Boston Celtics

Sixers getting greedy heading into Game 7


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.'"

Ainge: More tests to confirm Isaiah Thomas (hip) is on track

Ainge: More tests to confirm Isaiah Thomas (hip) is on track

BOSTON – Isaiah Thomas will undergo additional testing prior to the start of training camp, which as you might expect has elevated the concern level among Celtics Nation.

But Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, told that the tests have more to do with re-affirming that Thomas remains on a good track health-wise, than any added concern for the two-time All-Star’s health.

Thomas, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018, suffered a right hip injury last season that limited his effectiveness in the Celtics’ conference finals matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Boston eventually lost the series in five games, with Thomas unable to play due to the hip injury in the last three.

Ainge said earlier that Thomas’ injury would not require surgery.

"There's nothing else, other than what Brad [Stevens] said," Ainge told

Speaking on the Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix, coach Brad Stevens said Thomas will have another scan in early September when Thomas returns to Boston.

From there, a more exact timeline will be established for Thomas’ return.

“It’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab,” Stevens said. “There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.

Stevens added, “We want what’s best for Isaiah. We want to make sure that when he is ready to roll, which hopefully is sooner rather than later, that he is ready to roll at his highest level and for the longest possible time, obviously, right? So that’s a lot more important to me than anything else.”

Markieff and Marcus Morris court date set for August 28

Markieff and Marcus Morris court date set for August 28

BOSTON – NBA players Markieff and Marcus Morris, each facing a pair of aggravated assault charges stemming from an incident in 2015, will have their day in court on August 28.

Marcus, who was acquired by Boston via trade from Detroit this summer, as well as his brother Markieff who plays for Washington, will appear telephonically according to Maricopa County court officials.

Marcus and his twin brother Markieff were allegedly involved in a January 24, 2015 incident in Phoenix that left Erik Hood who attended the same Philadelphia high school as the Morris twins, with a broken nose, abrasions and a large bump on his head.

Hood told police that he was held down while four men assaulted him outside of a high school basketball game in Phoenix, and that the Morris twins were among those to assault him. Authorities said a witness identified the Morris twins as having been present at the scene during the incident.

According to Hood, he had at times coached them in addition to occasionally giving them rides to practice. But the relationship went south about a year before the twins were drafted. That is when they reportedly found “inappropriate” text messages from Hood to their mother.

The Morris twins have said they had nothing to do with the incident, and added that they have no ties to Hood.

A conviction could potentially result in jail time – each of the aggravated assault charges carries a maximum jail sentence of 3 ¾ years – in addition to a 10-game suspension under Article VI, Section 7 of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement which states that a player will be suspended for “a minimum of ten (10) games” if they are convicted, pleads guilty or pleads no contest or “nolo contendere” to a violent felony.

And while pleading down to a misdemeanor charge may result in the Morris twins avoiding jail while being put on probation and likely paying a fine, that too would likely lead to some type of league suspension.

Article 35 of the league’s Constitution gives Commissioner Adam Silver the power to suspend a player if he, “shall have been guilty of conduct that does not conform to standards of morality or fair play, that does not comply at all times with all federal, state, and local laws, or that is prejudicial or detrimental to the Association.”