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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Cookin’ up UGLY Wins....The Sixers’ Recipe for Success!

Hand over the clipboard Doug Collins.  Let me have a crack at the Celtics! 

This series can be very easy for the Philly basketballers.  All they have to do is the SAME thing they have been doing all year...annnnnnnnnd maybe shoot the ball a bit better.

Winning ugly has been the way that the Sixers have achieved their success pretty much all year.  It was never more evident than in the series against the Bills where NOBODY will be lining up the level of play against the NBA's greatest teams.

Gritty defense, an occasional spurt of offense, and some opportunistic bounces of the basketball and voila!  The Sixers are preparing for the Celtics in round two.

Let's face it, it didn't hurt that the Bulls best two players were hurt, too.

In the Boston Celtics, you have a team that's just asking to get knocked out and the Sixers are just the team to do it.  How Atlanta, a team with some pretty good young talent, lost to Boston is beyond me.  In a way, the Celtics won much like the Sixers...ugly.

So, if you're expecting something reminiscent of the days of Dr J., Larry Bird, and all of those great Celtic vs. Sixers match-ups over the years, be sure to have the vomit bucket at arms’ length at all times.  This is not going to be pretty basketball.

The biggest advantage this Sixers team has over this Celtics team is depth.  The Celtics pretty much rely on their top five players.  That may need to change a lot since it looks as if Ray Allen may have a cranky ankle giving him trouble all series. 

Fortunately for the Sixers, the candidates to take Allen's minutes aren't anything that will remind you of a "solid NBA player."  Sorry Celtics fans; that's just the truth.

Avery Bradley?  Keyon Dooling? Marquis Daniels?  C' chance.

The Sixers should play 9 deep and run whenever they get the chance.  Throw as many fresh young bodies at the Celtics as possible.

Coach Collins should view this as a war that gets won by winning four battles.  Even in games they lose, they need to exhaust the Celtic starters to the point where they're out of gas in every second half of the game.

The biggest matchup is Hawes against Garnett.  Even at 36 years old, Garnett is still a force inside and will be a mismatch for Hawes.  Hawes will need lots of double down help from his teammates and hope that the Sixers can rotate fast enough to the open shooter.  Don't be surprised if you see Collins experiment using Lavoy Allen against Garnett early in the series.

But, Hawes can turn the tables on Garnett, too.  Kevin Garnett will NOT come out and cover Hawes at the 3 point line.  If Hawes can knock down open jumpers it will cause the Celtics lots of fits.

The matchup the Sixers can exploit is Iguodala vs. Pierce.  Iggy is much more athletic and I believe he'll send Pierce into a shooting nightmare.  Pierce is a smart player, so I don't think this is going to be a travesty, but I do give Andre the nod.

Rondo and Holiday are going to be battling each other the whole series, and it should be a very entertaining battle.  Hopefully Holiday will get the Sixers out and running.  If Collins has him slowing things down it will only play into the Celtics game plan.

The other big problem the Celtics have is that they really don't have an answer defensively for Brand (unless they decide to let Garnett cover him instead of Hawes).  If Brand asserts himself offensively he could be a HUGE difference for the Sixers.

All of the other names (starters or not) like Lou Williams, Turner, Young, Allen, and maybe even some Jodie Meeks, should be in and out of the game like a revolving door.  The Sixers shouldn't let the Celtics have enough time to figure out who everybody's covering before making another substitution.

A prediction?  The Sixers win this series in NO MORE than six games.  That would take at least one win at the TD Garden and then holding serve at home.  If they can find a way to win game one, the Sixers could win this thing in FIVE games!

Wear them down and late in games, as well as late in the series, the Celtics will be cooked.  Grind it out, and win ugly.  It's what the Sixers are good at doing....don't stop now!  Let's not try to get cute. 

There you go Coach's easy!  Stick to the "AllStarInc Plan" and you'll be facing the Heat in the Conference Finals in about two weeks! 

Oh, and Doug...if you have any questions...hit me up anytime. 

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