Turner, Sixers Dominate Celtics

The Philadelphia 76ers stumbled into a sudden 1st-place showdown with the Boston Celtics on Mar. 7. Over the last few weeks, these tough tests would be the ones the Sixers would need but fail to prevail in. Many Philadelphians feared that the Sixers would go up early, give up a second half lead, and fail to hit key shots late, as per usual.

Instead, the showdown with the Celtics was pretty much over by halftime, like the good ol’ days (by that, I mean 3 weeks ago). After weeks of struggles against winning teams, it made the Sixers’ 103-71 victory even more shocking.

The Sixers made Rondo feel downright depressed often, holding him to 5 points, 8 assists, and 1 rebound (Getty).

Nothing that Philadelphia did in the last several games suggested that it was capable of this. Blowout wins were the Sixers’ bread and butter to start the year, but they had been few and far between lately – and so were wins in general. Since they came in on a 2-8 skid, and the Celtics had won five in a row to get within a game of first place, we at least expected and feared a close game.

On the contrary, from the opening tip, the Sixers stunned us by being dominant all over again, jumping out to a 33-17 lead after only one quarter. What’s more, none other than Evan Turner led the way, despite weeks of limited action and rumored clashes with Doug Collins. Yet he chose just the right time to get a career high 26 points and nine rebounds, after his coach decided to let him start and run the point.

The rest of the Philadelphia lineup was efficient again as well, with over 48 percent shooting and just eight turnovers. In addition, the Sixers’ top-ranked defense returned to form by holding Boston to 35 percent shooting and only 71 points. Prolific point guard Rajon Rondo was held to 5 points while Paul Pierce could only get 16, and Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett combined for merely 10 points. It was simply an all-around defensive spectacle against a red-hot offense

This kind of performance could be expected from the old Sixers, even against the Celtics. But the Philadelphia team that won like this in January seemed to have been killed off in February and early March. However, it returned in time to salvage first place and prove that Boston may still be too old and inconsistent to get out of second.

Iguodala had a nice all-around game, scoring, rebounding, finding open teammates, and playing excellent defense (Getty).

Besides Turner, the Sixers had 5 other players in double-figures, the type of offensive balance that had them 20-9 earlier in the season. Andre Iguodala nearly snagged a triple-double, scoring 10 points, grabbing 8 boards, and dishing out 7 assists while getting 2 steals. Turner’s backcourt mates, Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday, combined for 25 points, 10 assists, and 4 steals to go along with a combined 32 points and 21 rebounds from Elton Brand and Nikola Vucevic.

The Atlantic Division isn’t exactly the hardest to hold off, given how Boston was re-exposed and the New York Knicks are starting to come down from ‘Linsanity.’ The Sixers still have a lot of problems and continue to do worse against tougher teams than the Celtics. But despite Philadelphia’s limitations, it seems that it remains good enough to be the class of the Atlantic for now.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: 76ers

Author:Curran Aiyer

Studying Finance, Business Analytics, and International Business at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University with a minor in Spanish. Aspiring to change the world by driving education and the importance of staying informed. Looking to share my learnings and knowledge on behavioral economics and how that correlates with investing in yourself wisely. Originally from Philadelphia and trusting the process.

Subscribe & Share!

Subscribe to our updates to be the first to know about breaking news, interesting opinions and more in the Philadelphia sports world.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: