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I believe Boston's Game 4 loss was a blessing in disguise. Rather than cruise control into the NBA Finals, this gives coach Doc Rivers a chance to dig into the team and remind them to keep up the intensity. For the Celtics, when they get complacent, they get sloppy. They start making bad decisions and turning the ball over. I expect the C's to come out with renewed energy and to play with purpose. This would be a much more important win than most believe. With Perk, TA, and Rondo all ailing from minor injuries, and the Suns and Lakers deadlocked at two games apiece in the Western Conference Finals, closing the series out tonight would give Boston some much needed rest. Here are my keys to Game 5:

Close Out on 3 Pointers: J.J. Reddick and Jameer Nelson really killed Boston late in Game 4 knocking down open threes. Even with VC and Shard throwing up 'Sheed like bricks, the rest of Orlando's perimeter shooters managed to keep the Magic in the game. I don't mind Dwight Howard scoring 30+ points. It was going to happen at least once in the series; I'll live with that. But, the Celts will not win a game in which Nelson and Reddick combine for 35 points on 6-11 shooting from beyond the arc.

Run Plays for Ray Allen: Unlike the other two members of Boston's future HOF trio, Ray Allen is not able to get his own shot. Can he beat guys off the dribble? Yes. But, whether it be J.J., VC, or Barnes, someone will be shadowing Ray all night. He doesn't need much daylight to get off his shot, he just needs the offense to be patient. He won't always be open coming off the first screen, sometimes it take two, three, or even four. I understand the isolation play they run for Pierce is the "go to play" at the end of games, but anyone watching the game from opposing bench, arena, or living room watching the game knows that's what Boston is going to run.

Stephen Bailey 5/26/2010 07:07:00 PM Edit
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5 Responses so far.

  1. sonya says:

    last shot shouldve been his last game...but im over it. really.

  2. Anonymous says:

    very true about the wake call... although, I still wondering why Celtics did not call time out on last play? there was 20 seconds left and calling a time out would gotten the ball at half court and setup a play or draw a foul...

  3. Jenda says:

    Please Celtics, win this one! I'm leaving tommorow and I'm not getting back 'till monday. If I was to check here in the morning to find C's are in the Finals it would make my 1600 kilometers (about 1000 miles lol) drive much nicer.

  4. JR says:

    WIN IT FOR JENDA!!!

  5. Jenda says:

    Haha, thanks man.
    For me and for Lamar as well.
    http://img0.yardbarker.com/media/b/3/b33b30f6685bd3550269ba01e820a037c8f1e824/related/khloelamar.jpg?stamp=1274825481

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