NBA Playoffs 2012: Boston Celtics Need Dominant Performance at Home in Game 5
If the Celtics had taken care of business in Game 4, after building an 18-point lead in the third quarter, they would have a little breathing room. All the pressure would be on the 76ers to win this game.
Instead, the 76ers enter the TD Garden on Monday night with nothing to prove. They took the confidence from the Celtics and put themselves in prime position to steal the series which seemed to be in Boston's control.
Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated put it best after Game 4, suggesting that the loss tells us a lot about the Celtics.
"This game promised to say a lot about the Celtics, and this result fulfilled that promise in the worst way. They wanted and needed to go up 3-1 to close the series in five games Monday and earn extended rest for an East final against Miami or Indiana...The elderly, injured and altogether vulnerable Celtics can't assume they will prevail, not after a severely inconsistent postseason in which they've wasted opportunities to win Games 2 and 4 this week."
Which Team Is In More Trouble?
For a team that is supposed to be strong both mentally and physically, the Celtics have not done a lot in this series to inspire confidence.
Honestly, they should have swept the 76ers out of the playoffs.
While you can't linger on what might have been, the Celtics definitely have to figure out what they must do to stop the bleeding.
Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce do not have a lot of time left to get back to the Finals. The Celtics are not dead in the water, but a poor performance tonight will all but end their chances of making the run it looked like they would make when this series started.
One game does not make or break a series. A collection of missed opportunities in multiple games does, and the Celtics have had numerous chances to grab this series by the throat.
Game 5 is their best chance to prove they are still in control of this series and ready to seize their destiny. They just have to execute in the way we have gotten accustomed to seeing.
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