By Titus Falodun
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Sixers find themselves as the underdogs headed into an elimination game in a best of seven series versus the Boston Celtics, but there are five things they can do to ensure tonight is not the end of their season.
Brett Brown’s rotation in the first three games has not gotten the job done when it comes to maintaining leads, running the clock and getting the win. It is time to get players like Justin Anderson and Richaun Holmes involved. Anderson proved to be a much-needed jolt of energy and grit against the very physical Miami Heat last round. He was also very instrumental in getting underneath the skin of future of Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade. Meanwhile, Holmes is just the guy the Sixers need when it comes to crashing the board and running on the fast break against the Celtics.
These two players, along with TJ McConnell, will provide a spark for the Sixers’ second unit that is lacking flash and flare.
Slow It Down
The Sixers need to stop playing at their ferocious pace that helped them tear through opponents on their way to a 17-win streak and 52-win regular season. It’s OK to slow down the game with timeouts and running set offenses that establish Joel Embiid deep in the post and allow the offense to flow from there.
Keep The Dribble Alive
Ben Simmons picked up his dribble way too early in the shot clock on numerous occasions during that overtime loss to the Celtics on Saturday. If the Sixers do not want a repeat of costly turnovers, Simmons, as the primary ball-handler, needs to make sure he keeps dribbling until he eyes an open man for the shot or pass.
Throw Everything You Got At Them
The Sixers cannot afford to hold back in an elimination game. Brown and his players need to play with all they can muster because anything less will have Monday night be their last night playing ball as a team.
Trust The Process
This Sixers live and die by faith. Doubters said The Process wouldn’t work. They said Embiid would never play. They said Saric was never coming over. They said Brandon Ingram was a better pick than Simmons. They said the Sixers would barely make the playoffs. They said a lot of things and the Sixers have proven them wrong every step of the way. Let that wave continue, starting tonight.
Sixers play the Celtics at 6 p.m. Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.