Dwight Howard went down a long time ago. Derrick Rose was done after one playoff game. Chris Bosh might not make back in time for Miami to defend its Eastern Conference title.
It may be shocking to say, but the Boston Celtics are relatively healthy compared to this season’s early contenders for the East crown.
Ray Allen will likely give it another go tonight, but in Game 5 the Celtics’ 3-point specialist looked the worst he has since he arrived in Boston in the summer of 2007.
Despite getting the start over Avery Bradley, who didn’t dress due to huge injury issues of his own with two bad shoulders, Allen scored just five points on 2-of-7 shooting. TNT cameras even caught him wincing in pain on the bench during the game as it seemed as though the bone spurs in his right ankle were acting up once again.
Allen underwent double ankle surgery back in April of 2007 and has had issues with his ankles dating all the way back to 2003.
The C’s sniper seemed to have turned the corner after the first two games of the Philadelphia series, scoring 12 points in Game 1 and 17 points in Game 2. There is also the fact that Philadelphia, and Jrue Holiday specifically, has seemed determined to not let Allen get going as they have not allowed No. 20 to run the baseline freely as he typically likes to do.
Sixers not yet startled
Doug Collins wants his too-young-to-know-any-better team to know that they have a shot to perform a feat similar to that of the 1982 Sixers, who upset Larry Bird and the Celtics at Boston Garden in a Game 7.
“The big thing I said to them was ‘how bad do you want to go back there for Game 7,” the Sixers head coach said. “You can throw up all the odds against teams winning a seventh game on the road. But I went back and pulled up the ghosts of Celtics past in 1982.”
To pull it off, Philly can’t afford a 15-turnover game like they posted in Game 5. -Jon Marks/Metro
Philly still wants to fly
The Sixers certainly don’t want to see Rajon Rondo out on the break like he did in Game 5 when he continously found Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett for dunks and wide open jumpers.
But Philly still wants to run themselves.
“They took it to another level on defense (Monday) night and were able to get out on the break,” said point guard Jrue Holiday. -Jon Marks