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Celtics-Sixers Game 4 preview

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  May 18, 2012 09:30 AM

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Celtics' offensive explosion was the story Wednesday night, but something tells me we're going to go back to talking about defense in Game 4.

The Sixers were 1-11 during the regular season when giving up 100 points or more. There was something disappointing about Philly's lack of effort on the defensive side of the ball in Game 3. Expect more muck tonight.

Here are the details for tonight's game:

Tip-off: 8 p.m.
Series: Celtics lead, 2-1
Broadcast info: ESPN, WEEI/850 AM/93.7 FM (Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell)

Probable starters:

Celtics:
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett

Sixers:
PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Evan Turner
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: Elton Brand
C: Spencer Hawes

Story lines:

The Big Three: In Game 3 it was Rondo, Garnett, and Pierce, with Allen scoring just 3 points in 25 minutes. Bradley was scoreless in 20 minutes. The Celtics can't continue to expect Garnett to put up point totals in the high 20s. Actually, who knows what to expect from Garnett these days besides excellence. Still, more scoring help would be good.

The other A.I.: Iguodala should be torching the Celtics. Instead, he scored just 10 points and took six shots in Game 3. With Pierce matched up on him, Iguodala would do well to stop settling for jump shots and try to beat Pierce off the dribble. Also, shoot more.

Mettle: It's fun to throw out a bunch of stats at the beginning of this this thing and then end it with a reference to good old-fashioned gumption. It might sound like nonsense, but there are intangible factors in basketball. Can the Sixers rally from a crushing blow? What are they made of? Will the Celtics keep their feet on the gas?

@GlobeGaryDzen

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