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Boston vs. Philly Is So Good

I’m not even going to dream of a Game 7.

May 08, 2018 - 9:52 am

Philadelphia beat Boston last night 103-92 to stave off elimination and extend the series. And that is a good thing. A really, really good thing. Because it means we get at least one more game of these two teams going at each other. I’m not talking about them going at each other in a basketball sense, although that has been very good, I’m talking about them just going at each other.

I suppose I should do the responsible thing and actually talk about the game itself, like eating vegetables before having dessert, so I will. Brett Brown put TJ McConnell in the starting lineup and the Sixers had a totally different look and feel, a completely different energy.

McConnell was taking on everyone and beating them off the dribble, scoring a career-high 19 points and coming through with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. And getting the crowd into it every time he touched the ball.

Not only that, but Philly played tough. Joel Embiid was banging in the paint and dropping bodies on the floor. Between McConnell’s energy and Embiid’ s attitude, Philly had enough to keep this series going. And I couldn’t be more hyped.

Because extending the series means another game of these dude getting chippy with it:  like this second quarter scuffle between Terry Rozier and Joel Embiid:

Another game of Joel Embiid dunking, then celebrating, and then having Boston’s Marcus Morris drop a 3-0 hand gesture on him. As in, scoreboard, look up at it.

Morris went 3-0 not once, not twice, but seven times. Over and over again. And it was great.

But it’s 3-1 now, which means we get another game of this.

Another game of Joel Embiid showing up at the postgame press conference wearing a shirt that reads: “History will be re-tweeted”

Another game of Joel Embiid describing that scuffle with Terry Rozier.

“Too bad he’s so short that he couldn’t get to my face.”

That right there is why I’m not ready for this series to be over. Because I don’t want to face an entire offseason without Joel Embiid press conferences.

Just like I’m not ready for Marcus Morris to stop getting spicy after the game.

Bleep, I’m ready to go now, too. This series might turn out to be a classic gentleman’s sweep, but there is nothing gentlemanly about this series. Both teams get under the other’s skin. They don’t like each other. And I love it.

In most situations like this, the team with the 3-1 lead is feeling pretty good and they’re pretty mellow going into game 5. But not here. Does Marcus Smart sound mellow?

This series could end tomorrow night in Boston, but this doesn’t feel like the end. This feels like the beginning. This feels like the start of a rivalry that could run for years. We’re only four games into their playoff rivalry and they’re already throwing punches, making short jokes, and dropping 3-0 series lead gestures. They’re really good basketball teams and even better trolls.

I never ask for favors, but is it too much to ask for a favor here and ask that we at least get to Game 6? I’m not even going to dream of a Game 7, that would be just too great, too beautiful to imagine right now, but Game 6? Let’s have that. I need it. The world needs it.