In game 5, the Celtics executed the game plan to perfection against Lebron and the Cavs pulling off a shocking road win, 120-88. Right after the big win this is what Coach Doc Rivers had to say:
“One of the things I told our guys is we’ve done nothing. All we’ve done is win three games and you’ve have to win four. We have a home game and that’s it for us in this series. It’s a very important home game.”
As great as the win was last night, I completely agree with the Coach. The Celtics haven’t done anything yet. Game 6 is it for the Celtics. They don’t want to go back to Cleveland for game 7. The Celtics need to treat game 6 like its game 7. They need to play with the same sense of urgency they showed the past two games. It’s put up or shut up time.
Lebron’s performance or lack there of, is headline news. Lebron had a poor night shooting, but give credit to the Celtics for shutting off his driving lanes. Celtics made the correct decision to make sure he can’t drive and force him outside. By the second half, Boston let him have the outside shot, daring him to shoot and Lebron still couldn’t get it done. The usually over confident “King” James looked frazzled. There were times in the game where he would pass the ball to a teammate the moment he got it as if saying “I don’t know what to do with this, you take it.” The Celtics got into his head. But, the chances of Lebron having a repeat poor performance for game 6 are slim to none. Everyone is questioning his effort, rightfully so, but I expect him to take the ball right from the opening tip and try to take the game over. His reputation is on the line.
I’m sure Coach Rivers is already telling his players that they better be ready. Lebron will show up for game 6. The Celtics defensive game plan worked for game 5, it should work again for game 6. Make Lebron shoot from outside, do not allow him to drive to the lane. When he’s driving and hitting in the paint, this gives more opportunities for Williams and Jamison to get involved in the offense. Celtics need to foul and foul often in the paint. Contest every drive and every shot down low. Though Shaq had a decent game in game 5, the Celtics were determined to not let him get an easy shot, make him earn the 2 points from the free throw line instead. Stick with the game plan that worked.
Last year, the Celtics led the series 3-2 against the Magic. The Celtics had a 4th quarter lead in game 6 in Orlando, but they couldn’t close it out in game 6. They would later lose game 7 at home. Celtics do not want a repeat of what happened last year. They have the Cavs on the ropes, time to finish them off.
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Written by johnw