Simmons, Baynes set to joust in NBA battle

Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent

Australians Ben Simmons and Aron Baynes will engage in what could be an epic NBA playoff encounter when the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics clash in game five of their series.

Tip off is in Boston on Wednesday (Thursday 10am AEST).

If Simmons' 76ers lose they will be eliminated from the playoffs and Baynes' Celtics will move on to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

If the 76ers win they will stay alive, reduce the Celtics' lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-2, take momentum and set up a game six in front of a fanatical home crowd in Philadelphia on Friday.

A potential game seven decider is pencilled in for Sunday in Boston.

"We have a game plan that we are confident in," 76ers coach Brett Brown said after Wednesday's morning shootaround.

"We have a rotation we believe in and we have the spirit to move this thing forward and we want to go back to Philadelphia."

Baynes, the Celtics' starting centre, has been a rock for his team, putting his body on the line battling the 76ers' All-Star centre Joel Embiid while averaging seven points and six rebounds per game.

The Queenslander has also added a new weapon, three-point shooting.

He has made six of 14 long bombs against the 76ers for an impressive 43 per cent success rate.

Brown pointed to the 76ers' three-point shooting as an area the team needs to improve.

The Celtics have exposed Simmons' poor shooting by standing off him and daring him to shoot while smothering the 76ers' arsenal of three-point shooters JJ Redick, Dario Saric, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova with defenders.

The 76ers are connecting with just 34 per cent of their three-pointers.

"We haven't made shots and I think if we can click on a night when we are guarding like we have been guarding and then make some shots, that's when we have a chance to be at our best," Brown said.

"I would like to see more threes.

"That is the way the sport is being played now."