What’s crazy to me is that our faithful DimeMag.com readers don’t seem to know the Dime crew at all. So let’s first start by putting this whole LeBron/Kobe love fest debate to bed. We don’t jock one guy more than another, and the main reasons why we write about them so much on the site is because A) They’re the two best players in the League; and B) Both of their teams are battling for an NBA Championship. Well, the Celtics actually have different plans. While this morning Chantay Jordan wrote what Cleveland must do to win Game 6 tonight, here are three things that the Boston must do to close out the series at home.
Key #1: Keep doing what you’re doing
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. And right now the Celtics are firing on all cylinders. If Game 4 and 5 were any indication to Boston’s doubters (and the Cavs) it’s that they’re not messing around. The Big Four are all averaging around 17 points per game, and tonight they’ll be going for the kill at home. Game 5 was the perfect example of why they’re such a tough out. People quickly forget that the Celtics probably would have be back in the Finals last year had KG not gotten hurt, and started the season 23-5 before injuries took their toll. Last game, they made a concerted effort to get Pierce and Garnett touches early and often, while Rondo and Ray let the game come to them. The same should happen tonight.
Key #2: Control the tempo
If the Celtics want to win this game, they’re going to have to heed three words of advice: Nothing easy early. As you saw in Game 3, a quick start from the Cavs and you might as well rest your starters for Game 7. The crowd will definitely be behind them tonight, and that’s why controlling the tempo is so key. Work the ball around on offense, make them spend 24 seconds on defense – this is what wins games. The other part of the tempo has to do with fouls. It’s extremely important that the Celtics conserve their fouls and don’t let the Cavs get in the bonus too early. As soon as they let them live at the line, the tempo has shifted in their favor.
Key #3: Let LeBron get his
Some people might think I’m crazy, but this is the best way to close out the series tonight. As it was pointed out this morning, aside from LeBron, no other Cavs player is averaging more than 14 points per game in this series. And when only one Cavs player scores more than 20 points, Cleveland loses. LeBron can drop 50 tonight for all I care, but as long as Shaq, Jamison and Mo Williams stay below the 20-point mark, the Celtics should be alright. Because of the public ridicule of LeBron over the past couple days, you know he’s going to come out the gates firing. Fire away.
What do you think? Will the Celtics win Game 6?
Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.