Jrue Holiday: “Next Game, We Have To Play Like It’s Game 7″
Which, if you remember, wasn’t exactly the god-fearing sentiments the Flyers strutted into their first potential series-closing op with the Penguins (who, save for the obvious factor that they didn’t lose one (two?) of their stars for the entirety of the series, making for a copiously cleaner walk to the next round, make for a pretty close a comp to the Bulls) in their Eastern Conference Quarters. Before they got smoked for two straight games, recalibrated their focus and recaptured control.
Doesn’t seem the likely scenario here — at least to the extent that the Sixers are not only aware of the stakes (and room for, as Tom Thibodeau likes to call it when it happens to his side, as it has throughout this series, “slippage”), but adamantly, outwardly, vocally so.
They might lose. But that definitely won’t start from a lousy attitude.
Said Holiday, who posted 20 points (most of which on three straight 3s to put the Sixers ahead for realsies and en route in earnest to a 89-82 win in Game 4 Sunday) in his Game 3 Hero encore: ”Next game we have to play like it’s Game 7. We have to play like our backs are against the wall, like it’s do-or-die. We wanna win in Chicago, what? Tuesday? And hopefully from there we have a little rest in-between the next round.”
Wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulls go down swinging, stealing Game 5 as you’d figure Should-Be Champs Who Went 18-9 Without The Guy Who Makes Them Should-Be Champs. Assuming Joakim Noah comes back. If not? Find your nearest La-Z-Boy for potentially autograph ops. Because the Sixers will be shopping for ottomans to kick their feet up on between playoff rounds.