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The Celtics Are Coming

Boy, I really hope Brand has a good game tonight. If Garnett isn't playing and Brand has another 2-10 showing, I'm gonna be shaking my head. You talked about the need for physicality tonight, Brian. Well, I definitely agree and I think Brand is our #1 guy to make that happen. I'd like to see him bullying some people around, getting rebounds and blocks, and scoring points in the paint. I also want to see Sammy continuing his good play... intimidating people in the middle and only taking shots he knows are going in (ehhh... well, you know what I mean).

Go Sixers... let's beat these bums tonight!

Yeah, I'd love to see a vintage EB game tonight. Still wondering how long it's going to take for him to get back into the lineup.

I agree Brian 1000% about playing tough physical basketball. Like they used to back when this was a real rivalry. But to be quite honest I don't think the Sixers have the players for that. We don't have tough guys on this team.

Reggie plays hard and teeters on the line between dirty and not. Speights showed some nastiness when he mugged Scalabrine, but I don't think anyone else on this team has that in them so I think it's a lot to ask to change their natural style of play and basketball personality.

Do you remember the lose in Denver. The play when Kenyon Martin strolled down the lane for a completely uncontested dunk late in the game to give the Nuggets the lead? Sammy just pussy footed and ducked out of the way. Perfect example.

Thad is soft he avoid contact at all costs. Thankfully he can make baskets playing that way. Iguodala isn't a tough player. Brand is a nice guy. Dileo isn't that kind of coach either. Miller isn't I just don't see that mentality in this team. I wish I did but I really don't. I don't think this team is tough or all that physical. I think they have shown to be weak mentally more often than not.

I can't remember when it was, maybe the playoffs against Detroit last season, but Sammy actually showed a mean streak. Actually, it was against Detroit, he leveled McDyess a couple times when he had open dunks.

In general, though, I agree. They haven't shown that mean streak, I guess what I'm asking for is that they somehow find it.

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Joe reply to Dannie on Feb 3 at 15:24
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Typically it is "role players" who often times are the enforcers. Ivey and Reggie both have a little bit of it in them.

I do wish that this team would occasionally foul a guy harder than a tap, but it never happens.

You highlighted the wrong four factors offense for TOs.

The Celtics really do have a problem with turnovers. That is mostly rooted in Perkins being such a horrible basketball player and somehow turning it over such a high amount despite limited touches and limited minutes. At least this season he has started to learn how to rebound.

This is completely off topic, but Big Z in Cleveland has turned into a legit 3 point threat from the corner. Shocking that a guy in his 10th year all of a sudden is shooting 3s and making them with apparent ease. Anyway, I honestly can't wait to watch that team in the playoffs with Lebron at the 4 for stretches, especially if they netted Mike Miller.

At what point will LeBron cut down on his 3pt attempts? 29.5% and taking 4.3 per game, to me that's his only shortcoming. Well, that and turnovers, I suppose.

If they stay healthy, they'll beat the Celts this year.

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Bryon reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 17:48
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Not so fast my friend:), one of them is going to have to get through us first after we lock down that 4th seed. I think we are only 3.5 games behind ATL now. As crazy as I may sound and I told you this a few weeks ago, I think we have a really good shot against Cleveland in that long of a series. I think you said you would like for the Sixers to see Boston. I, absolutely, want no part of them.

I'm still wondering if Detroit will find a way to miss the playoffs completely.

Thank you again for a great blog. I expect the sixers to come out w/ fire in their eyes, anything less will be a disappointment. Hopefully someone at the sixers read this blog and will get the team fired up. I predicted a win saturday night and will stand by that statement. Hopefully I will not be eating my words tonite. We need to move on from Saturday night big time tonight.

The betting website, Accuscore, has this game 94.6 to 92, Celtics winning. Alot closer than I would have thought. This maybe a good game afterall!

Check out the Sixers' blurb here.

"The Sixers are underrated defensively, ranking eighth in defensive efficiency. They are led by four top-ten individual defensive rankings: Elton Brand (fifth), Andre Iguodala (seventh), Louis Williams (ninth) and Samuel Dalembert (ninth). Rookie Marreese Speights is second from the bottom among 46 power forwards."

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Bart reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 16:06
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Lou Williams? No kidding? More than a bit surprising.

Coach Dileo should print that out and paste it to Marreese's locker. That's friggin' embarassing.

I wonder who the worst is.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 16:19
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I'm gonna go with Brian Scalabrine.

Their site is super slow, but I think you're right. If they're using dQUAL as the stat measured. I have no idea what that stat is, though. I may look into it later.

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Chris reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 17:20
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How did they calculate the defensive rankings? Is that top-10 by position or is it top-10 period? It is unbelievable that Lou is on there. His D efficiency ranking according to Basketball-Reference is the exact same as Thad's (who has been getting disparaged for his defense). They both have a D rating of 107. That is the same as Tayshaun Prince who is considered one of the best defenders in the league.

What is the league average for defensive efficiency? Iggy used to be considered a premier defender and he's at 105. Kobe Bryant is always NBA First Team Defender and he's at 106. MJ averaged 103 and he was actually better at the end of his career than at the beginning. Of the guys playing now, Ben Wallace and Tim Duncan are the best with a career average of 94+.

I've posted this at ReclinerGM and Libertyballers too, so sorry if you saw it already...

Yet another “inside” Miller to Portland rumor. This time from Sixerfan1976 at RealGM.com (has been a “insider” for a few years. No one is really sure how credible he is, but has had some scoops before.) I posted a blog entry here: link

Basically Miller/Evans for Lafrenz/Sergio/Outlaw.

Per Sixerfan, being discussed but in no way imminent.

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Chris reply to tk76 on Feb 3 at 17:24
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I'm good with Sergio and LaFrentz but Outlaw doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Someone said a day or so earlier he's a poor man's Thad and I agree. We already have a logjam with Thad and Iggy at SF (plus at PF with Brand, Speights and Thad). How would he help us at all. If they put Rudy in there I think it'd be a good deal for both teams. Portland already has a surplus at that position anyway.

I fixed the link.

As for the trade, I don't like it. Getting rid of Evans' contract is good, but Outlaw just doesn't fit. You have to hold out for Rudy IMO. We need a shooter who can play the two, Outlaw is not that. The SF minutes should be split between Iggy and Thad, adding another SF into the mix isn't a good idea.

If that link does not work just go to the main site phillyarena.com.

This is the original post at RealGM: http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=876901&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=60#p18463796

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john reply to tk76 on Feb 3 at 18:20
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My bannedness prevents me from even READING the forums at either of those sites.


Do you have an example of when that guy's inside information turned out to be true?

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 18:35
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He is pretty much on the money. I've payed attention to him for a year or so now and most of what he says "makes sense" and he tends to break stuff earlier than most. If he says there are talks, I believe it.

Ugh. I hope he's off on the players involved then. I don't see this helping the team in the short or long term, to be honest with you. They'd have to turn around and move LaFrentz's deal for a legit point for the deal to worthwhile to me.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 18:44
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I believe sf from the post says that the Sixers are only interested in dealing Miller if they feel they can still compete at a similar level this year aka they won't throw in the towel in a deal.

Moving Evans for Outlaw wouldn't be a bad move for this team. It gives them long term flixibility. I'd ratehr get an expiring deal though, since i have very low feelings towards Outlaw.

sf1976 called some obscure min FA signings a few years ago (Henderson?.) Stuff that was not huge news, but made it clear that he has some level of insider knowledge.

He gave all sorts of updates during the AI trade fiasco. Sometimes it was the same as the other media rumors, sometimes different. he was not way ahead of the media on the ultimate trade w/Denver, but did call it about 12 hrs before it was official.

Most take his stuff as useful but its from his "friend" who has only limitted access.

Thanks for the posts tk. I can't say I am especially in love with this, but as a core it makes some sense and isn't bad.

"It's a little frustrating, because that's what I was brought here for, and it hasn't come to fruition yet. But we're playing pretty well and I want to continue that, whatever it takes," Brand said. "There's no doubt in my mind that I can get back to that level, to be a difference-maker."

Quote from Brand in the Boston Globe today. I like what he has been saying and the effort he is giving, but he has been sucking.

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Joe reply to Joe on Feb 3 at 17:33
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Pierce also added praise using "20 and 10" and "top 10 player" in reference to Brand.

I don't think we can ever expect Brand to be a "top ten" player. He was maybe one year of his career. I would take top 25.

I'd settle for 15, 11, 2 and great defense at the position. If he gives you that, this team will be a force.

I'm hopeful that at some point next year they will start Brand and Speights. They should get great production from that frontcourt duo. 30+/18/3.5 blks once they mesh.

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Joe reply to tk76 on Feb 3 at 18:33
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You have to play defense to be successful in this league. Just saying. I love Speights and all, but with him in there instead of Sammy, they are going to be a much worse team.

Agreed. They need Speights to start defending MUCH better than he has been. Positioning is terrible, help is terrible. Pretty much all he does is try to measure guys for blocks after he gets beat.

He's young, this is definitely something that he can, and will, improve upon. But right now, his D is just way too far behind his offense.

Speights will out play sam (on both ends of the court) probably by the end of this season - when he was drafted he was a better offensive player than sam was - without a single NBA practce -

Outlaw fits in philadlephia because he's better than willie

Can't play the two.

The Boston broadcast wastes no time in showing Geno's. Opening shot.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 19:25
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Oh man you have Tommy Heinsohln? I'd probably rather mute it.

It's bad, but at least he hasn't started eating his in-game meal yet. Nothing better than a broadcaster chewing into a microphone.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 19:30
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quick stat... what team has the most FGA/game in the NBA?

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Joe reply to Joe on Feb 3 at 19:30
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I don't know why I put that in a reply.

nyk?

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 19:36
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Nope. Indiana. That's JOB's offense.

Alright. Let's go. Quick start.

Settling for too many jumpers early.

Terrible, terrible first quarter. Just no toughness whatsoever from this team. The Celtics got everything going to the hoop, the Sixers did nothing to stop it.

Extremely disappointing effort to start the game. I hope we some life over the next three.

Well, at least they forced the Celts into the penalty with 8:43 left in the second. First positive of the game.

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Bryon reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 19:51
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But will they stop settling and go to the hoop to take advantage of it?

Reggie at the line has been our best offense.

They have been going to the hoop a little. Not very effectively, though.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 19:52
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They aren't turning it over. they are getting to the line at will and are making them. Two things that are prettty rare.

And they're shooting 9/32, which is typical these days.

Brand isn't even trying to finish under the hoop at this point. I shouldn't have eaten before this game, sick to my stomach now.

Put Ratliff in there, he's not gonna let them just lay it up without a challenge. Everyone who's not gonna show desire should be on the bench.

Reggie 5/6 from the line... that has to mean something right?

Hell freezing over.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 19:58
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This is about as good as it could go with the Sixers having half the FG% of Boston.

Evans has been the best player on the floor tonight.

2 charges taken by Ivey, at least he is showing a little toughness. Reg is the catalyst though, even on offense at the line like you said.

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Alvin reply to Bryon on Feb 3 at 20:00
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I like the guy. He's a great pick-up at that price.

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Joe reply to Alvin on Feb 3 at 20:02
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And they got him signed for next year already as well. Ed with an underrated move there... locking up Ivey for 2 and Rush for only 1.

Holy crap. Where did that run come from? Reggie is all over the floor.

Whoa. Time out. Willie Green came out 5 minutes in? Oh my... it is really happening. It is happening. DNPCD for Willie by the end of February... book it.

Nah. He got yanked when he picked up his second foul.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:02
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Damnit. Well, thanks for the shot of relity. I should have checked that. One day... one day.

They haven't taken a jumper in a long time, and that's why this run is happening. Boston is back on their heels on D, the Sixers are pushing everything. Here we go.

Iggy three-point play, sixers take the lead.

Keep trying to get to the line in these last 3 min. of the 2nd, guys.

Two blocks by Sammy, this is the loudest I've heard the crowd in a long, long time.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:07
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I tell you what... I know I am getting ahead of myself, but if they continue this hot streak to the all star break... those seats are gonna be less empty once the break is over.

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Alvin reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:08
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We've got a crowd in the Wach? Where Amazing Happens.

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Bryon reply to Alvin on Feb 3 at 20:11
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LOL, good one Alvin.

This all hustle and toughness. Iggy with a sick drive and lefty finish.

As bad as the first quarter was, the second was great. Reggie really sparked this team and they pushed Boston around for 12 minutes. 50-49 deficit going into the break.

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Alvin reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:16
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Quite a bummer to let in a lay-up right at the end of the half. But it was a great 2nd quarter, I seriously thought they were gonna lay over and quit.

Every time you think that about this team, they bounce back. They do have quite a bit of heart and pride, it's easy to forget that sometimes.

Hmmn, did Speights' game against the Nets strike anyone as lazy? Zero minutes in the first half, I think it's probably more a result of Reggie's unbelievable second quarter than a punishment for Marreese.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:27
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yeah, Brand only has 8 minutes as well. I think it is Reggie and Sammy more than anything.

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Alvin reply to Joe on Feb 3 at 20:31
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I think Daly's shooting too much. If it's not a dunk or a layup it should be someone else taking it.

I don't know why they're going to sammy in the post.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:38
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I never understand when they do that. An Iguodala 25% fadeaway is more effective offense.

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Alvin reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:30
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ESPN has Reggie at +13 in the first half. This time it is a truly accurate reflection of his impact on the game.

Kinda random, any idea how many minutes Iguodala spent at the 2 and Thad at the 3 that half?

I believe Iggy spent zero at the two.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:37
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hmm I figured he had to play some... Lou+Ivey had 18 minutes. Miller played 20. Green 5. That would be 43 of the 48 minutes at the guard positions... just estimating that Iguodala would have gotten those other 5.

It doesn't relly matter much I guess, was just wondering what lineups were around him if you would have known. No big deal.

Ivey was playing the three for a couple of minutes. He did a good job guarding Pierce, actually.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:40
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With Lou and Miller out there?

Yeah.

6 layups for Rondo in the first half, ugh.

Iggy forcing the issue again.

Rondo going for a triple double. Pts, assists and turnovers.

Davis can not stick with Thad. Go to that play again and again.

Sixers still only have 4 TOs right now. I hope they don't collapse with 10 TOs in the 4th or something.

Man, we had possession of that ball and had already passed it ahead and the darn ref decides to blow the whistle for the shot clock violation

That's three dunks they've lost because of whistles. Two on touch fouls by Boston and that one. Ugh.

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Joe reply to Bryon on Feb 3 at 20:46
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One year they may change that rule and allow some sort of a buffer time to establish possession.

Our 2nd unit has to at least hold this even or preferably give us a little cushion of a lead. Don't let Powe kill us on the boards. He didn't give them many hustle plays in the 1st half.

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Bryon reply to Bryon on Feb 3 at 20:52
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Scratch that for right now as he only subbed in Lou with the rest being starters.

This some inspired D we're seeing right here.

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Alvin reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 20:53
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Yes, but I'm appalled that Thad still hasn't grabbed a single rebound.

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Joe reply to Alvin on Feb 3 at 20:56
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Must be taking advice from Willie.

Jesus, I hadn't looked. That's sad.

Lou should've given a hard foul on Rondo instead of giving him that dunk. Damnit.

I don't know how many assists you typically have per basket, but it seems like a lot more baskets than normal have assists for the Sixers tonight. Good to see the alley oops and such. Last year there were quite a few more.

Almost same situation as the 2nd quarter with the fouls here. Let's make them pay and drive the ball to force them to foul esp. Lou with House guarding him

Anyone else find it ironic that Celts' announcers are complaining about home town calls? They don't do much complaining when the Celts get more than anyone at home.

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Bryon reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 21:04
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Am I the only one that would like to place an unnamed object in Heinsohn's mouth??

Sp8's in.

Zumoff and Salmi must be having fits over Evans.

Ugh. Silly foul by Sammy on Powe.

Speights into the game. No EB in the second half.

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Bryon reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 21:08
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The crowd was booing EB in the 1st half. Looks like DiLeo noticed the same things.

Speights enters... big minutes here Maresse.

Nice interior D there, got the steal.

THis lineup scares me. Any lineup without Iguodala scares me though nowadays.

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Joe reply to Joe on Feb 3 at 21:07
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big time Royal.

IIIIIIIIIIVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

Royal-ly done. Big shot. Hope he doesn't let Iggy sit long.

House has no prayer of guarding Lou. Absolutely no prayer.

Got them in the penalty with 5:19 to go. Keep going to the hoop. No mercy the rest of the way.

Huge play by Speights on that o-board and put back.

Is Lou pressing House full court? He should be...

Either Lou or Reggie, they've been consistent w/ the pressure.

Holy crap. Speights has taken over this game. What a sub by DiLeo. The Celtics are begging for calls.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 21:14
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Is he just too athletic for their frontcourt or what?

Yup. He's stronger, quicker, more aggressive and just jumping right over them.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 21:22
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Was it that great of a sub? 2 straight lay ups by Pierce...

Maybe they should've taken him out by that point. :)

Eat it, Pierce!

Hate to say it but I am glad EB's tail is on the bench and he went with Sp8's after these last 3 plays.

Don't slow things down. Keep the pressure on them on both ends of the floor until the game is decided.

The kid Speights is instant offense. He has all it takes to be an offensive monster.

He can't defend though, so he can be a poor man's Amare Stoudemire.

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Joe reply to Alvin on Feb 3 at 21:21
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Why poor man's? Right now, his offense on a per-minute basis is really ridiculous. And he showed a post game in college. I'm not gonna sya he is gonna be a superstar or anything, but he is already a borderline-great offensive Power Forward.

Calls going the other way now.

Monster play by Lou on the break. Hit the free throw please.

Thad in for Sp8's. Who's going to protect the paint with Rondo in the game??

More importantly, who's going to grab a friggin' board. Three attempts on that last possession. Come on.

Please, don't collapse and start turning it over every other possession.

Very nice, gotta love it when Lou realizes that he can go to the hoop instead of throwing it up from deep.

Up 1. 1:04 to go. Williams iso here? Maybe Iggy at the top of the key. Hopefully something going to the hoop. Need to put points on the board here.

You just knew that f-ed up whistle on that would have been fast break but ended up a shot clock violation would come into play

Shit. How does Reggie wind up on Ray Allen in that situation. Damnit.

Absolutely no 3's. Please.

Fuck me. Huge shot by Iggy. The Celts are going for a three for the win here. We all know it. Nothing open, please. Come on. 6.8 seconds. One friggin' stop. Please.

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 21:30
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Put Sammy on Pierce... lol.

Foul Rondo. He won't make 2.

Oh my goodness, unbelievable 16-footers from both Andres. Now for the defensive stop. Who do we put on the floor?

Sammy's in there.

Oh no. They put Willie in. What the fuck?

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Joe reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 21:34
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I dont like Miller and WIllie on the court much here.

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Alvin reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 21:34
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Are you SERIOUS?!?!?!

Refs wouldn't allow it. Sammy back in for Willie.

How many times can this happen? How many fucking times.

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Alvin reply to Brian on Feb 3 at 21:35
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What the crap?!?!

I was just about to say, I wonder how long our Merry Band of Mediocre Mid-Range Jump Shooters can go shot for shot with their All-World three-point shooters.

What the hell is Thad doing leaving their best 3 point shooter to help? Would have liked to seen Ivey on Ray there. Thad didn't need to gamble right there.

I love the kid but you do NOT leave Ray Allen open for the 3, especially under these circumstances. Even if he made a basket it would have been a tied game.

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Bryon reply to Alvin on Feb 3 at 21:40
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I agree, Pierce doesn't hurt you at the free throw line even if he made it. Still only tied.

How many games is that lost on a shot in the final 5 seconds of the game? I've lost count.

rashard lewis, dirk, tony parker and now ray allen

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Bryon reply to Jizzy Sams on Feb 3 at 21:42
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and TJ Ford..

forgot about that

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Bryon reply to Jizzy Sams on Feb 3 at 21:51
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Can't seem to forget any of them myself, although I would love to forget every dang one of them.

Thad Young- INEXCUSABLE leaving Allen. I'll live with Pierce making a contested mid-range. Ends a terrible effort from him tonight. Also, that NEEDS to be a switch on that back-pick and Sammy needs to see that.

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Bryon reply to Rich on Feb 3 at 21:48
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Yea I saw that, Thad was trying to get back to Ray but he stumbled over Sam in his effort.

It was too late by then.

Gotta hand it to this lot for finding new and creative ways to lose ball games.

These Sixers are killing me, like a really messed-up love affair.

Tough loss. Just gotta get your head up and take care of business for the rest of the home stand.

told the people who sit next to me i guarantee jesus hits a 3 to win it here. not that it was tough to call.

Good crowd tonight, huh?

yea great playoff atmosphere. we had the REGGIE chants going in the 2nd Q. first time since the detroit series.


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