Ray Allen is one player who has to play well for the Boston Celtics if they are to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 on Saturday night and earn the right to play the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Celtics have been very inconsistent as a team and individually in the playoffs thus far, but after losses Boston is 4-0 in this postseason. So the Celtics have proved that they can rebound after losses and make the right adjustments to avoid back-to-back defeats.
Let's look at which Celtics players must play well for them to maintain their perfect record after losses in the playoffs.
NBA playoff schedule for Saturday, May 26
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV Info||Venue|
|76ers at Celtics||8:00 p.m.||TNT||TD Garden|
The Celtics forward followed an amazing 27-point performance in a Game 5 victory with a poor Game 6 in which he scored just eight points.
Bass must shoot his mid-range jumper well in Game 7 and be a force on the boards for Boston to win against the 76ers.
If Bass cannot give the Celtics frontcourt good offensive production, then the 76ers will be able to focus more on defending Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, which wouldn't be ideal for Boston.
There's no chance the Celtics win Game 7 if star point guard Rajon Rondo plays poorly. He can't be missing layups and turning the ball over often like he did in Game 6 or Boston will be in trouble.
Rondo had just nine points and six assists in the Game 6 loss, which is completely unacceptable for the team's best player. Rondo hadn't dished out six assists or fewer in a game since March 9 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
If Rondo brings the Celtics good energy and is effective on both ends of the floor, Boston wins Game 7.
The Celtics shot 3-of-14 from beyond the arc in Game 6, and Allen himself was only 1-of-5. The veteran sharpshooter has to be more consistent from the floor because the Celtics need his offense with Avery Bradley out for the playoffs because of shoulder surgery and Mickael Pietrus' shooting struggles.
Allen has shot 26 percent from the three-point line in the playoffs thus far, which must improve since he will be playing a lot more with Bradley unavailable.
If Allen can give the Celtics an efficient offensive game and play good perimeter defense against the 76ers, it's hard to imagine Boston losing on Saturday night.