The Boston Celtics will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night in a crucial game seven in the NBA playoffs. This game is extremely important for the Boston Celtics because a loss will not only send them home for the rest of the season, but could be the end of the Big 3 in Boston. The latest line on this game currently has the Boston Celtics as a 5.5 point favorite to beat the 76ers, but stranger things have happened.
Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett are all near the end of their careers and more importantly their contracts. Barring a huge home discount the chances of this team taking the court next year are slim. Rajon Rondo has emerged as one of the best players on the court and the Celtics have enough younger players to build around in the future.
This puts all of the pressure on the Celtics to win game seven and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami heat.
The Sporting News points out that the Celtics have a history of playing deciding games. In the history of the NBA, no franchise has participated in more playoff Game 7s than the Boston Celtics, with 27 on the docket and No. 28 coming up on Saturday night against the Philadelphia 76ers in the East semifinals. This version of the Big 3 have played in a game seven five times and they have won three of them, but this Saturday against the 76ers will mark their biggest game to date.
If the Celtics are going to win they will have to do it without shooting guard Avery Bradley who is going to undergo surgery repair some damage in his shoulder. (Via ESPN) This is bad news for the Celtics as Bradley is a reliable player that played tenacious defense.
Everyone in the NBA outside of Philadelphia wants another Boston vs. Miami showdown for the finals, but the 76ers wonâ€™t go easy. This team is showing some resiliency and has stretched this series to seven games by playing physical basketball and winning when the pressure is on.
76ers head coach Doug Collins has stated that the Celtics may be looking ahead at this point.
â€œI think theyâ€™re looking at that other series a little bit, seeing (Miamiâ€™s) Chris Bosh being out,” Sixers coach Doug Collins told reporters after Game 3. “I think they see a tremendous opportunity for themselves, and you could just see with their game tonight that this was a much different team than we saw in Boston.â€
This could have some semblance of truth considering that the Celtics seemed like one of the few teams that could compete with the Miami heat during the regular season. The regular season will not matter if the Celtics canâ€™t beat the 76ers.
Paul Pierce is ready to go, Kevin Garnett is playing like a beats logging many minutes, and Ray Allen is struggling, but he has a knack of showing up at the right time. Allen and the rest of the Celtics team will have to show up and be ready to play, if they want to have a shot at another championship run with the Big 3.
The Big 3 want to prove they are not too old and they still have a chance to win it all, and it all comes down to one game on Saturday night. One more game seven to prove they are still among the elite in the NBA.
One more game to prove the Big 3 is still a feared combination and that may be all they need.
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