2010 NBA Finals: 8 Things The Celtics Have To Do To Win The Series

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2010 NBA Finals: 8 Things The Celtics Have To Do To Win The Series
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

First off, it's important for me to note that Lee DeWyze's performance of the National Anthem last night was the worst that I've ever heard.

Also, Dane Cook was there to greet the Celtics as they walked through the tunnel after the game. Can't we do any better than him for a celebrity fan?

Plus, Andy Garcia's mustache makes him look like Joseph Stalin.

In regard to Game Two though, it was an "Instant Classic" for anyone who isn't a Lakers fan. As David Bowie would say, Ray Allen was "putting out the fire with gasoline," with his NBA Finals record setting eight three pointers. 

And how can you not have a high level of respect for Rajon Rondo at this point? Rondo had the first triple double in the Finals since Tim Duncan in 2003, and the first one by a Celtic since Larry Bird in 1986. 

How many times have people said Rajon Rondo can't shoot, and how many times have opposing defenders given him an infinite amount of space to take the outside shot?

Last night, Rondo did what great players do: He let his game do the talking. Rondo stepped up and hit a huge spot up jumper to put the Celtics up five with under two minutes to go.

Despite the brilliant performances by Rondo and Ray, this was still very much a team victory. Nate Robinson delivered for the second game of this postseason scoring 7 points in only 6 minutes including a clutch three pointer to silence the crowd, and put the Celtics up by one with nine minutes to go in the fourth. 

On the following possession, Robinson scored on the fast break and also nailed two free throws to tie the game with a little over six minutes left to play.

Glen Davis stepped up yet again off the bench giving the Celtics some desperately needed quality minutes with Kevin Garnett in foul trouble. "Big Baby" took a charge from Kobe which was his fifth foul. 

This was a crucial play in the game since it restricted Kobe’s minutes down the stretch.  Davis also had some very timely baskets and five offensive rebounds.

It wasn't all warm and peachy for the Celtics though. They had 12 first half turnovers, including a very costly one by Shleden Williams right before the half that allowed Kobe to drill a three and cut the Celtics’ lead from nine to six. 

The worst part was that after Williams rebounded the ball, Rondo was right in front of him calling for it, and he still chose to throw it up for grabs crosscourt.  Then, on the very next play, Williams threw it away again from out of bounds allowing Kobe to make another steal and hoist up a shot that fortunately didn't go in. 

The officials have been calling this series very tight on both sides, and if they continue to do so, the Celtics' big men will end up in foul trouble once again. 

Doc Rivers might want to think about having Brian Scalabrine suit up instead of Williams. "Scal" may not make it look pretty, but at least you know that he's been in the Finals before and that he's reliable.

 

Keys for the Celtics in the Rest of the Series

1.  The Lakers set an NBA Finals Record with 14 blocked shots last night. The Celtics have to do a much better job of using shot fakes to lift the Lakers' big men off the ground to either get the shot off, get fouled, or both.

2.  The Celtics need to rebound much better on both sides of the floor. The Celtics didn't get their first put back points of the series until the third quarter of Game Two.  Only Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis have been crashing offensive glass.  

Everyone has to crash the boards to get the Celtics more second chances on offense. The Celtics' bigs need to make sure to body Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol when the shot goes up since both of them are getting way too many points off put backs.

3.  "Run Like Hell." Rondo was much more aggressive in Game Two attacking the basket in transition and we saw the results. Rondo and the Celtics need to continue to run the fast break in this fashion every single game from here on out.

4.  Protect the ball better, and limit turnovers. As stated before, the Celtics had 12 first half turnovers. The only reason they held a lead at the half was because Ray Allen hit seven three pointers. Ray’s not going to do that every game. The Celtics have to take better care of the ball.

5.  Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett need to step up in a major way and they will. Pierce and KG combined for only 16 points last night and they both know they'll have to heat up as the series shifts back to Boston.

6.  Avoid careless fouls. The Celtics have no choice but to play tough so fouls will happen, but they need to avoid committing the unnecessary ones such as when KG bumped Gasol as he ran down the court. That's the kind of thing the Celtics need to stay away from.

7.  It's a no brainer, but keep feeding the ball to Ray Allen, and then get ready to play some defense.

8.  Never let up on the intensity. The Lakers played like they wanted it more in Game One, and the Celtics got torched. These are two well matched teams, and I think that the officials are going to let them play a bit more, which means that things are going to get a lot testier. The Celtics have to bring the fire for 48 minutes every night.

 

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