The last time these two teams played, the Celtics failed to get an offensive rebound until the game’s final minute. Furthermore, San Antonio went for forty-one rebounds compared to Boston’s twenty-five.
Throughout the night, the defense failed to finish out possessions, breaking down in the final seconds of the shot clock.
Tony Parker had a game-high, twenty-six points, and Tim Duncan scored twenty points, But the Spurs got a huge contribution from Tiago Splitter. The key reserve went for twenty-three points and made life difficult for Kevin Garnett and the rest of the Celtics bigs at the other end of the floor.
Tonight’s first key is Boston’s big men being able to outplay the likes of Duncan and Splitter. Garnett had difficulty scoring last night and this is another tough test. The “Big Ticket” has to get it going tonight for the Celtics to have a chance at winning.
The second key is rebounding. Due to their lack of size, Boston elects to get back on defense and curb any attempt at a fastbreak, as opposed to crashing the rim. However, one offensive rebound is unacceptable, regardless of when it occurs. The Celtics need more second chance opportunities, while making sure to limit San Antonio’s.
The third key is the bench. Last time around, Boston’s second-unit contributed just seventeen points. Not only does this need to be improved upon, but defensively, the reserves must be able to contain the likes of parker and Manu Ginobili, who had just five points in a Spurs win at the TD Garden.
The Celtics were tired going into last night’s game; tonight poses another tough test, both in terms of opponent and mental toughness. A win would be a huge statement, as despite it only being December, this is the type of game that champions find a way to come away with.