The 2010 Boston Celtics displayed a mental toughness and defensive intuitiveness that has seldom been seen. Tom Thibodeau's defensive rotations are a thing to behold when the Celtics are on a string.
This same defensive philosophy has held sway throughout Finals.
It is the offensive inconsistencies that has plagued them more than anything. "The Big Three" has not been able to find any kind of rhythm, rendering their defensive efforts useless.
They must do the work to make it back to L.A.
This has not been his best showing.
Ron Artest has made life miserable for the Celtic Captain. Artest employs the same aggressive tactics that he is known for. If Ron-Ron was a 7' center I assure you no one would venture into the paint.
But he is not and it is imperative that Pierce finds a way to regain his stroke. He must use Artest's defensive intensity against him. He needs to make more face up moves and run him into picks.
Paul shouldn't dance with the ball either; he must be decisive with his offense. That will put more of the onus on the refs instead of trying to out-tough Artest.
Everyone knows he has the sweetest and purest stroke that the NBA has ever seen.
He can pull up on a dime, lean to the left or right and still make the shot. His defender can only shake his head because the release is so quick.
He has a hair trigger shot and he isn't afraid to unleash it. That is nice but he sometimes forgets the rest of his game, which includes his ability to drive.
Ray's in-between game is just as deadly as his long range shot. Game Three saw him settle for those same shots instead of taking advantage of the Lakers' knee-jerk reaction to his shooting prowess.
He can make it harder on Fisher if he takes advantage of his offensive repertoire instead of settling.
When you are given the keys to the Maybach you don't drive it like it's your father's Volkswagen. Such a sublime machine should be given every opportunity to hit the open road. To feel the pavement and lap the miles beneath its treads.
That is what Rondo's game means to the Celtics. They look rather pedestrian without him performing at top speed. He is the reason they find themselves in such a hole.
When Rondo uses his speed to get by defenders he creates a lot of open looks for the rest of his teammates. He has to realize that he is in control and needs to drive "The Big Three" by being "The One."
Everyone knows how disappointed he was to not play a major role in securing banner 17. This is the moment that he must be more consistent and become more of a threat on the floor...he is still the one.
Kendrick Perkins has hardly been the same player since his technical woes have come back to haunt him in the Finals.
He has become less like Wolverine and more like the blue-maned Beast of the X-Men.
He is the team's advocate when it comes to dissecting what ails the Celtics. Yet for all his basketball intelligence it doesn't translate well on the court.
He has hands of stone and he is either being called for an offensive foul or a traveling violation.
The Celtics need Perk to be himself. He must forget about the tech and release the beast within.
The Boston Celtics pregame introduction shows Kevin Garnett locked in a voluminous primal scream. The fans love it because they know they will see him give maximum effort.
His in-game antics of smacking himself in the head and thumping his chest makes his teammates feel invincible.
Lately there has been an impostor masquerading as KG. Somehow one of the pods from the movie "Invasion of The Body Snatchers" may have found its way under his bed.
Game Three saw a reasonable facsimile of the real Garnett—let us hope he continues that trend.
Davis has always had a big-game mentality, so he will not shrink under the bright lights of the playoffs.
He can erupt for 20 points in any given game and that is what makes him an X factor for Boston.
He is best served coming off the bench to provide energy and use his roundness to disturb opponents. He won't out jump anyone but he must find ways to use his mid-range game to open up the floor.
During the regular season Wallace's game could have been the poster child on a milk carton box. It was definitely missing.
But just as he predicted, when the lights of the second season came on he was ready to play.
He has had some back issues lately but he is beginning to feel better. His ability to post up or stretch the floor with the three-point shot makes him the key player of the bench.
This is the one player the Celtics need more from; his defensive prowess is what keeps him on the floor.
He has to make a defensive impact to make the offensive plays for his teammates.
When Allen is on the floor and executes Thibodeau's defensive rotations to perfection, the Celtics invariably outscore their opponents.
For all intensive purposes, Nate Robinson is a more athletic version of Eddie House. He may not have the spurt-ability of Eddie's long range bombs, but he can score in more ways than House ever could.
He can not only hit the three, he can finish at the rim, and he is not a defensive liability.
Nate brings a different dynamic then Rondo, he is more of an offensive threat. That coupled with his speed makes him a dangerous entity off the bench.
When he is on, Doc Rivers is able to give Rondo some much needed rest.