When the Boston Celtics head back home following Game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers, the only reason they should be doing so is to celebrate.
The Celtics can't allow this series to go to seven games. They simply can't because they must save as much court time as possible heading into the next stages of the postseason.
They currently lead the series 3-2, including a dominant 101-85 victory at home. They must carry that same play into this game, as they can't gamble anymore time with running teams like the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder potentially on their horizon.
Is it essential for the Celtics' future to win Game 6?
Not to discredit the Indiana Pacers or San Antonio Spurs, but the aforementioned two teams just run explosive offenses that could potentially destroy a team with their athleticism alone.
For that reason, the Celtics should make sure they finish things off tonight, otherwise they run the risk of playing one more game than they have to.
Veteran forward Kevin Garnett is playing at a ridiculous level, including a vintage stat line of nearly 20 points per game.
Players like Brandon Bass have played exceptionally well also, but fans know they can't expect performances like his 27-point Game 5 too often—something that could be a problem if players like Ray Allen continue to struggle.
In a postseason like this, rest is most important, especially for a team like the Celtics.
They must go into Philly accepting nothing less than a win, otherwise they may pay for it in the long run.