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Even It Up: Sixers Face Celtics in Do-or-Die-ish Game Four

May 18, 2012, 7:04 PM EDT

The Sixers are going to have to step up their defensive game if they want to even up their series with the Celtics tonight and head back to Boston with a fighting chance.
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Do you know what the stats are of teams coming back from 3-1 deficits
when they have to play two of the last three on the road? Well…neither
do I, but it doesn’t seem like they’d be very good, does it? This is
the do-or-die situation the Sixers face going into Game Four of their
second-round series against the Celtics tonight at the Wells Fargo
Center. Based on their game three performance, “die” certainly seems the
more likely option for these 76ers, but let’s not put all that stock in
one game and remember that two times already this series—on the road,
no less—the Sixers pushed the Celtics to the brink, even managing to
steal a game. It’s certainly not too late to hope they can manage to
split on their home court.

It would help if some of their players played well. The list of
Sixers who came up short on Wednesday is too long and depressing to
recount here, but suffice to say, only Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young
really got excused from taking a trip to Principal Collins’ office after
the game Wednesday.  We’ll need some big bounce-back performances from
several of our guys, especially Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes (assuming
Hawes still has something to bounce back to at this point), and we’ll
need someone, anyone to put up something resembling defensive resistance
against Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. We’ll ask nicely.

“We’re going to compete. We’re going to play hard. I know that,” Doug Collins said before the game tonight. “I hope we play better. That’s the key. We know that they’re going to come out with the idea that if they get this game tonight then they’re not going to have to come back here in their minds. They’ll think they can get some rest.”

“We’ve just got to do a better job defensively. We gave them 50 points in the paint, 21 fast break [points]. We can’t give them those kind of baskets.”

8:00 tip from the WFC. Did you know that the team that wins Game
Four at home after going down 2-1 ends up winning the series 88% of the
time? Maybe not, but that would be pretty cool if it was true!