The Boston Celtics have a chance to put the Philadelphia 76ers in their rearview mirror when they meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Philadelphia.
The 76ers are an eight seed that has already topped expectations by knocking off the top-seeded Bulls in the first round. But now they have to find a way to knock off the formidable Celtics in two straight games to keep their playoff run alive.
That could be difficult, considering the Celtics' utter domination of game five. The Sixers led 50-47 at the half, but Boston turned up the defensive intensity down the stretch, earning a 16 point victory.
To stop the Celtics, the Sixers have to figure out how to stop Rajon Rondo. The Celtics point guard had 13 points and 14 assists in game five and is averaging 14.4 points, 14.6 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game in the series.
Rondo has long been considered the X-factor for the Celtics, complementing the big three and assisting them in winning games. This season and in these playoffs, those roles may have switched, with Rondo taking over.
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The Sixers do have an advantage to cling to heading into game six, the last time the teams met in Philadelphia; the Celtics gave away an 18-point lead with a miserable second-half performance and lost. Philadelphia is hoping history repeats itself.
Where to watch: The game can be viewed online at www.firstrowsports.eu/sport/basketball.html. It will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.
Prediction: The Celtics aren't the finishers that they once were, and Philadelphia just doesn't go away, ask the Bulls. Look for the 76ers to push this series back to Boston for game 7.
Predicted Score: Philadelphia over Boston 95-88.