Here's the thing about teams that are better than yours: When you play,
they win most of the time. I don't think too many people believe the
Philadelphia 76ers to be the better team in their second-round series against the Boston Celtics—if they were, they
would have more wins (and probably superior players)—but that's not to
say the gap is so unbridgeable that they can't win four games out of
seven against them. It just means that they have to take advantage of
each and every opportunity given to them. Like, when the team shoots
2-18 from three against you and has their best scorer shoot 3-11 from
the field, and you lead for the better part of three quarters, you gotta
close that game out.
So much for Plan A, then, and if the Celtics win decisively
tonight—leaving no doubt that they are in fact the better team—there
probably won't be much time for a Plan B. The Sixers need at the very
least to prove that playing the Celtics to a near-draw on Saturday night
wasn't a fluke—to again keep pace throughout, to match effort and
game-planning and, uh, scoring—to have any chance in the remainder of
the series. And winning the game outright wouldn't be the worst idea
either. (Pre-game analysis, is what we call that.)
7:00 tip from the TD Garden tonight. Go Sixers. And if you're in the
Boston area and see Lou Williams practicing his contested three-point
shooting before the game, please feel free to run out there and kick him
in the shins.
Here's Doug Collins talking about his banged up players, including Elton Brand.
"Just treat it," EB says of his soreness. "I'm excited to play tonight."