Well, here we are. After blowing out the Cavs in the first 2 games of the series at home, the Celtics went on the road and looked like a completely different team. Obviously, this is no surprise. This team throughout the postseason has looked like one team in the Garden and a completely different one on the road. After being one of the better teams in the league playing on the road in the regular season, it seems like this team, like many young, inexperienced teams, can’t quite figure it out outside of the Massachusett’s state lines.
Luckily for the Celtics, they still hold on to home court advantage. This is why playing hard for the whole 82 makes a difference. It was the difference last year against the Wizards and this year against the Bucks. Both series went a full 7 and every home team won. 4 games into this series, and it looks like home court might just be the thing that can tilt the series in Bostons favor once again.
Tonight is do or die. While Game 5 might not be an elimination game for the C’s, it very much feels like it. Whoever wins tonight is going to win this series. I have no faith in the Celtics winning Game 6 in Cleveland and I think this Boston team will find a way to win in the Garden in Game 7.
The most important key to this game for the Celtics is all about how they start the game. They cannot allow the Cavs to get an early lead tonight. This Cavs team is the biggest front running team I have ever seen. When they get to a quick start and take a lead, everyone on that team is happy. Their shots start falling more. They have fun playing with each other. You get to see full court passes and highlight slam dunks. However, if I team doesn’t allow them to get an early lead, this team gives up. They are mentally weak and I think the way they have looked these playoffs and much of the season reflects that. They are quitters. They have no fight. If it is not easy for them, they pack it in. That is why I think you are going to be able to tell how this game plays out in the first couple minutes of the game. The Celtics outscored the Cavs in every quarter in Game 4 except the 1st. The Celtics need to put the pedal to the metal from the jump and take out the will of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The people who I look to provide that early spark, in my opinion, has to be Jaylen Brown and Al Horford. They are both the horses that pull the wagon. And I think it is no surprise that they both really struggled in both losses this series. Jaylen has to come out and from the start show the killer instinct that I know he has in him. I need to see this Jaylen tonight.
And after being named to the All-Defense 2nd Team today, Al Horford needs to step up and show everyone why he was the Celtics MVP this season and playoffs. Tristian Thompson cannot shut him down. I don’t care if Al doesn’t like the looks, he needs to get involved and involved early. He had 4 attempts in all of Game 3 and even after the Celtics said they needed to get Al more involved, he still wasn’t as aggressive as he needs to be. If the Celtics are going to win tonight, they are going to need ‘Aggressive Al’ to show up in a big way.
Do or die. Protect home court. Let’s go.