The strength of the Boston Celtics has and always will be their defense. Philadelphia on the other hand can flat out shoot the ball. Doc Rivers’ offense must be consistent in this game for the Celtics to win and Doug Collins must preach their defensive complications.
The Sixers have the ability to force a game seven, but defensively they must secure three of the five starters for Boston, whether it is double teaming Celtics captain Paul Pierce (which they have been consistent with), utilizing Lavoy Allen and Elton Brand for physicality on the “Big Ticket,” or forbidding Brandon Bass from catching fire once again.
Philadelphia’s mindset should be set on Rajon Rondo, one of the best point guards in the league. Throughout the former Wildcat’s career, he has posted 14.0 points, 9.0 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game in the playoffs, but promptly has a knack in posting enormous numbers in pivotal games.
Sixers’ offensive scheme must revolve around Andre Iguodala. When Iguodala starts hitting jumpers early in the game, it is tough to terminate the fire he is burning. Additionally, their center Spencer Hawes and power forward Elton Brand must secure the paint in grabbing offensive rebounds, as second chance points have been their best friend in this series.
As far as Boston goes, all eyes on the “Big Three” to close out this series and retrieve an Eastern Conference Finals berth.
For Garnett and Bass, defensive rebounds must be the primary aspect in this game. If they can box out and position themselves to support their guards in defensive help then the paint will be protected.
Point guard Rajon Rondo must set the tone and that emerges on the defensive side of the ball. This contributes to the fast break category.
The crucial point in the Celtics’ offense must present Ray Allen’s shot attempts, whether it is three pointers or driving to the basket. His mentality should be driving to the basket because shooters help themselves by giving self-confidence when making layups; the three pointers will come for the 15-year veteran.
Regardless of who is running the show, they must establish the pace of the game and be decisive in every move. Rondo’s knowledge of the game is his strength. Ultimately, the three-time all-star is the Celtic’s Achilles heal. When he is on, the rest of the team follows.
We will see who sets the tone early and which coach will bring his A game tonight.