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Philly needs to contain Rondo to force Game 7 against Boston

May 23, 2012, 3:58 PM EDT

Boston Celtics guard Rondo drives to the basket past Philadelphia 76ers guard Turner during the first quarter of Game 5 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series in Boston Reuters

There are a lot of things worth watching in Game 6 between the Celtics and Sixers. For one, Kevin Garnett has invited the considerable wrath of Philadelphia down on him, one of his tricks for self-motivation. It will be loud and angry in the building.

All eyes will be on Brandon Bass to see if he can replicate his Game 5 and drop 27 again.

Can Boston, up 3-2 in the series close it out — note that in the “big three” era in Boston the Celtics are 2-10 in road closeout games (via Dei Lynam at

But none of that is what will decide Game 6 and if the Sixers can force a deciding game in Boston on Friday night. No, it comes down to one thing:

Can Philly contain Rajon Rondo?

In the second half of Game 5 Rondo was able to get deep into the Sixers defense and that opened up things for everyone else — Brandon Bass cutting to the basket behind the defense, Kevin Garnett (and Bass) for open midrange jumpers, even Greg Stiemsma had five buckets just cutting to the basket and putting away the pass in that game.

In a defensive series, Rondo was getting the Celtics easy buckets at the rim in the second half — Boston shot 61 percent in the third when they pulled away — and that was the difference.

Boston has Avery Bradley and Ray Allen as injured and are game time decisions. But you know at least one, probably both, will go.

Other things to watch — the team being aggressive and attacking has gotten to the line in this series and that has been a huge advantage. Also, the team last four games the team that won dominated the third quarter. Watch how they come out of the locker room. Also, Philly needs to turn their defense into offense with Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala getting buckets in transition. A magical Lou Williams night wouldn’t hurt, either.

Sixers coach Doug Collins has gone to the history card, showing the Sixers how in 1982 their predecessors came back on the Celtics in the same situation. That’s great, players don’t know enough about history. But what they really need is a way to keep Rondo in check.

  1. bozosforall - May 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    The Sixers have already shown, if they play mistake-free basketball, that they can beat the Celtics. Beating the refs is another story altogether.

  2. bleedgreen4life - May 23, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Sixers haven’t lost consecutive playoffs yet so hopefully that won’t change tonight. I’ll be there cheering em on. GO SIXERS!!

    • jjordannba - May 23, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Celtics haven’t lost consecutive playoffs yet so hopefully that won’t change tonight. I’ll be there cheering em on. GO CELTICS!!

  3. jssgriffi - May 23, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    It’s hard to play perfect in a league where only the top 15 players get calls. Sixers have to beat both the celtics and the refs, and once they do, they’ll get no credit for it anyway. The NBA is so horrible to watch. The product they provide is so tainted its not even funny. Maybe stern will have some balls and do something about the “Jordan” rule. How is it so obvious to every fan that watches this “street league” the refs have way too much control of the games and the ppl who run this sport don’t see it. Oh wait, all the see is $$$$$$$

  4. justprofit84 - May 23, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Sixers need to have a good game offensively and great game defensively. Doesn’t matter because the Heat will take the East.

  5. mungman69 - May 23, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Stop blaming the refs before the game starts. We all know what goes on and you have to get past that.

  6. skizzy79 - May 23, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Dear fellow Sixers fans,
    Lets not start complaining about the refs. Boston and Bass kicked our asses on Monday. Turnovers and bad defense killed us.

  7. infectorman - May 23, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    The sun will set, the sun will rise, and Blowzo the ultimate FRONTRUNNER, will WHINE AND CRY like a little baby he is…

    KoME-slurp-machine; for the love of the NYY, LA Fakers, LSU Tigers and all the other teams you “root” for even though you don’t live near any of them– just shut your considerably enormous pie-hole about the refs…

    ALL YOU DO IS WHINE…like a little bitch

  8. pasportyxlc - May 23, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    if we (sixers) can not turn the ball over 4-5 times in a row and get some fast breaks…..keep rondo to an avg. gm (u’ll never shut him down…he’s tooo good) and actually make some shots at the line we will have a gm 7….quit whining about the refs…..they suck for both teams….no exscuses… happy just to still be playin when alot are playin golf….not bad for a 2nd yr coach….new owner and Iggy as our “superstar”…LOL…I can only imagine how we could play if we had an Allen and maybe rondo and KG……so all U haters dumping on the 6ixers… least we our still playing unlike Kobeeez kids and the NY Snicks…….go SIXERS….A NICE FAST PACED GM AND ITZ BACK TO BOSTON !!!!!

  9. mungman69 - May 23, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    See you all on Boston

  10. drewzducks - May 23, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    I wouldn’t put it past these two teams to see a Sixers win tonight and then Game 7 could go either way. But for all the squawking about the refs this series, thru 5 games, 3 played in Boston where the refs no doubt have given the Celts an advantage, Philly has taken 115 FTs to Boston’s 108.

  11. drewzducks - May 23, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Way to go team AARP. Rather closing it out in 5, by blowing game 4, now you get to play a game 7. If they somehow manage to pull that out, the Heat, who will close it out tomorrow, will be licking their chops waiting to play an old, beat up team on their last, and creaky, legs. Oh well.

  12. tfoz5150 - May 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    This site is the worst. Where the hell is the recap of game 6!

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