NBA Playoff Schedule 2012: Celtics Who Must Shine in Game 7 vs. 76ers

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IMay 26, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 08:  Guard Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on May 8, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

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

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Thaddeus Young #21 and Lavoy Allen #50 of the Philadelphia 76ers battle for the ball with Brandon Bass #30 of the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
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Brandon Bass

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.

Rajon Rondo

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.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics talks with teammate Rajon Rondo #9 during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 2
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Ray Allen

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.


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