2012 NBA Playoffs: Things to Watch for Between Celtics and Sixers Game 7 Battle

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IMay 26, 2012

Rajon Rondo & Jrue Holiday.
Rajon Rondo & Jrue Holiday.Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Game 7 is only a few hours away for the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The series between the two teams is tied at 3-3 and has gone back and forth with either team not being in a position to close out the other thus far. The Celtics had a chance to do so in Game 6 in Philadelphia, but their offense sputtered while the 76ers played well enough to send the series to Boston one final time.

The winner of tonight’s game will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals after the Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers Thursday night.

The Boston Celtics got some much needed help from forward Brandon Bass (who scored 27 points) in Game 5 when the team really needed somebody to knock down shots and keep the Sixers from blowing things open.

The 76ers were able to stay close throughout the game with their defense, and if not for missed free-throws and turnovers, they could have pulled out a big win, turning the momentum in their favor for Game 6.

The 76ers have been very successful in establishing their defense as they have managed to force Kevin Garnett to shoot more jump shots rather than score in the paint. In Game 6, the 76ers were also able to keep Rajon Rondo at bay while Jrue Holiday set the tone for the Sixers.

For the Celtics it could be the last opportunity for the Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen) to play together as Garnett and Allen will become free agents at the end of the season and could opt to move elsewhere (either another team or into retirement).

It will be interesting to see how both teams start the game tonight as a battle between the two teams is expected. However as the game enters the final two quarters, which of the two teams will be in a position to put points up on the board?