The second round of the NBA Playoffs has been filled with ups and downs for every team still remaining. The latest buzz was last nights game between the 76ers and Celtics.
To put it short, Philly won in OT by a single point after a Marcus Smart shot that went in, was released after the buzzer, tying the series 2-2. C’s coach Joe Mazzulla not calling a timeout caused a frenzy as well, but honestly, Boston fans shouldn’t panic just yet.
Harden has to go off to win
Nobody expected the 76ers to go down without a fight, or for the C’s to easily win this one. But look at the games prior, Harden just dropped 42, and in game 1 he had 45 points, and in both games the Sixers won in a combined 3 points. Harden has to go off for Philly to win, even if so, they win by a slim margin and typically one possession.
That’s not to say Harden can’t go off, but he’s not the same guy he once was.
Celtics have another gear
In case you missed it, in game 4 the Celtics were trailing at the start of the fourth quarter. During the break, Mazzulla told his team there’s another level defensively they can reach, and they did just that and took the lead. The Celtics have the depth and talent to win any game, it’s just been the final moments where they begin to slip up. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a huge fault, but it shows just how lethal the C’s are.
I mentioned the Sixers winning by a slim margin, but every game the C’s win it’s by double digits. It’s the level of intensity in which the Celtics choose to turn up or keep low.
Too many playmakers in Boston
The Sixers have their MVP in Joel Embiid, and he has an ‘ok’ supporting cast around him. An aging James Harden and a very fast but young Tyrese Maxey. When looking at the Celtics, they just have too much for a best of 7 series.
Aside from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics have the Sixth Man of the Year in Malcolm Brogdon coming off the bench. They have Marcus Smart who’s a former Defensive Player of the Year and isn’t afraid of big shots. Smart dropped 21 points in game 4 as well. Then there’s Derrick White who played like the third best player on the Celtics in the regular season. Not to mention the veteran Al Horford as well.
If the Celtics lose game 5, then there’s legit reason to worry.