Sixers-Celtics Game 4 Preview: Pulling Out All Of The Stops

Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Sixers and Celtics meet up again tonight for Game 4 of their second round series, with the Celtics regaining home court advantage and the Sixers trying to salvage a game at home and possibly their season.

I, like many others, am feeling down after the letdown on Wednesday. So I decided to do what I did last year for the playoffs, which is to link to an inspirational song to get us pumped for the game. Of course, since I listed to music that generally wouldn’t qualify as music that will pump you up (my current playlist is topped by Foster The People), I usually use classics. Well, not for this one, though I guess it may be old enough now.

Anyway, I don’t have too much for you to look for, but I want to focus on something that’s been ignored to an extent in the playoffs: the lack of offensive production during the postseason from the best offensive bench in the NBA during the regular season. Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams have had very sub-par playoff runs. Young’s first good game came on Wednesday, when he scored 22 points on 16 shots in the defeat. Lou’s been all over the place, showing the world why diehard Sixers fans have a love/hate relationship with the Boss.

The biggest problem Lou Williams has is just not hitting shots, and because that is all we rely on him for he has become near-useless. He’s shooting just 35.4% on field goals and a ghastly 19.4% on threes (and he’s still taking four per game). When he’s putting up those offensive numbers, he’s not helping the team. Granted, just the threat of him potentially hitting a shot has made him better than Evan Turner these last two games, but in that Lou is just not being as detrimental as The Villain, who he has replaced early on in the last two games. His struggles may be related to his back injury suffered in the Chicago series, but we don’t know for sure and I am sure he won’t admit it as long as the Sixers are still playing.

Thaddeus Young, meanwhile, is suffering from a known ankle injury which has impacted his mobility. During games Young must wear some sort of protective pad over the ankle so that he can play. Wednesday night was a nice step in the right direction. While he doesn’t have to put up 22 points every game, he has to hit shots near the rim, in traffic, both because they are available and because no other Sixer big has that ability, really. And unlike the Chicago series, his superb pick-and-roll defense isn’t a necessity, because Boston doesn’t run as much of it as Chicago or most teams do. He has to score when he’s on the court, because there’s not much else he can do to help things.

Other than this, look for the same things I’ve mentioned before. The Paul Pierce-Andre Iguodala chess match, Kevin Garnett‘s being awesome, fast break points, and floor spacing with the starting five, along with anything else I may have mentioned. Everything is important, and everything is on the line. Teams don’t lose games 3 and 4 at home and live on to fight for another round.

Game 4 starts at 8:00 tonight. Hopefully, we come out with a win.

Topics: Andre Iguodala, Boston Celtics, Evan Turner, Kevin Garnett, Lou Williams, Paul Pierce, Thaddeus Young

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