Sixers getting greedy heading into Game 7

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Sixers getting greedy heading into Game 7

BOSTON When this Boston-Philadelphia playoff series began, there was a sense that a good showing by the Sixers would be enough to appease them.

Not anymore.

"I want more," said Sixers coach Doug Collins. "We're going to be greedy, and we want more."

Indeed, the Sixers will have that opportunity on Saturday in a winner-moves-on battle with the Boston Celtics.

It's pretty simple. You win, and you're off to the Eastern Conference finals. You lose, and you've got an entire summer to think about why you're on some balmy island instead of still ballin'.

"That's all we wanted was to give ourselves a chance to go into Boston and see what happens on Saturday in Game 7," Collins said.

Well aware that youth has served him well thus far in this series, it doesn't do him much good in a Game 7 type situation, something that most of his players have never experienced.

Collins has, and rather than simply share that experience orally, he's taken to providing clips from the last time these two teams met in a Game 7 -- 1982.

That series, just like this one, ended in Boston.

But it wasn't the home team coming out on top, as the Celtics lost, 120-106.

"I think me and (former Celtic Tony) Battie were the only ones born then," said Sixers forward Elton Brand. "They were like, 'What's going on? They have ghosts and sheets behind the bench?' They didn't know what was going on."

But in that series, the Sixers had a 3-1 series lead before dropping two straight to the Celtics which forced a series-deciding Game 7.

Collins is wise enough to know that what happened in 1982 won't have any tangible bearing on what happens on Saturday.

But to have a team with so little experience in Game 7s and facing a team like the Celtics who are full of veterans who have been in -- and survived -- in these kind of situations, he knows he must do all he can to try and squash whatever nerves and jitters may come about because of this moment.

"One thing as a coach I think hou have to do, especially with a young team, is you have to try to continually make them feel confident and understand that everything is going to be okay if we just keep working," Collins said. "That's what I've really tried to do with this team and they've grown. They've done a really good job with that."

And now they're on the verge of doing what so few envisioned they could accomplish this season -- advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Although a loss at this point would still make this a successful season considering how far they have come in such a short period of time, there's no question the Sixers' mindset right now is on one thing and one thing only - win one more game.

"It's going to be tough," Brand said. "We know we have to battle, but we're going to have to try and find a way."

Added Collins: "I don't want to go into that (Game Seven) with, 'no matter what happens, everything's okay.' I want to go in with the idea, 'Let's see what we can do. Let's see if we can go get us a win.'"

Crowder on Wizards' all-black 'funeral' plans for Celtics: 'That's cute!'

Crowder on Wizards' all-black 'funeral' plans for Celtics: 'That's cute!'

The Washington Wizards plan to roll into tonight’s game against the Celtics donning all-black clothes, as in a funeral procession, a sign of solidarity and an omen of sorts for a game that they hope ends with them burying the Celtics.
 
When Jae Crowder was asked about the Wizards all-black gear, his initial response...“That’s cute!”
 
More than anything, the Wizards (24-20) are putting a significant amount of value into tonight’s game. A victory would extend their home winning streak to 14.

Meanwhile, the Celtics (26-17) come in looking to snap a two-game losing streak.
 
“This is definitely not Game 7 or the playoffs,” said Isaiah Thomas. “But if they want to take it that serious, they can.”
 
The idea to arrive at the Verizon Center donning all-black was hatched by Bradley Beal, who has some contentious moments, to say the least, with the Celtics recently.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens knows all about the funeral talk which to him is just that, talk. He’s more concerned with his team doing what they need to do in order to win.
 
Nothing more.
 
Nothing less.
 
“At the end of the day, good basketball teams are physical,” he said. “There’s a line you don’t want to cross. Ultimately, you have to be appropriately physical at a high level. It’s about playing well, focus on your next task at hand. This is a great opportunity to see where we’re at.”

In the Celtics' 117-108 win over the Wizards on Jan. 11, Beal was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul after getting into it with Marcus Smart.
 
Last season, Beal was on the receiving end of a left forearm to the face from Smart, who was driving to the basket at the time. The blow resulted in a broken nose for Beal in addition to spending time in the league’s concussion protocol program.
 
And then there’s his backcourt mate John Wall.
 
He was fined $15,000 for his role in a postgame incident with Jae Crowder (who was fined $25,000). Crowder pushed Wall’s nose with his finger, which led to Wall retaliating with a slap towards Crowder’s face.
 
And when the two met back on Nov. 9, Wall was hit with a flagrant-2 foul (an automatic ejection) when he threw Smart down hard to floor in the final moments of a Wizards win.
 
The Celtics have a few games that have become more physical than others recently, but there’s something about this Celtics-Wizards matchup that brings out an elevated level of feistiness.
 
“It’s just all talk; that’s all it is,” Thomas said. “I guess they taking it and running with it. I don’t know what it is. I [saw] the funeral and the all-black thing last night and I just laughed about it. We’ll be there tonight for a game, not a funeral.”
 

WATCH: Celtics vs. Wizards

WATCH: Celtics vs. Wizards

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