Pregame: 76ers won't tweak lineup
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins said he will not make a starting lineup swap heading into Game 4 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Boston Celtics.
Even with Elton Brand battling a stiff neck, Collins said he would stick with a "proud" guy in Brand, rather than make a switch to someone like Lavoy Allen, who is having a solid series.
"I think (the neck is) bothering (Brand) more than what he wants to say, I'll say that," said Collins. "He's one of the most proud guys I've been around. I'm going to put him out there again and see what he can do."
The Celtics made a somewhat controversial late-season starting lineup swap moving Ray Allen to the bench and keeping Avery Bradley with the starting unit after thriving in Allen's absence. Last night, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra tweaked Miami's starting lineup looking to compensate for the loss of Chris Bosh.
How does Doc Rivers feel about lineup swaps?
"You have to do what you have to do," said Rivers. "It’s one game at a time, trying to win that game. We all do it. I don’t do it very often. I don’t change a lot, in that way. I may want to and just sub early, sometimes we do that. I’m a big believer in continuity. Having said that, listen, you’ll do anything to win a game. I think all of us coaches have tried it."
The Celtics are dinged up, including starters Paul Pierce (left MCL sprain) and Avery Bradley (sore left rotator cuff), but they'll have their typical lineup on the floor. And Collins expects them to be looking for a bit of a knockout punch with a chance to take a 3-1 series edge with Game 5 set for Boston on Monday night.
Collins said the Celtics are likely thinking about not having to come back here and getting some rest. After Boston's offensive fireworks in Game 3, Collins noted, "We have to do a better job defensively."
Play Podcast Grantland's Bill Simmons discusses the state of the Lakers, Phil Jackson's future, the perception of Rajon Rondo, Doc Rivers' impact on the Clippers and more.
Play Podcast Buster Olney chats with Jayson Stark about Ken Griffey Jr.'s uncomfortable interview with Linda Cohn and the value of spring training. Plus, Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels and Derrick Goold on Matt Carpenter's negotiations with the Cardinals.
Play Podcast Red Sox manager John Farrell talks about whether he expected his team to make such a turnaround in one season, his relationship with his players, fans' expectations for the squad and more.