A miserable performance at Boston in Game 5 seemed to doom the 76ers' season.
However, in Game 6, they bounced back, and now they're on the brink of advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Jrue Holiday stepped up big time to keep the Sixers alive, and he'll have to have another great game if Philly wants to win the seventh game. However, from what we've seen in the past, it is definitely possible.
Philadelphia has no true star, but with Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and some other young 76ers, they are loaded with talent. They have pieced their team together very nicely and built a championship contender, even as the eighth seed.
That's why I foresee them shocking the Celtics.
Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are all (or have all been) great players, and guys like Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass have stepped up during the playoffs. However, Allen's shot is off, and he seems to be lacking the energy he needs.
Pierce isn't the player he once was, as he no longer is the star and as a result is seeing his numbers decline. Garnett has been hitting his outside shots, but if he cools off, the C's would be done.
As long as the 76ers can pressure Garnett and contest his shots, he shouldn't be too much of a problem. Philadelphia did a good job of blocking off the middle of the floor in Game 6, which, in turn, created problems for Boston on offense.
Jrue Holiday was able to find the middle, and if he couldn't pull up for a floater, he would dish the ball to a teammate for a jumper. This formula worked effectively, for Holiday as he finished with 20 points and 6 assists, with the floater serving as his primary weapon.
Just like they've been throughout the playoffs, the Sixers were clutch.
Whenever Boston chipped away at their lead, they rebuilt it. Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday made up for Philly's prior free throw struggles by each hitting a pair to ice the Game 6 win.
By creating good shots and contesting shots, the 76ers have been able to make it to this stage in the playoffs. If they can do that in Game 7, the Celtics will wear out and be forced to turn to their miserable bench.
Although the Celtics have shown the ability to come back, when they're pushed to the brink, I think the C's will struggle. If Philly frustrates Boston early, Boston will fall out of the game and be eliminated.
And the young, talented 76ers will be in the conference finals.