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Get It In Chicago: Sixers Well-Heeded to Win Tonight in Game Five

May 8, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

The Philadelphia 76ers are one game away from the second round, but need to beat the Bulls tonight in Chicago to get there.

Do you want to see what happens if the Sixers lose tonight? I certainly
don’t. Lose this one, and it’s just a fragile Game Six in Philadelphia
keeping us from facing decision in front of a super-emotional United
Center crowd in Game Seven. (Which may be a little like Barney saying
“After this case [of beer] and the next case, there’s only one case
left!,” but still, it’s true.) I like the closing mentality we’ve seen
out of team so far in this series, but if we let this one slip away
tonight, it might start a domino effect for them where the last one
falling is a Game Seven win in the Windy City that leaves everyone
scratching their heads and saying “What the hell happened?”

They need to get it tonight.

If not for this series—we could still win a Game Six at home, sure—then
for the next one. The Celtics seem pretty likely to wrap in five, and we
don’t want them to have any rest advantage over us, especially in this
injury-riddled post-season where it seems like escaping 48 minutes of
game action with all of your players’ bodies in tact is more of a win
than actually finishing with more points than the other team. Close it
out tonight, get some rest, and see if we can’t run the C’s off the
court in the next round.

And the Sixers have a very real chance of doing it. Chicago is reeling,
the fanbase bummed beyond bummed, the roster lacking the on-court
leadership to get everyone together and focused. If you believe in
intangible basketball stuff like momentum, then the Liberty Ballers
certainly have all of it right now, and the fact that they’ve been able
to grind-out these still-close games against a still-solid Bulls team is
very encouraging. But they need to it one more time, and that one more
time needs to be tonight. If you guys can close now, then close it for
real. Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, this is your team now. Act like it. Get
it done.

9:30 tip (for some reason) from the United Center. If the Sixers win
tonight, they won’t get half the credit they deserve for beating this
Bulls team, but if they lose tonight, and then a couple more times by
the end of the week, they’ll get twice the blame. Don’t be that team,
guys. Finish the job, and finish it right. Do it for Tony Battie and
Craig Brackins.