PLAYOFFS, GM 13: RAPID REACTS

Philadelphia 76ers 75 FinalRecap | Box Score 85 Boston Celtics
Elton Brand, PF 34 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -8

Brand did about as much as you could reasonably expect from him in this stage of career. While Garnett, his charge for most of the evening, scored 18 points, it took him 17 shots to get them.

Andre Iguodala, SF 44 MIN | 5-11 FG | 5-8 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -6

Iguodala was great. His defense was typical–which is to say excellent–he hit several clutch shots late that, had the Sixers won, would be celebrated, and he attacked the rim throughout the game with the sort of purpose fans, and bloggers, have been clamoring for. It was an outstanding end to a quietly outstanding season.

Spencer Hawes, C 18 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -10

Exiting the Chicago series, the story was that Spencer Hawes had returned to form–that after a second half of the season marred by injuries, had reemerged as the sharpshooting, near-All-Star caliber center who propelled the Sixers to their great start. No more. Hawes struggled to the point of invisibility for much of the Boston series and did the same in Game 7. It’s going to be an interesting offseason for the free agent.

Evan Turner, SG 31 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -23

Turner struggled, badly, from the floor for most of the series and mercifully stopped shooting in Game 7. It was a puzzling performance from a player who delivered a fistful of them in 2012.

Jrue Holiday, PG 41 MIN | 5-17 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 9 AST | 15 PTS | -7

It’s admirable that Holiday became more offensively demonstrative in some very large moments this postseason, but, dude, how about some discretion with your shots. Shooting itself doesn’t help the team if your shots aren’t falling.

Lou Williams, PG 26 MIN | 2-9 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | +3

Lou, again, struggled. When he isn’t able to score, whether it be from 3-points or on one of his patented driving layups, the Sixers are a very bad offensive basketball team. He shot 2-of-9 tonight, and the 7-6 scored 75 points.

Thaddeus Young, F 24 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -1

Like Lou, Thad really struggled to make an impact in the Boston series, save one 22-point anomaly, and the playoffs in general. His work on the glass was impressive, and welcome, but like everybody in a Sixers jersey, he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the floor.

Jodie Meeks, G 5 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +1

He scored the final points of the season, so he’s got that going for him.

Lavoy Allen, PF 17 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-1 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +1

He was, as usual, very good when he was on the floor but didn’t spend nearly enough time out there. Doug Collins has some ‘splaining to do.

After the jump, six things we saw

1.  Rajon Rondo was outstanding in the stretch run. After Paul Pierce fouled out with 4:16 remaining and the Celtic lead at three, Rondo submitted the following: he scored immediately on a layup, rebounded an Evan Turner miss on the other end, connected on a 23-footer, grabbed yet another rebound, banged an open 3-pointer, then hit a pair of free throws. When the dizzyingly productive spurt ended, the Celtics’ lead was at 80-70 and the game was as good as won. He finished with 18 points and 10 each in the rebound and assist categories.

2.  Game 7, and the series, belonged to Kevin Garnett. In spite of the best efforts of a feisty Lavoy Allen, and the quiet/steady weight of advanced age, Garnett posted an 18 and 13 in the decisive game and his Celtics outscored the Sixers by 16 points in his 38 minutes on the floor. For the series, KG averaged a hair under 20 points and 11 rebounds per game.

3.  Someday, someone’s going to have to sit down with Doug Collins and have him unpack his decision to only play Lavoy Allen, the Sixers only antidote to Kevin Garnett’s greatness, for 16:40. A head scratching decision from a coach who submitted a few head scratchers in the postseason.

4.  If they do nothing else this offseason, the Sixers need to import someone who can score efficiently. It’s become–one grinding, 35 percent shooting night at a time–obvious that the answer to the 7-6’s offensive issues is not on the roster. I’m rooting for the growth of Turner and Holiday as much as the next guy, but if the plan to address the need is to wait for one or both to start scoring, we need a better plan.

5.  You get the sense that if the Sixers had won this game–and that’s a rather large “if”–the story that would follow them into the conference finals would be one of Andre Iguodala’s growth as a crunch time player. Let’s tell it anyway. His two second half 3-pointers–one to cut the Celtic lead to five in the waning minutes of the third, the other to get the game to within a possession with 4:30 left–were the sort of shot he probably wouldn’t even have taken, much less hit, in earlier stages of his career.

6.  So, that’s it. There’s a lot of unpacking to do–which we’ll roll up our sleeves and get into in the coming days and weeks–but thanks for reading us this season. It’s been a pleasure.

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