Friday, May 3, 2013
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.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
This was the gutsy performance green teamers have been waiting for. We all thought they were done, including myself, just keeping their heads above water in game 4 for pride. But game 5 proved the Celtics are playing for far more and truly believe they can win this series. Just click here and ask Kevin Garnett (video at bottom).
What a balanced effort from the Celtics in a game where Doc Rivers cut the rotation to seven players, one of which was Terrence Williams. Brandon Bass kept Boston in the game early after going down 11-0. Bass finished with 17 points, Jeff Green had 18, Paul Pierce 16 and Jason Terry 17 including some clutch second half three pointers. Kevin Garnett (despite STILL only getting up nine field goals) had his game of the series again; he totaled 16 points to go with 18 boards, five assists and two blocks. Garnett now has 52 rebounds in his last three games.
On the other end of the ball, the Celtics limited Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith to 38 points (a couple garbage time threes by J.R.) on 11-for-38 shooting. The result will be a pressure filled game 6 at the TD Garden for the Knicks.
Don't think we will be seeing the Knicks in all black arriving to game 6 in Boston. Keep in mind the Knicks did dominate a game this series in Boston, but the Knicks will be showing up with a much different feeling in their stomach to this game I'm sure.
The Celtics have a golden opportunity to send this series to a seventh game, playing with all the momentum, in their home building on what will be a rowdy Friday night at the Garden. And the saying is true, anything can happen come game 7. We all remember what happened game 6 of the Eastern Finals at home against the Heat last year, win and earn a trip to the Finals... although the stakes are not as high, the Celtics need to win this one to even stay alive.
Keep an eye out for Bleed Green's game 6 preview, how can we keep Ray Felton out of the paint? And be sure to follow on twitter @bleedgreenblogs - click here for a link to our twitter feed.