The 76ers and Celtics have faced off in a game seven before – just not in the last two decades. There have been five previous meetings (Boston has won three of them), but the last two may ring a bell to anyone who grew up in the 80s:
1982: Andrew Toney (pictured) scored 34 points, Dr. J added 29 and the 76ers won in the Boston Garden, 120-106. The win vaulted Philly to the NBA Finals, where it lost to the Lakers in six games.
1981: In an epic series in which five games were decided by 1 or 2 points, Boston won game seven, 91-90 to advance to the NBA Finals.
Good luck finding anyone picking the 76ers in this one. They’re only in this round because of the Derrick Rose injury, but they’ve made the most of their opportunities, winning game two in Boston (they lost game one in the final minute).
Boston’s core is 3-2 in game sevens. The 76ers? Most of the players on the squad were in college or high school the last time the franchise was in a game 7 (2001).
I’ll be rooting for Philadelphia, but I’ve got no confidence in Holiday/Williams/Iguodala pulling this off. I’ll go with Boston, 94-89.