The Boston Celtics are getting ready to take on the New York Knicks for a sixth time this postseason in a win-or-go-home game 0nce again. This time, it feels as though the Celtics have the momentum for once. Their offense has finally started to click and their defense has been as stellar as ever.
The Celtics will be at home for this game, so that should give them an advantage. Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks may have some fuel added to their fire as well because of the comments that Jordan Crawford made at the end of Wednesday night’s game.
The Celtics will still be fighting for their playoff lives at the end of the day. So that should be more than enough motivation for them to get out of bed today. We’ll see how things work out by the end of the game. Here are the keys to victory:
Three Keys to Victory
- Kevin Garnett must rebound
Kevin Garnett has to be the master rebounder that he’s been in the past three games. Garnett has 35 rebounds in the last two games. That’s kept the New York Knicks from converting second chance opportunities. That’s huge for their offense in the first few games. There were key offensive rebounds that the Knicks had that put the Celtics away. They haven’t been able to close Boston out because of their better rebounding.
- Keep Raymond Felton out of the paint
Raymond Felton being in the paint allows the Knicks to get decent looks from beyond the arch. As Hardwood Houdini writer Trey Adell pointed out, the Knicks have been able to take advantage of Boston through the pick and roll multiple times in this series. That can’t be something that Boston allows in game 6. They snuck out with wins in the two previous games even though it was effective, but you never want a point guard to control the game by probing the paint. That doesn’t equate to wins.
- Play a full 48 minutes
The Celtics played their best outing as a team in the playoffs in game 5 and if they want to stay alive then they’ll need to do the same thing. Offensively they’ve struggled but defensively they’ve been fine. They’ve got to keep that defensive grit going and force Carmelo Anthony to take difficult shots. On offense, they’ve got to get a full game out of Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and Jeff Green. If they can do that then we’ll see the Celtics in the Garden for game 7.