76ers (1-3; 5-4) at Boston Celtics (3-1; 7-4)
Today at 8 p.m., TD Garden
The 76ers need to find a way to start making three-point shots. Coach Brett Brown has decided to go with his sharpshooters instead of the team’s defensive-minded players in the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Celtics. However, the Sixers have shot only 29.5 percent on threes in the first four games. With Boston up by three games to one, Philly’s season could be over if its three-point shooting doesn’t improve.
On Monday, JJ Redick, Robert Covington, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova were a combined 8 for 35 from the field and 3 for 17 (17.6 percent) on three-pointers in the Game 4 victory.
At first glance, one would have assumed that T.J. McConnell’s being inserted into the starting lineup might have contributed to Redick’s poor outing. McConnell, Ben Simmons and Redick formed a three-guard backcourt with McConnell and Simmons sharing ball-handling duties. The veteran out of Duke had his worst game of the series, scoring seven points on 3-for-11 shooting (1 for 7 on threes). He averaged 20.3 points in the first three games.
“In general, we haven’t shot the ball well,” Brown said. “He does work. Like, he has to deal with Marcus [Smart] posting up, and he’s so competitive, he’s tough and he has a low center of gravity.
“You wouldn’t anoint JJ as an athlete. But you certainly would anoint him as intellectually gifted and incredibly competitive, smart with defensive scheme.”
As a result, the Sixers expect him to bounce back tonight.
How to watch and follow the game
Probable starting lineups
|0||Jayson Tatum||SF||6-8||18.3||4.6 RPG|
|42||Al Horford||PF||6-10||17.2||8.7 RPG|
|46||Aron Baynes||C||6-10||5.8||6.1 RPG|
|36||Marcus Smart||SG||6-4||10.1||4.1 APG|
|12||Terry Rozier III||PG||6-1||18.3||6.1 APG|
Coach: Brad Stevens (playoff record: 18-21)
Injury report: Gordon Hayward (left ankle rehab, out); Kyrie Irving (left knee surgery, out); Daniel Theis (left knee surgery, out), Shane Larkin (left shoulder, questionable)
|17||JJ Redick||SG||6-4||18.7||2.6 APG|
|9||Dario Saric||PF||6-10||16.1||7.0 RPG|
|21||Joel Embiid||C||7-2||20.6||12.9 RPG|
|12||T.J. McConnell||SG||6-2||5.5||1.9 APG|
|25||Ben Simmons||PG||6-10||16.1||9.6 RPG, 7.9 APG|
Coach: Brett Brown (playoff record: 5-4)
Injury report: None
Friday: *Game 6, 8 p.m., at the Wells Fargo Center
Sunday: *Game 7, TBD, at TD Garden
* – if necessary
More Game 5 preview links
Marc Narducci: Look for the Celtics to get Al Horford more shots in Game 5