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mixville on May 25 at 11:31
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The Sixers can get it done if they attack the lane. The one huge advantage that they have is that Holliday,Williams and even Turner at times can get to the basket against Allen and Rondo at will! To adjust the Celtics had to scrunch in the middle leaving wide open jumpers for Brand, Hawes and 3 pointers from Igguodala.

They can get it done if they keep this pressure up and force Rondo and KG to play defense.

They can get it done if Holiday can play air tight defense against Rondo and they keep KG from catching it too low!

This game is up for grabs! this is not your 2008 celtic's team...and this is not your 2008-2011 Sixers team

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Buke reply to mixville on May 25 at 13:14
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Well, this is clearly not your 2008 Celtics team, but, although I give a nod defensively to this Sixers team over its 2008-2011 ancestors, I'd give the offensive nod to some of those teams. Andre Miller was a more reliable scorer and playmaker at point guard than anyone performing those duties on this team and Iggy was never as bad of a free throw shooter as he seems to be now. Also, on the defensive end, two of those teams had Reggie Evans and Samuel Dalembert.

I do think this team has more heart and resiliency than those teams.

Yeah, you sort of touched the key topic Brian, win or lose, how much should the outcome of this game 7 change the opinion the front office has on the team?

How much does a win really means about the ability of this group of players?

Anyway, depressing topics aside i am reaaaally optimistic before this game. I have no idea why... I just think the Jrue and Evan will somehow prevail over the aging Celtics.

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Sharone Wright reply to Xsago on May 25 at 12:00
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Collins needs to do a better job of having Lavoy on the floor with KG. I don't want Lavoy wasting any fouls against Stiemsma or somebody else on Boston's second team. Lavoy in early foul trouble could be a big problem for us--like Game 3. Let Spence play against Boston's second team with Thad.

I was at Games 4 and 6, and it was apparent Boston really labored to score. This was most apparent when Lavoy was matched on KG. He pushes Garnett off the blocks and still gets out on the J.

If we can continue to disrupt Boston's offense, and get to the hole as mentioned in above posts, we can win. Easier said than done.

Lavoy's in his head, I've never seen KG travel so much after passing up open J's

The Sixers can get it done. If they can beat Boston 3 times including a 1 point victory at Boston, then they have what it takes to beat Boston in game 7. I wouldn't surprised either way if they win or lose. My feelings on this team won't change if they win or lose tomorrow. If a good deal comes along for Andre Iguodala in the off season, then trade him. If not, don't. If you can upgrade the C/PF position by trading Turner then do it. If you can bring in a decent free agent my amnesyting Brand, then do it. My opinions haven't changed. I don't think highly of Boston, and whoever wins on Saturday will lose to Miami in 5 games.

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Sharone Wright reply to Stan on May 25 at 12:15
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Quick note about that one-point game 2 victory that you referenced: the Celts made 4 three pointers in the last two minutes, including a KG heave at the buzzer to cut it from 4 to 1, so I think it was a somewhat more convincing win than the score.

I said one point victory, to make it sound like they pulled through on the road against a veteran team in a very close game :)

But it was still a close game. The Sixers had to make their FTs to win it. Evan Turner had a clutch basket and they did make some defensive stops.

I really don't care for Boston's experience. We've beat them in 3 relatively close games. If Boston was a team that relied on experience, then they wouldn't have given up a 18 point 2nd half lead, and would have pulled through in games 2 and 6.

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Sharone Wright reply to Stan on May 25 at 13:35
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I'm with you. They could not close us out early, even though they desperately wanted to.

Collins has said throughout this whole playoff run that each of these games is worth ten regular season games in terms of helping the team grow, mature, learn how to win, develop that gritty veteranness that apparently you need to win a championship...

IF that's the case, doesn't it make more sense to at least keep this core (JTI, Thad, Lavoy, and *maybe* Lou depending on his contract) and add to it rather than try to tank for the mythical rookie and/or superstar...who would then also have to "learn how to win"?

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buke reply to das411 on May 25 at 13:26
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I elect to go with the first strategy with some personnel exchanges. Holiday and Turner are potential cornerstones of future success so I can't see exchanging them (at least not yet). Brand should be allowed to play out his last year. Iggy should be around for at least one more year and maybe through the duration of his contract. I think Holiday and Turner have at least a year or two before they enter their prime years, so I don't think they are ready to be the cornerstones of a top two Eastern conference team anyway. Sign some maintenance free agents this summer, try to draft a first rounder with eventual starter potential and two bench players in the second round, and wait for the expiration of the big contracts to sign more significant free agents.

All other players on the team I think are fair game for letting go or exchanging although I would try to keep Lavoy for at least a year or two if the price isn't too high or he becomes part of a trade package.

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/43732/sorry-lavoy

I'm glad to see Lavoy getting some love from ESPN for making him Mr. 500. I really like his level head, his "not too low, not too high" attitude.

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The Six reply to blakesynn on May 25 at 14:45
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One more reason why I am not a fan of ESPN. They feel like it is there job the rank EVERYTHING. And in typical fashion for them, they do a shitty job. That being said, Lavoy comes off great. What a find he was.

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The Six reply to The Six on May 25 at 14:46
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*their*

Every site that analyzes the draft 'ranks' players, I'm pretty sure Lavoy wasn't high on anyones radar.

The resiliency of the Sixers HAS to bug the senior Celtics; they're like bees near your hamburger at a picnic. It's their defining characteristic. And there isn't a higher compliment - to players or coaching staff. Now, if they only can keep the spirit and land the pure shooter and the inside "factor" somehow, BIG things can then happen.

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Charlie H on May 25 at 16:38
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I think they need to shoot well. Game 6 was an aberration - they shot poorly, got outrebounded and still won. But they ended up at 45% because they shot well in the 4th quarter. They shot 45% in Game 4 also. The defense has kept them alive, but if they don't shoot 45+ in Boston, I don't think they can win.

I hope Doris Burke isn't the 'analyst' for the game.

Dunkin' Donuts was founded in 1950 by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts, just 10 miles from the TD Bank Garden. Key question: Do the Sixers run on Dunkin' like the rest of America? It's excellent road game fuel. And it might provide the difference. "Deflections, boys!"

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mixville on May 25 at 17:35
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I don't know if anyone else lives up in Boston like me, but the Celtics/Sixers ranks pretty low on the sports totem pole. Curt Schilling is getting more coverage with his failed company, followed by Red Sox...and then the Celtics. There is argueably more talk about Celtics/Heat than game 7.

I was looking over the stats and thanks to Brian's game capsules, which are extremely well done, found something that is interesting.

1. The team that turned the ball over the least has won every game, except for game 1.
2. The sixers lost game 1 because their front court couldn't stop the C's. Probably because Lavoy Allen and Elton Brand played a combined 2 minutes in the fourth quarter with Hawes and Young playing over 15 minutes combined. In Game 6, an easy Sixer victory, the Celtics couldn't get over the hump, maybe because Hawes and Young only played 2 minutes. Hopefully Collins not only learns but has the ability to play those guys in the fourth quarter. (this means no foul trouble)
3. Avery Bradley being gone gives the sixers a tremendous advantage they didn't have in Game 1. We saw Bad Lou shoot 20 footers hoping to catch the celtics off before they set up their defense...now you want them to set up because Rondo, Pietrus and Allen cannot stay with Lou or Jrue now.

I think the Celtic's should be nervous because they way this series has gone and the changes that have happened to get here seem like this. For the Celtics to win, Rondo has to play like an all star (which he might). If he doesn't they won't win. All other variables do not matter, they will live and die by him.

Sixers have to keep pounding him on offense because he doesn't want to play on the ball, and if he tries he will be too tired to run up and play offense.

I think (FT advantage not withstanding. Better not see Violet Palmer out there) the Sixers will win this game 90-85.

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Stan reply to mixville on May 25 at 18:00
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Avery's block was huge in game 1.

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Tom Moore on May 25 at 17:52
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Brian, LOVED the SB Nation piece. I SO want this season to keep going.

My keys to this one are pretty simple:
1. Same defensive strategy as last game until Boston solves it.
2. Same attacking approach by Sixers guards on offense until Boston solves it.
3. Quick In game adjustments by Collins if Doc has answers for 1 and 2.
4. Intense effort from start to end by everyone. Make it a matter of will. Do whatever it takes ... and take this from the Celts on their home floor.

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Tom Moore on May 25 at 20:58
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Game 7 preview (with Brand, Collins video interviews): Sixers hope youth will be served:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/sports/sixers/sixers-hope-youth-will-be-served/article_bcb79c34-828b-58c3-90b3-d597602df567.html

Brian - great piece (as usual) in the SB Nation. I was surprised by your bio:

"Brian is a lifelong Sixers and Eagles fan who fell off the wagon at an early age to root for the Yankees..."

The fucking Yankees???


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