NBA Playoffs 2012, Celtics Vs. Sixers, Game 7: Everything On The Line In Boston

Forty eight minutes before the teacher says, "Pencils down, turn in your test." Six games are in the books, and the decisive seventh game is all that's standing between the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and the Eastern Conference Finals. Who makes the grade?

Philadelphia forced Boston's hand with a hearty 82-75 win in Game 6, bringing the series back to Boston for Game 7, which tips off at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday night at TD Garden.

Jrue Holiday stepped up to bat and delivered for the Sixers, scoring 20 points and dishing out six assists to outlast the Celtics in the series' sixth game on Wednesday night. Paul Pierce scored 24 and grabbed 10 rebounds and Kevin Garnett totaled 20 points and 11 rebounds, but Boston received little to no production from anyone else on the roster in the agonizing defeat. Going into the game, Philly had just one goal: survive until Saturday.

"That's all we wanted was to win tonight and give ourselves a chance to go into Boston and see what happens on Saturday in Game 7," said second-year Sixers coach Doug Collins.

That being said, Collins doesn't want his squad to ease up. While reaching the second round of the playoffs is beyond expectation for this group, Collins wants them to get greedy.

"I'm not going to give them that out," Collins said. "I want more. I want more. We're going to get greedy, and we want more. We've fought, we've worked, and we've gone through a lot as a team. ... We're competitors. I love what our guys did [in Game 6]."

By now, Doc Rivers and the Celtics are certainly aware of the threat Philadelphia poses.

"They're athletic," said Rivers, the Celtics' coach. "They're young and they are very fast. They play with a lot of energy and it's very difficult for our guys. The regular season against them was hard, and that's why the playoffs have been hard. We knew this match-up coming in would be hard because they have a quickness advantage and we understand that."

But throw all of the stats and past performances out the door, because in Game 7, anything goes. Boston has a clear advantage in the experience department, with the current Big Four having played in five Game 7's together already, but Philadelphia's youth has served them well while Boston's core is banged up. Even with odds against them, the Sixers are ready.

"We know we have to battle," said Elton Brand. "We’re going to have to try to find a way."


For 2012 NBA Playoffs news, follow our stream. For Celtics coverage, visit our team page and CelticsBlog. Visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly for additional 76ers coverage.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Boston

You must be a member of SB Nation Boston to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Boston. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Boston

You must be a member of SB Nation Boston to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Boston. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.