BOSTON -- The theme coming out of the Celtics locker room is how impressed they are with the fight in the 76ers.
That is why nobody on Boston expects the Sixers to fade after losing 101-85 on Monday at TD Garden and now finding themselves on the brink of elimination in this Eastern Conference semifinal series..
Now there is no margin for error for the Sixers, down 3-2 in this best-of-seven series that resumes Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
According to Celtics 10-time all-star Paul Pierce, the Sixers have left a favorable impression, not just this postseason but the last few years.
“You got a very resilient Philadelphia group who just won’t go away,” Pierce said. “I take my hat off to them, they are one of the better teams we even played in the last few years because of their fight and they got great coaches and their players are mentally tough.”
This wasn’t somebody just attempting to throw bouquets to soften an opponent. The Sixers clearly have the Celtics attention, if not the lead in the series.
“We know they are not going to go away so we got to have our hard hats on for the next game, Game 6, to try to put them away,” Pierce said.
Actually, Boston has shown plenty of toughness as well, an aging team which hasn’t forgotten how to compete and to win.