com) Thaddeus Young is day-to-day with a shin injury. Elton Brand is day-to-day with a neck injury. What They're SayingIt's been a given during this series that it's not going to be an offensive showdown. Neither team's strength is in its offense, so may the best defensive team win. After a lackluster Game 2, the Celtics came out for Game 3 with that all-important, defense-first mindset. It took them a quarter to get into their defensive groove, but with a little over a minute remaining in the first quarter, they did, and they never looked back.
“Its recent losses, however, are only the most likely of outcomes, and acting otherwise is a bizarre exercise that simultaneously damns the front office and overrates what’s left of the roster it built. ” However, NBC Sports’ Sixers reporter, Paul Hudrick, wrote after the heavy defeat that Philadelphia may not be a team built for the Playoffs, even with Simmons.
“Ben Simmons being out is a tough blow, but even with Simmons, this team is not built for the modern NBA post-season or to best complement its All-Star duo, ” he wrote. He called for drastic roster changes geared around more suitably building the team around NBA All-Stars Simmons and Embiid. “The biggest issue facing the Sixers is their roster construction, plain and simple, ” Hudrick wrote. “Maybe instead of being “built for the playoffs, ” the focus should be on being built to best complement the skills of Embiid and Simmons. Building properly around two young stars seems to be working for the Celtics.
8 seed on Wednesday. If they don't get a win in Game 4, they're as good as done. Going back to Boston and facing a Celtics squad that's one win away from a spot in the conference finals will spell disaster. Where: Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. When: Friday, May 18 at 8 p. m. ETWatch: ESPNLive Stream: NBA League PassListen: WEEI 93. 7 FM (Boston) and The Fanatic 97. 5 FM (Philadelphia)Betting Line: Celtics (-2)Celtics Key Injuries (via ESPN. com) Mickael Pietrus is day-to-day with some swelling in his knee. 76ers Key Injuries (via ESPN.
From the second quarter on, Boston held the Sixers to 20-of-60 from the field and held the Evan Turner-Andre Iguodala combo to just 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting. That was the key to Boston's win, according to Boston. com's Gary Washburn: [Boston's] offense fed off the defensive intensity, and for the first time in the series, the Celtics consistently made shots. The Philadelphia misses led to fast-break opportunities, and the Celtics scored 21 points that way, which allowed Rondo to orchestrate the offense. … While the 76ers shot just 42. 4 percent through the first two games, the Celtics knew they had slipped defensively in stretches.
Celtics vs. 76ers: Game 4 TV Schedule, Live Stream, Spread Info and MoreDrew Hallowell/Getty ImagesThe Boston Celtics had a tall order facing them on Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers: Compensate for the mental errors and futility that saddled them with a Game 2 loss and take a series lead with a road win in Philly. Somewhat surprisingly, Boston dominated the Sixers, 107-91, to take a 2-1 series lead. Kevin Garnett took over the game after a lackluster performance the last time out, putting up 27 points and 13 rebounds and making up for the illegal screen he set in the final seconds of Game 2 that cost the Celtics the game. A win in Game 4 will give the Celtics some leeway—and some confidence—entering the tail end of this series. As a result, the pressure is on the Sixers, who have defied expectations by even getting this far but looked like a No.
On Wednesday, they paid attention to detail from the beginning, and it was impressive. Most Important Player to Watch: Rajon RondoThe Celtics looked lost when Rajon Rondo struggled in Game 2, putting up just eight points, 13 assists and seven rebounds and failing to register one of the infamous triple-doubles that seem to be the Celtics' key to a win. Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesThat obviously wasn't the case against the Sixers on Wednesday, when he had 23 points, 14 assists and six rebounds with just one turnover. When Rondo is able to command the offense the way he's capable of, the Celtics go from being a below-average scoring team to a team that puts up 100-plus points per game, as they did on Wednesday. With a player like Jrue Holliday on the other side of the ball, it's crucial that Rondo show up offensively and defensively if the Celtics have any intention of winning.
‘No leader, no identity’: The Sixers will ‘die’ without Ben Simmons — US ViewTry as they might, but the Philadelphia 76ers barely stand a chance of progressing in the NBA Playoffs without All-Star Aussie point guard Ben Simmons. That is the opinion of many American journalists who were quick to criticise the franchise after a humiliating 128-101 loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday to go 2-0 down in the series. Columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Marcus Hayes, wrote that Simmons has proven to be irreplaceable for the 76ers who have found themselves, once again, out of their depth in the post-season.
With him, it might not always thrive. Without him, it dies. “Simmons’ critics -- critics such as me, occasionally -- often focus on his weaknesses: his refusal to shoot from the perimeter, his turnovers, his limited offensive repertoire. It becomes easy to dismiss his unique gifts: the speed, the size, the defensive instinct, the passing. “He might be incomplete, but he still is magnificent, and Brown recognises that every minute he strategizes against the Celtics, whom the Sixers play in Game 3 of the first round Friday.