The second night of back-to-back games has never been the Celtics forte during Kevin Garnett’s tenure in Boston. Having the first game go into overtime was also not ideal.
Neither was seeing Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and Jason Terry log over forty minutes. Garnett played thirty-four minutes, which would be a non-issue if the team did not have a game tonight.
This is one of those nights where the Celtics role players must win one for the big three.
Tonight’s first key is the bench. Courtney Lee had just five points in twenty minutes in yesterday’s loss. Still, Lee has an incredible work ethic and was even the first one getting shots up for tonight’s game. He will flourish, and should that begin tonight, it would certainly be excellent timing.
Jeff Green was sensational last night, scoring nineteen points, second to only Pierce’s twenty-seven and hauling in eight rebounds. He was aggressive and was looking for his shot. This is exactly the type of performance the Celtics are looking to get from Green on a nightly basis. Having two strong games back to back would be a great sign from one of the team’s x-factors.
The second key for tonight’s game is containing Evan Turner. The third year player once again got the better of Boston’s defense, going for twenty-six points. Philadelphia’s offensive struggles are well documented, yet the team has posted 106 points and 95 points respectively in their two games against the Celtics. Limiting Turner would be a big blow to the Sixers offense, and would likely tip the scales in favor of Boston tonight.
The third key for the Celtics is to do a better job of protecting the basketball. Last night, the team had eighteen turnovers. Philadelphia’s offense may struggle in the half court game but they are very effective in transition and love to run the floor.
Tonight’s fourth and final key is to box out. The team surrendered seventeen offensive rebounds last night, something that needs to be remedied. Thaddeus Young registered eight offensive rebounds last night. You can be sure that Doc Rivers mentioned this after yesterday’s loss and when going over tonight’s game. Young is an active rebounder, who is constantly hustling, the team needs to get a body on him and clear him out of the paint.