I hesitate to even write this because the last thing I would I want to do is jinx a championship by talking about how the Celtics can win it—but here are three things the Celtics must do if they are to win the game and celebrate another title.
Withstand the Lakers' barrage
The Lakers WILL come out on fire.
They will start the game with passion, intensity, and aggression.
With two days of hearing nothing but how they played stupid, slow, and soft, the Lakers will be ready to match those charges with an early onslaught. The Celtics have to avoid getting caught up in the fever, play smart, stay focused, and not stray from the game plan.
It’s possible that the Lakers can keep up an intense pace for 48 minutes, but it is doubtful. The Celtics will need to limit the early damage and avoid falling too deep into a hole.
They can come back, but they must avoid getting too far down or getting into foul trouble trying to match the Lakers' intensity.
The Celtics have made more than three three-pointers only twice in the Finals.
In fact, their 11 triples in Game Two equals the number they have made in the other four games combined.
Though the C’s were a middle of the pack three-point shooting team during the regular season, they have picked it up considerably during their run through the Eastern Conference.
If the Celtics are going to finish this series in six games they need at least six threes with half of those coming from Ray Allen—who still hasn’t hit one since his Game Two deluge.
Play Like It’s Game Seven
For the Lakers, this is it.
Lose and go home.
They have nothing to lose and will leave everything on the floor. The Celtics must play with the same urgency. They have to see that they are coming to LA to play game seven, twice if necessary.
Anything short of 100 percent will not get the job done and their miraculous run through the playoffs will come down to a do or die game on the Lakers' home floor.
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