Boston Celtics: 2012Round2

GameCenter: Suddenly, a series

June, 2, 2012
6/02/12
4:22
AM ET
BOSTON -- A look at ESPN Boston headlines after the Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night at TD Garden:

http://espn.go.com/boston/?topId=7999997

Keys to C's-76ers series

May, 12, 2012
5/12/12
8:00
AM ET
AP Photo/Matt SlocumThe Celtics have to find a way to generate points against Andre Iguodala and the 76ers.
Before the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers tip off Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series Saturday night at TD Garden, ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg provides four key areas to watch. That includes taking care of the basketball:
The 76ers parlay turnovers into points with alarming ease because of their speed and athleticism. Yes, the stats suggest they're a pretty inefficient transition team overall (averaging only 1.1 points per play, 26th-best in the league, according to Synergy Sports data), but Boston's old legs are clearly not going to win a foot race with this team. Turnovers are unacceptable.

"They want to get into transition, and when they are in transition, they score," said Rivers. "When they are in half court, it's a little more difficult, so that's going to be our task. ... Listen, we're not going to outrun them, they are faster than us, they are going to win the track meet, no doubt about that. We have to find a way to get them to play in the half court."

The 76ers ranked 18th in the league this season in averaging 0.88 points per play in half-court sets. Transition plays accounted for a whopping 14.7 percent of their total plays -- second-most on the team behind only spot-up possessions.

Hop HERE to read the full story.

Predictions: Experts unanimous for C's

May, 12, 2012
5/12/12
3:33
AM ET
With the Celtics and 76ers set to square off in Boston starting Saturday (8 ET on TNT), we got quick picks from the series from our hoop experts. Over at ESPN.com, all 12 experts pick the Celtics.

Jackie MacMullan: Celtics in 6
Paul Pierce's balky knee is a concern, but an active backcourt of Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley should minimize Philly's pressure -- and their transition opportunities.

Chris Forsberg: Celtics in 6
SportsNation

What's your prediction for Celtics-Sixers?

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Discuss (Total votes: 12,772)

The 76ers gave Boston all sorts of headaches during the regular season and it's easy to envision them stealing a couple games this round (particularly when -- not if -- Boston gets careless with the ball and gives up easy points off turnovers). That said, this is the Celtics' series to lose. They've got home-court advantage and a chance to take early control, but injuries to Pierce (knee) and Ray Allen (ankle) could be X factors in how this all plays out, particularly having to go up against a young and athletic squad like Philadelphia. Boston might need to find more offense from unusual sources.

Peter May: Celtics in 5
Defense will prevail in this matchup of two offensively challenged teams, and no one is playing it any better these days than the Celtics.

Greg Payne: Celtics in 6
Don't expect this to be a fast-paced, run-and-gun kind of series. These are two very disciplined, defensive-oriented teams, and I'm not expecting either team to have an easy time scoring the ball. This will most likely turn into a grind-it-out type of series, and the Celtics have proven they can thrive in those grittier affairs. Ultimately, what will propel the Celtics into the Eastern Conference Finals will be their late-game scoring, assuming Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are able to perform through their respective injuries. While Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala will be viable options for Philly in the closing minutes, if these games stay tight down the stretch, the C's will have a significant edge if Pierce and Allen are fully functioning.
BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics will meet the Philadelphia 76ers in an Eastern Conference semifinal series starting Saturday night at TD Garden.

A short time before Boston finished off Atlanta in six games, eighth-seeded Philadelphia did the same in ousting Chicago. It's only the fifth time since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams during the 1984 season that a No. 8 stunned a No. 1. In fact, since the first-round expanded to a seven-game format in 2003, 8th seeds were 2-16 in those series entering this year).

SportsNation

What's your prediction for Celtics-Sixers?

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    6%
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    5%
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    28%
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Discuss (Total votes: 12,772)

The Celtics were 1-2 against the 76ers, an Atlantic Division rival, during the regular season. A look at the complete first-round schedule:

Game 1: Saturday, May 12 - Philadelphia at Boston - 8 p.m. (TNT)
Game 2: Monday, May 14 - Philadelphia at Boston - 7 p.m. (TNT)
Game 3: Wednesday, May 16 - Boston at Philadelphia - 7 p.m. (TNT)
Game 4: Friday, May 18 - Boston at Philadelphia - TBD (ESPN)
Game 5*: Monday, May 21 - Philadelphia at Boston - TBD (TNT)
Game 6*: Wednesday, May 23 - Boston at Philadelphia - TBD (ESPN)
Game 7*: Saturday, May 26 - Philadelphia at Boston - TBD

(* if necessary)

Podcast: Iguodala on SVP Show

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
2:46
PM ET

Philadelphia 76ers small forward Andre Iguodala joins the Scott Van Pelt show on ESPN Radio to talk about his role in topping the Bulls and looking ahead to the Celtics.

Hop HERE to listen to the podcast.

[Bonus podcast: Elton Brand on the Doug Gottlieb Show].

C's will be tested by 76ers

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
12:19
PM ET
ESPN Boston's Peter May sets the table for the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Celtics and 76ers with an early look at the matchup:

http://espn.go.com/boston/?topId=7918628

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9