By John Harris |@JHBasketball
Philadelphia going back to Boston after slamming C’s behind Jrue Holiday:
This has not been a pretty series; this game was no exception. They say in Boston that ‘as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics’. The green team’s star point guard struggled in this one, recording only 5pts and 6ast as no one else stepped up to help Garnett and Pierce, who both hit double-doubles. It didn’t help that Boston couldn’t chuck a ball in the ocean (26-78 from the field) but the credit should really go to the Sixers, who had 5 players in double figures and responded to coach Doug Collins’ rallying call after Game 5. Philly legend Allen Iverson presented the game ball before tip and must have inspired current guard Jrue Holiday, who hit 20pts and attacked the paint all game. These two will head back to Boston on Saturday night and may already know their next round opponent if Miami can close out Indiana tonight.
“Game 7. That’s all we wanted was to win tonight and give ourselves a chance to go into Boston and see what happens on Saturday [...] I want more. We’re going to get greedy. We want more.”
- Doug Collins
NBA All-Defensive teams announced:
League MVP Lebron James led voting for the NBA All-Defensive team and Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler bizarrely only made the second team as the Association announced its annual defensive teams yesterday. The full first-team — as voted by all 30 NBA Head Coaches — is:
Lebron James (Forward, Miami Heat), Dwight Howard (Center, Orlando Magic), Chris Paul (Guard, Los Angeles Clippers), Tony Allen (Guard, Memphis Grizzlies) and Serge Ibaka (Forward, Oklahoma City Thunder).
The Defensive Player of the Year award is voted by members of the NBA media, while the All-Defensive teams are voted by coaches, who are only allowed to select one player per position. This perhaps explains the anomaly, with coaches having to make more adjustments for the dominant paint protector Howard, whereas Chandler’s defensive presence is more of a change in culture (a la KG).
The full second team is:
Tyson Chandler (Center, New York Knicks), Kevin Garnett (Forward, Boston Celtics), Rajon Rondo (Guard, Boston Celtics), Kobe Bryant (Guard, Los Angeles Lakers) and Luol Deng (Forward, Chicago Bulls).
No surprises with Heat suspensions:
The Miami Heat will attempt to close out the Indiana Pacers tonight without the services of forward Udonis Haslem (1 game) and center Dexter Pittman (3 games), after both were suspended for flagrant hits that occurred in Game 5. Pacers’ forward Tyler Hansbrough — whose hard foul on Dwyane Wade sparked an escalation of intensity in the game — saw his flagrant 1 upgraded to a flagrant 2, but avoided a suspension. The league came down harder on Haslem and Pittman because their fouls were deemed to be ‘retaliatory’ in nature.
Haslem has been a key contributor for Miami in the absence of Chris Bosh and the Heat will need another huge game from Wade and James if they are going to close out Indiana on their home floor tonight.
Predictions for Game 7 of the Celtics-Sixers series? Agree with the NBA’s defensive voting? How much will the loss of Haslem affect the Heat tonight? Let us know below!
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