Friday, May 3, 2013
Game 6 Preview
The Celtics and Knicks will tip off game 6 of their best of seven series Friday night at the TD Garden in what has turned into the wild series we all expected from the start. All the pressure has finally shifted to the Knicks after guaranteeing a game 5 victory by wearing all black for a Celtics funeral. After that gutsy showing by Boston they will have the chance to even the series and force a game 7 tonight.
Even though the pressure may now be on New York, there are several keys to the game that the Celtics must control to win a trip back to New York. The first key has to be keeping Raymond Felton out of the paint. One of the biggest surprises thus far has been Avery Bradley's inability to keep Felton in front of him. Game 5 Felton was scoring around the basket at will. Maybe Terrence Williams will see some minutes on him, or even the rebirth of Courtney Lee as the Ray Felton stopper. Hopefully Doc figures something out by Friday night.
Another key to this game specifically is going to be containing Carmelo Anthony to start the game. Jordan Crawford made stupid comments to Melo after game 5 which could potentially light a fire under Melo heading into tonight. The Celtics have handled Anthony well lately though, specifically Brandon Bass. Not a smart move by Crawford though, no reason to give the best player any extra motivation for a road closeout game...
Games seem to be changing when Jason Terry enters them. After a horrible start to the series, Terry has given a big scoring boost to the Celts. He has been infinitely more valuable than Bradley, especially if Bradley continues to have problems with Felton. Point here being get JET in early and often in game 6.
The final key is keeping Kevin Garnett as heavily involved as he has been. Garnett has been dominant in all phases of the game. Although Paul Pierce and Jason Terry have been contributors Garnett's rebounding, defense and low post touches remain the most important part of the Celtics game plan.
Hopefully the three vets combine with Bass' defense on Anthony and the wildcard we know as Jeff Green can rise to the challenge and get this one done. Boston is playing with house money in their own building. The Knicks scare me, but I don't think Celtics fans are nearly as worried as Knick fans as game 6 approaches.