Split the first two. That's the road team's goal in any seven game series. Whether there was an opportunity wasted on Saturday night or not is immaterial. Win tonight, and the Sixers will return home in the driver's seat of this series.
As I watched game one, it looked like two fairly evenly matched teams to me. Both teams went on multiple runs. The Celtics did a really good job of finishing off quarters (and I think this is a direct result of Doc Rivers resting Garnett in the middle of quarters and bringing him back in for the final 2 minutes or so). I thought the Sixers showed an ability to get high-percentage looks by pressing advantages and moving the ball. It all looked repeatable to me, and Boston basically won the game due to the timing of their last run (and the Sixers running out of time).
Apparently, I was watching a different game than the mainstream media, because they saw a 92-91 win for the Celtics and it only reaffirmed that the Sixers are clearly out classed and the Celtics are going to have a cake walk to the ECF where Miami will undoubtedly be waiting for them. The game itself and really the loss didn't both me nearly as much as the reaction afterward. The Sixers dropped game one on the road after playing pretty good ball, but far from their best. They didn't surprise the Celtics. They didn't do it on the back of unsustainable shooting. Boston didn't play terribly to to allow the Sixers to hang around. It was a good game, a tight game, and the home team came out on top.
Game two is an opportunity for the Sixers to seize control of this series early on. They need to come out with the same energy they showed in game one, and couple it with a focus on executing at the end of quarters. The chess match between Rivers and Collins should be great to watch. Go out there, play your game, attack the rim and get the split heading home.
The tip is at 7pm. This is your game thread. You know where I'll be, see you here in a couple of hours.
Prediction: Back to Philly, tied 1-1, and the national media will still treat the series as a foregone conclusion.