Having won three in a row, against the respective four, three and two seeds, the Celtics are streaking.
With the return of Avery Bradley and the insertion of Brandon Bass into the starting line up, Boston has regained their defensive identity, and is once again playing synchronized defense.
The first key to tonight’s game is to continue playing good team defense. Averaging 96.4 points per game, Phoenix ranks 16th. They have streaky players, including three-point threat Jared Dudley, but the team is not exactly an offensive juggernaut.
If the Celtics continue playing the high level of team defense that earned victories against some of the top teams in the East, they should have no problem with the Suns.
The second key to the game is getting off to a good start.
If Boston can build a big lead early, it will take a lot of the fight out of a 12-24 Phoenix team.
Another major key is to exploit mismatches. The Celtics are one of the best at this,
as evidenced in the Knicks game. The Suns are 25th in points allowed per game, and you can be sure that Doc Rivers will look to take advantage of the many favorable match ups that will present themselves tonight.
The final key is for players to expand upon the recent success they’ve been experiencing. Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, and Jason Terry are among those playing exceptional basketball as of late.
As roles continue to be solidified, it is important to keep developing, building momentum and confidence.