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It wasn’t pretty, but Sixers think Game 6 win a thing of beauty

May 23, 2012, 11:45 PM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday stretches past Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett in Game 6 Reuters

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, for Philadelphia 76ers fans Game 6 Wednesday night was Kate Upton on the beach in Fiji.

For the rest of us — especially Boston Celtics fans — it looked a lot more Joan Rivers. But what matters to Sixers fans are the results and the 82-75 Philly win ties the series at 3-3 and forces a Game 7 in Boston on Saturday.

Philadelphia came in with a good defensive plan that Boston will need to counter Saturday — they trapped when the Celtics tried to make a move. Philly trapped Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo when they put the ball on the floor, they went after Kevin Garnett in the post. In Game 5 Rondo was carving up the Sixers defense, getting into the paint then hitting a cutting Brandon Bass or Kevin Garnett floating for the midrange. Come Wednesday night Rondo was 4-14 and forced to take jumpers that he missed. Boston was too often forced out of its offense into the improvised state Doc Rivers calls “random.”

As a team Boston shot 33.3 percent and had 16 turnovers (most in the second half). If it were not for Paul Pierce getting to the line and going 13-13 there this game would have been ugly. Well, even uglier.

Philly on the other hand had Jrue Holiday doing what Rondo did for Boston last game — attacking when he came off the pick and getting into the teeth of the Celtics defense (which was not its usual sharp self, especially Ray Allen who could not stay in front of anyone and fouled out). Holiday had 20 points and 6 dimes, and the Sixers had their usual balance. Elton Brand had 13 points and Andre Iguodala 12.

The 76ers had 42 points in the paint to the Celtics 16. Boston settled after the traps, Philly attacked. If that doesn’t change Saturday this is going to feel a lot like 1982 in Boston.

But let’s not pretend this game was well played or pretty. What worries me is that Game 7s is usually when teams get tight and play ugly basketball; I fear what we could see after this game. This was sloppy.

The second quarter… let us not speak of it. Philadelphia started 0-9 shooting and Boston only put up 17 points — and won the quarter by 6. It made you long for the beautiful basketball of the 1990s Knicks.

In the third the Sixers went on 11-0 run in the third to take the lead (Boston opened the quarter shooting 0-7), but Philly never really pulled away. Both team slogged toward the finish line. Philly won the third quarter 27-20 and led 60-56, something they were able to grow and maintain.

The key stretch may have been in the fourth when Holiday backed down Mickael Pietrus, then next time drove by Garnett and hit scoop layup. That got others going — Lou Williams had buckets, too. Without Avery Bradley (out with shoulder injuries) the Celtics didn’t have anyone who could slow them at all.

You expect that Boston will bounce back — they have the veterans, they are at home (and are historically 17-4 in Game 7s at home), they have the guys with the rings. But this series has seen momentum swing like a pendulum, anything can happen.

Which sounds beautiful to Philly fans.

  1. phillyphan83 - May 23, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    that’s your second Kate Upton reference of the day Kurt…get your head out of the gutter

  2. kvanhorn87 - May 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Sixers get no credit. 1st round everyone said with Chicago up 1 game, without rose the bulls would still win in 4or 5, Noah out game 3, Sixers win series. The celtics picked to win this series in 4 or 5. Low and behold a game 7 in Boston. Odds are still against them but I am so tired of no one giving this team Credit. All u hear is how ugly it is or that the celtics keep losing. Ridiculous! Get a clue, 2 of the top
    4 defenses are going head to head, it is supposed to be ugly or one team isn’t playing their game.

    • bleedgreen4life - May 24, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      I completely agree. Just because both teams don’t score over 100 its an ugly game? The Sixers don’t have a great half court offense. They play stingy defense and force turnovers. That is how they win games. But yeah, I’m sure ESPN will talk about how Boston lost this game and continue to mock this whole series like its a joke.

      • lunasceiling - May 24, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        Me three. There’s nothing “ugly” about good, hard defense. That’s what playoff basketball is supposed to look like. Okay to be fair, the Celtics were missing open shots, too…but people still aren’t giving the Sixers enough credit.

      • j0esixpack - May 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        They won. That’s enough beauty.

        It still seemed like neither team actually wanted to take the lead all night – but no one will remember those details a week from now.

  3. dawglb - May 24, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    A win is a win. Now, just show up in Boston with desperation, intensity, the same game plan, and win it!

  4. lancer255 - May 24, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    As a Sixer’s fan I thought the Cs would win in 6 so a game 7 is like playing with house money. For everything good play the Sixers make, they make two dumb ones. I just wonder how far that will take them. I really wish Management did a better job at the the trade deadline to bring in a player to help. Every team in the playoffs made a move and we stood pat. Could definitely use another big body right now.

    To get to the point about the national media, there is definitely a bias towards Boston which I understand but in there current condition they are not beating the heat if they win on Saturday. In fact I actually think the Sixers would play them tougher.

  5. mungman69 - May 24, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    You write that the Sixers didn’t win, the Celtics lost. It ain’t over, for goodness sake. This is how the Sixers played all season. Doesn’t matter, Miami will be next. But Boston looks old, which they are and the Sixers look weak, which they are.

    • kappneffect - May 24, 2012 at 6:36 AM

      Oh.. the Heat next, eh? Stay off the juice.

  6. phillynac - May 24, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Boston is the slightly better team at home in a game 7. They should win the game. The Sixers have a shot of Garnett goes cold or Lou or Jrue catch fire. It is a long shot but a shot nonetheless. Either way, whoever wins gets mopped up by the Heat.

  7. mungman69 - May 24, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Celtics are 17-4 in game sevens. Not to shabby. If the Sixers can steal this.

  8. mungman69 - May 24, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    You never know. The Heat won’t have Bosh for some time and without him they can be beaten.

  9. dawglb - May 24, 2012 at 7:21 AM

    I laugh at statistics such as The Celtics are 17-4 in game 7’s…….A dozen of those game 7’s happened before THESE Celtics were even born. 17-4 is an irrelevant stat. (PS: did you know that 42.7% of all statistics are made up?)

  10. jblah - May 24, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    good stuff from the sixers. i like the fact that they are battling. no one thought the sixers would do much in the playoffs and here they are taking the celtics to game 7. great job by doug collins! go sixers!

  11. infectorman - May 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    26 of 78. exactly 33.3% from the field.

    Damn Rondo! For all of your wizardry, could you pop in a right side-running layup from time-to-time?
    I can hit that shot….blindfolded….

    As much as it pains me to say it, my C’s sucked last nite and will not win anything shooting like that. If they cannot shoot 43% MINIMUM from the field they will get killed in the next round, if they are fortunate enough to even make it there…
    At this point, I think Philly – Miami just might be the better series…unless Boston starts making shots again. UGLY.

    • infectorman - May 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      whats worse is they had MANY open looks to go along with Philly’s very good defensive play as well. No excuses Celtics.

    • bozosforall - May 24, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      Dude, you couldn’t make a single shot against NBA caliber defenses, so STHU. They shot poorly because the Sixers played good defense.

  12. jimeejohnson - May 24, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Hey bozo: yer comments evoke Don Rickles and Rodney Dangerfield when you refrain from the excessively disparaging remarks about Boston and its fans. While I am not one of them, one cannot forget that unlike here, west of I-5, they don’t have earthquakes in Boston. I think you would agree that home court advantage is a big advantage in any 7th game of a playoff series: I know the 2010 NBA champion Los Angles Lakers would. It’s very difficult to win on the road in the NBA anyway. I hope the game is competitive rather than a blowout for either team.

    • bozosforall - May 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      They had an earthquake on the East Coast just last year (or was it the year before?), so don’t be so sure about anything. Home court or no, the Celtics won’t win a title this year…or for many years to come.

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