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Game 5 Thoughts

                                     Photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images



Game 5 is upon us and the Celtics find themselves in essentially a must win situation on their home floor. The series is tied 2-2 and Cleveland looks to have all the momentum. Luckily for the C's, the TD Garden has been very good to them this postseason, posting a 9-0 record. The home crowd always gives the Celtics that extra effort on the court and they will surely need it with LeBron playing his usual self. In order for this series to swing back in the C's favor, they are going to need to regain focus on several aspects of their game that they seemed to have forgotten while traveling to Cleveland.

The most crucial aspect they need to regain is their first quarter play. Game 3 saw the C's trailing 32-17 after one, while Game 4 saw them losing 34-18. Having that big of a hole to climb out of early, especially on the road, will almost always end up a losing effort. The C's did manage to battle the rest of game 4, but again, too little too late. Tonight is all about a fast start and playing smart basketball. This doesn't mean that the Celtics need to have a 10 point lead after the first, they just need to be in a competitive game and its a must to keep the home crowd, who has been so good to them, in it.

Scary Terry needs to make his presence felt tonight. He might struggle on the road, but at the TD Garden he generally gives you a big game offensively. If he can get hot early, look for the Celtics to go on runs and potentially take this game over. It just feels like the type of game where Rozier goes off for 20+ points while shooting a high percentage from behind the arc. Defensively, all I ask from Rozier is that he stop switching to LeBron. That matchup these last two games was the C's kryptonite and it won't get any better if it keeps happening.

Defense is obviously always important, but the type of defense I want to see tonight is the run stopping defense. This is when the Cavs start hitting a couple of shots in a row to try and break the game wide open. If that starts happening, the C's need to buckle down and make a few big stops, which will hopefully then turn into some fastbreak points. Too many times in Cleveland did you see the Cavs 3-point shooters left with wide open looks. This cannot happen tonight. The Celtics need to go back to games 1 and 2 where they allowed LeBron to try and control the offensive end, while shutting down the other four Cavs on the court. 

My prediction, Celtics win it 105-101. Rozier and Brown go off for 20+ points, Baynes hits a couple of 3's while we all yell at our TV's as he is doing it and "Average Al" dominates the stat sheet again. LeBron will more than likely get another one of his 40+ point triple doubles, but in a losing effort. Now all that's left is to sit back, enjoy the game and believe in Boston.



For more, follow Ricky on twitter: @RickyG43_BSoT

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