BOSTON - With no real dominant scorer on the roster, the 76ers have limited options when they need a basket.
The player they lean on most is sub Lou Williams, who led the team in scoring this season with an average of 14.9 points a game. But it doesn't always come easy for Williams, as other teams focus on him at key moments.
"Lou is a No. 1 priority" for opponents to defend, Sixers coach Doug Collins said. " 'Don't let Lou Williams get started.' They know he's a guy who's critical for us. When he scores, we're pretty tough to beat."
When the Celtics jumped out to a 9-0 start in Game 2 on Monday, Collins was quick to go to Williams in favor of Evan Turner. Williams helped the Sixers cut the deficit to 25-21 at the end of the quarter.
But Williams was not hot. He made just two of his first nine shots and finished 3 of 13 for eight points.
It's that time of the year when nearly every player lucky enough to still be playing is battling some sort of ache or pain. It's certainly no different for the 76ers.
In Game 1 against the Celtics on Saturday, forward Thaddeus Young was kneed in the shin by Celtics forward Ryan Hollins. The kneeing caused Young to also twist his right ankle. The ankle, Young said, is feeling just fine. But the shin is giving him a little bit of a problem. Before Game 2 on Monday, Young got treatment and was fitted for a special pad to absorb any contact. He saw just 12 minutes, 48 seconds of action.
The more serious injury appears to be the shoulder/neck area of Elton Brand. After Monday's shootaround, Brand said the problem occurred when he took a spill in Game 4 of the Chicago series. He has been getting treatment and deemed himself fit, but the pain is obviously affecting him.
"We just treat it," said Brand with a wincing shrug. "Everybody has something going on with them, but you just work through it."
Brand played 17:49 but was generally ineffective, finishing with seven points and four rebounds.
More of Allen
In Saturday's Game 1 loss, rookie forward Lavoy Allen played almost 20 minutes, spelling an ineffective and hurting Brand. Allen, who did not play a minute in the series-clinching Game 6 against the Bulls two nights earlier, produced 12 points and six rebounds during his stint Saturday.
Asked why Allen is getting the nod over fellow rookie Nikola Vucevic, Collins said: "He's older. Nik is 21, and Lavoy is 23 or something. He has a little bit more experience. Lavoy is physically stronger. Lavoy is better on pick-and-rolls. He's more mobile."