NBA Finals 2010: Five Boston Celtics and LA Lakers That Need To Step Up
In order for either team to be able to get a championship, they're going to need a group effort. This doesn't only mean starters and bench-players contributing, but also fans and coaches giving encouragement to get the teams through what promises to be a tough closeout to the series.
Celtics: Glen Davis
Glen Davis needs to have a night like he did in game four to help the Celtics close out the series.
Davis continues to prove his worth on the team, now he needs to prove he has consistency. His 18 point performance needs to not be a fluke, but a threat the Lakers are forced to contend with.
Shrek is going to need Donkey to be his sidekick.
The change of pace that Robinson and Davis create when they alternate frazzles the Los Angeles defense every night.
Nate Robinson needs to take advantage of this and get a couple of shots going to help out the Celtics. The Lakers need to be pressured to react to his entrance.
Celtics: Ray Allen
A shooter of Ray Allen's caliber and experience can't afford to have these many off nights in a row.
The Celtics are going to need Allen's accuracy and experience when it comes to making clutch shots later in the game.
That's why he was brought in. This is his moment, and he needs to take it.
If he needs to take forty shots before heading into rhythm for that one clutch shot, so be it. The Celtics can't afford to give up on him.
Celtics: Rasheed Wallace
Telling Rasheed Wallace to step up does not mean the same as it does with the other players.
Rasheed, the poor man's Ron Artest, needs to make sure he's a positive for Boston.
He doesn't need to be a leading scorer or a master defender.
He just needs to perform and hustle. Don't make foolish shots, and don't walk in between possessions, but make your presence count. Also, for the love of god, do not get yourself ejected.
Celtics: Doc Rivers
Everyone knows Phil Jackson is one of the best coaches the NBA has ever had. He's easily the superior coach in this series.
It's going to be Doc Rivers coaching his players like he did yesterday that could make the difference. He simply needs to keep his players focused.
We already know about Wallace's attitude problems. Rajon Rondo showed some temper flares last night, and Kevin Garnett has already been suspended earlier in the playoffs.
Rivers needs to keep the players calm and focused on their goal, no matter what happens during the game.
Lakers: Pau Gasol
Paul Gasol is without a doubt Kobe's right hand man. He needs to start acting like it again.
Gasol needs to be able to attack the paint, keep the Celtics on their toes, and, hopefully, out of foul trouble.
It's not only about scoring points, but about opening up his opponents on the perimeter.
Which leads us to our next player...
Lakers: Derek Fisher
Much like Ray Allen, the Lakers need Derek Fisher to get back on a hot streak.
They're going to need the veteran shooter, whose made so many clutch shots in situations like these.
Gasol and Kobe can absorb defenders to give Fisher a lot of open shots. He needs to make them.
Lakers: Andrew Bynum
The Lakers made the decisions they did with Bynum regarding his knee already. That can't be changed.
He won't be a hundred percent tonight. It doesn't matter. This is an elimination game in a championship and he needs to play better than he has the past couple of games.
He needs to get the points and rebounds his team needs, or give his minutes to Lamar Odom, who has been playing great off the bench.
Lakers: The Fans
The fans in game five were great for Boston. They carried the team along through its ups and downs.
The Lakers still have home court advantage. The fans need to make that advantage count by supporting the team even when its down.
They can't allow a second of silence to happen in Game six or seven.
Lakers: Ron Artest
He's the biggest wildcard in the entire series.
Much like Rasheed Wallace, Ron Artest needs to just not be a goat.
The defenders are hardly guarding him, assuming he won't make his shots.
If he defends strongly and can make a couple of those shots, he can make a huge difference for the remaining games.
He needs to keep his head: no stupid shots, no stupid fouls.
Maybe, he can even be the hero once again.