Friday , May , 25 , 2012 Matt Formica

Philadelphia at Boston Game 7 Preview

Philadelphia at Boston Game 7 Preview

Hoopsvibe’s Quick Call:  If the previous 6 games are any indication, whoever wins the 3rd quarter wins the series.  I think that will be Boston.

In the Celtics playoffs series against the 76ers, there has been one consistent certainty:  Whoever wins the 3rd quarter, wins the game.

In each of the past six games of this series, the winner of the 3rd quarter has gone on to win the game.  Here is a list of the first six games with the point differentials from each of the third quarters:

Game 1:  BOS +1
Game 2:  PHI +10
Game 3:  BOS +12
Game 4:  PHI +11
Game 5:  BOS +12
Game 6:  PHI +7

Not only did the team that won the 3rd quarter go on to win the game, but you’ll notice that no team has won consecutive games in this series.

Given the pattern, the Celtics are set to win the series.  Game seven is tomorrow night in Boston.  Whoever wins that game will go on to face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.  And most likely, the winner of that series will eventually lose to the winner of the Western Conference Finals because let’s face it, the teams left in the west have just looked stronger than the teams left in the East.

But back to Boston vs Philadelphia.  In my opinion, tomorrow night’s game will be a good old fashioned dogfight.  Philly’s youth vs. Boston’s veteran experience.

I truly think it’s going to be a legendary game to watch.

Philadelphia has not been to a game seven since 2001, so you can bet their young stars are going to roll into TD Garden ready to play.  They’re a hungry team and they’ve certainly been playing like it.  I don’t think many people thought they’d make it as far as they have this playoff season either.  But the fact of the matter is, they have young guys who share the basketball and play hard – everyone participates.  In game 6, Holiday had 20 points, Brand had 13, Iguodala and Turner had 12 a piece, and Williams had 11.  Every coach loves a balanced stat sheet and when you have five of your players scoring in the double-digits, you can be confident about the way your team is playing.

But not too confident.  Especially against the Celtics.

I’ve said it for months:  The Celtics are not a team to understimate.

Boston is a veteran squad complimented by strong young talent and a great coach.  Obviously they have the big three who have been there before and understand their respective roles as leaders of the team.  While Ray Allen’s playoff minutes have been limited due to injury, Garnett and Pierce have picked up the slack.  Pierce finished game six with 24 points and 10 rebounds.  Garnett: 20 and 10.  And let’s not forget about Rajon Rondo, who’s been amongst the top point guards in the league all season.

In their loss in game 6, the Celtics shot 33% from the field with 14 assists and 17 turnovers.  Dismal offensive performance.  If they execute their offense in game 7 as they have all season, they should be able to hold off the youth of Philadelphia.

The 76ers are hungry but Boston is experienced.

And tomorrow night in Boston, I think experience will prevail.

Questions or comments?  Get at us Hoopsvibers!

Image source: AP Images