NBA shooting guard to come off the bench or start (depending on your thoughts on ET).

    — C. Smith

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