Players to watch
76ERS: Guard Lou Williams
He has struggled with his offense and shot selection lately. However, when asked which member of the 76ers he does not want taking the game's final shot, Boston coach Doc Rivers didn't hesitate in answering: "Williams." Having made just 7 of 24 shots in the series, he's due to break out.
CELTICS: Forward Brandon Bass
Bass has been solid for Boston all season. With the Celtics showing an aversion to mixing it up under the boards, he'll need to commit to banging bodies with the likes of Elton Brand, Lavoy Allen, and Spencer Hawes. He can score, but the Celtics need him on the boards in this series.
Three keys to the game
Boston's Rajon Rondo is the key to whatever the Celtics do, whether in the halfcourt or on the break. The Sixers have to bottle him up as best they can. When he is allowed to control the offense, he totally wrecks the defense. Stay off him and give him the jumper; mostly he'll miss it.
The 76ers have yet to establish their rebounding superiority over the Celtics. In the first two games of the series, the Sixers have outrebounded Boston by just 88-81. In their two regular-season victories over the Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers won the rebounding battle decisively, 100-70.
A quick start to the game bodes well for the Sixers. If they are scoring early, that means they are either shooting well against a stingy Boston defense or are on the break and collecting the defensive rebounds so vital to making the game more free flowing. Boston wants to grind it out with the Sixers much like Chicago did.
- John N. MitchellEndText