Even It Up: Sixers Face Celtics in Do-or-Die-ish Game Four

Even It Up: Sixers Face Celtics in Do-or-Die-ish Game Four

Do you know what the stats are of teams coming back from 3-1 deficits
when they have to play two of the last three on the road? Well...neither
do I, but it doesn't seem like they'd be very good, does it? This is
the do-or-die situation the Sixers face going into Game Four of their
second-round series against the Celtics tonight at the Wells Fargo
Center. Based on their game three performance, "die" certainly seems the
more likely option for these 76ers, but let's not put all that stock in
one game and remember that two times already this series—on the road,
no less—the Sixers pushed the Celtics to the brink, even managing to
steal a game. It's certainly not too late to hope they can manage to
split on their home court.

It would help if some of their players played well. The list of
Sixers who came up short on Wednesday is too long and depressing to
recount here, but suffice to say, only Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young
really got excused from taking a trip to Principal Collins' office after
the game Wednesday.  We'll need some big bounce-back performances from
several of our guys, especially Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes (assuming
Hawes still has something to bounce back to at this point), and we'll
need someone, anyone to put up something resembling defensive resistance
against Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. We'll ask nicely.

"We're going to compete. We're going to play hard. I know that," Doug Collins said before the game tonight. "I hope we play better. That's the key. We know that they're going to come out with the idea that if they get this game tonight then they're not going to have to come back here in their minds. They'll think they can get some rest."

"We've just got to do a better job defensively. We gave them 50 points in the paint, 21 fast break [points]. We can't give them those kind of baskets."

8:00 tip from the WFC. Did you know that the team that wins Game
Four at home after going down 2-1 ends up winning the series 88% of the
time? Maybe not, but that would be pretty cool if it was true!

Tonight's lineup: With only RHPs left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

Tonight's lineup: With only RHPs left, could Ryan Howard start every game?

If healthy, Ryan Howard is expected to start all three games in the Phillies' final series of the season Sept. 2-4 at home against the Mets.

He might also start the entire Braves series.

The Phillies' final six games are all against right-handed starting pitchers: Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Collmenter in Atlanta; Robert Gsellman, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard with the Mets. That could mean six starts for Howard before his time with the Phillies expires.

Howard's batting average has been below .200 for practically the entire season, but he's been much better since the All-Star break, hitting .259/.325/.598 with 11 homers, five doubles and 25 RBIs in 123 plate appearances (see game notes). He went 0 for 6 in his last two starts but homered in each of his two previous starts to reach 23 for the third year in a row.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup Tuesday against Teheran:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Roman Quinn, LF
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P

Matt Kemp is out of the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Jace Peterson, 2B
7. Dansby Swanson, SS
8. Mallex Smith, LF
9. Julio Teheran, P

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Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman makes complete 180 with latest roster move

Howie Roseman solidified his hold on Executive of the Year Tuesday when he re-signed guard Darrell Greene to the practice squad and released JaCorey Shepherd from the practice squad. Shepherd was signed on Wednesday when Greene was previously released.

The Eagles were undefeated with Shepherd on the practice squad this year.

But they're also undefeated with Greene on the practice squad.

Roseman did not return messages requesting comment about Shepherd's seven-day stint with the Eagles.

Once Roseman realized he had actually NOT signed Lito Sheppard, the deal was voided.

The Eagles don't play this coming weekend so we were hard-pressed for any actual news.