|Cartier Martin. Austin Daye. Ray Allen. John Wall. Kevin Love. Tony Parker. Dirk Nowitzki. Kevin Garnett. Each of those names, and several others, represents a heart-breaking loss the Sixers suffered over the past couple seasons. Each of those losses was a lesson. A lesson that has prepared the Sixers for these playoffs. For this game. Now it's time to go out there and take it.|
|The Sixers will face their first actual elimination game tonight at 8pm. They've had a couple of must-wins (game 6 vs. Chicago, game 4 vs. Boston) but tonight is the first time their season will end if they don't win. To this point, they haven't lost consecutive games in the playoffs, 4-0 after losses. Boston wants to end this, the Sixers want the run to continue. Who wants it more?|
|The game four miracle comeback was inspiring, but all the Sixers really accomplished was getting the series back on track. Being the lower seed, they should be tied 2-2 after four games, and the home team still has a big advantage with two of the final three being on their floor. Win tonight, however, and the Sixers will put themselves in the driver's seat. Come out with the energy they ended game four with, and the Celtics will start to realize exactly how old they are. It's time to kick them, before they get back up.|
Latest comment: from JesseHaha. Ok? I was right about the sun rising this morning. I'll be right about Lavoy Allen....
|Let's cut right through it. If the Sixers lose this game, their season is over. There's no way they're coming back from a 3-1 deficit with two of the remaining games left to be played in Boston. More importantly, if they get outworked by the Celts like that again, the end couldn't possibly come soon enough. If they want this ride to continue, if they want any prayer of making the ECF, tonight is going to have to be a win.|
Latest comment: from GoSixersHeat cancel practice and media availability Implosion continues...
|First step for a lower seed in a seven game series: Split the first two on the road. Second step: Take game three. Third step: let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Sixers took one of two in Boston, now they need to take care of their home floor. Tonight, the Celitcs will look to take home court advantage back and send a message to the Sixers. That's the narrative they'd like to follow. I've got something different in mind.|
Latest comment: from Derek BodnerMorrisville....
|Lost amid the hysteria of Derrick Rose's injury in round one was a significant change Doug Collins made prior to game two. If you recall, Rose didn't really kill the Sixers in that opening loss, he scored an inefficient 23 points. Rip Hamilton and Kyle Korver killed the Sixers by running through a series of screens. That play didn't hurt the Sixers again after the first game. The Sixers adjustments made Kyle Korver a complete non-factor and had Rip looking elsewhere for offensive opportunities. What adjustments will we see tonight?|
Latest comment: from JesseWhat player has carried a team on his own to a championship? I guess you could count Dirk. Who else?...
|One is a fluke. Two is a coincidence. Three? Well, if you twist my arm I'll admit you can call three a streak. No, I'm not talking about wins, they're beside the point right now. What I'm talking about is three straight games with Jrue Holiday playing down the stretch and some reasonable lineups being played throughout. The biggest question in my mind is whether Eddie Jordan will stick to his revised philosophy against a team who loves to spread the floor like the Knicks.|
|"We got home court again, and we're going to have some fun at home." That's what Hedo had to say about tonight's game 5. Call me crazy, but I think Andre Iguodala has something other than "fun" in mind for Hedo. Thoughts, keys and the in-game discussion after the jump.|
|With any luck I'll be starting my long journey down to the Wach within the hour. You guys will be on your own for the game thread, but I have the utmost confidence in you. After the jump, my keys and the in-game discussion.|
|We've done the analysis, we've looked at this series every possible angle. As the Sixers have rested and licked the wounds from a long season with a devastating finish, our excitement for the first round of the playoffs has come to a slow boil. I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready for basketball. In-game discussion after the jump.|
Latest comment: from AlvinThanks for hosting this one man. What would be the playoffs be without DepressedFan?...
|This time last year I was desperately hoping the Sixers would pull out all the stops to finish at .500. I thought an even record would mean something, what I don't know, but something. This year, I'm going in exactly the opposite direction. Thoughts, keys, stats, in-game discussion after the jump.|
|Well, we find ourselves in a depressingly familiar situation tonight. The Sixers are on the road, against a losing team, with a ton on the line. In the past three such situations, the Sixers have come out flat, then rolled over. Will this be the game where they finally wake up and start playing with some urgency? Or will this simply be a repeat of the past three, with the Sixers simply happy to lick to their wounds and back into the playoffs? Stats, keys and in-game discussion after the jump.|
Latest comment: from Mikehe played well but he obviously doesn't care at all about winning...
|Typically, I'd be pretty excited for tonight's game. We've talked ad nauseum about how the Sixers ugly/risky style of play can work in their favor against clearly superior teams. Usually, Andre Iguodala gets up for tough matchups, like facing LeBron James. And in the LBJ era, the Sixers actually haven't done that bad of a job against Cleveland. Unfortunately, after what I've seen in the past three games, none of that really matters. Stats, keys and in-game discussion after the jump.|
Latest comment: from Mikeugh seems that way...
|For the second time in three days, the Sixers are underdogs playing sub-.500 teams on the road. Chicago's record isn't really a good indication of the type of basketball they've been playing since the trade deadline, though. In fact, they've gone 12-1 at home since then, so being six point dogs seems more logical than insulting.|
|That's the question of the night. Is it enough to just make the playoffs? Are the Sixers content to lick their wounds over the last nine days of the season and coast into a near-impossible first round matchup? Or do they play like seeding matters. Do they play like they still have a golden opportunity staring themselves in the face. I know one thing for sure, the Bobcats won't be taking anything for granted tonight, they can't afford to.|
Latest comment: from BryonMiller has 3 blocks and 63 turnovers in the last 23 games....
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