The Celtics must win game 5. The Celtics are beat up and Perk, Pierce and Rondo are all hurting along with assorted other aches and pains. Long plane trips are not good for injuries and the plane trip back to Boston may aggravate the knees, ankles and shoulders etc that are hurting. I can see the Celtics struggling in a game 6 because of it. Then there would be a game 7 and anything can happen then. Just because no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals, it doesn't mean that one won't. I want the Celtics to close this one out on Sunday.
We have several new dads on the Celtics in Pierce, Garnett, Posey, Scal, Powe, and Rondo. It would be a special and memorable first fathers Fathers' Day for each of them if they could win on Sunday. But, it would be even more special for Doc to win the championship on Father's Day. Doc lost his father to cancer in November and it is still difficult for him. He was very close to his dad. When Doc was asked about his father during media availability on Saturday, he choked up and was unable to talk about it. It would be wonderful for Doc to win the championship on Fathers Day and be able to dedicate the win to his dad.
I am still a bit giddy over the comeback win in game 4. In this series, both teams came back from 24 point leads. In game 2, the Lakers cut it to 2 but couldn't get it done. In game 4, the Celtics came all the way back to win it. That is the difference between a championship contender and a championship team.
Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and PJ Brown are all one game away from getting the ring they have played their entire careers chasing. With it so close, can these guys do anything less than leave it all on the court? We haven't yet seen this team play an entire game well. They have been out scored by the Lakers in the 1st quarters 98-77. The Celtics have out scored the Lakers in second and third quarters 100-96 and 116-73 respectively. The Lakers have out scored the Celtics 101-91 in fourth quarters.
The Celtics haven't gotten out to a really good start in any of the 4 games. They have had strong 3rd quarters in every game. Doc must have some half time speech. To win game 5, the Celtics must come out strong to begin the first quarter. They have to build an early lead to try to get into the Lakers' heads and get the mental edge. They haven't played defense in the first half of any of the games. They clamped down in the second half of every game. If the Celtics come out strong and play that type of defense right from the beginning, they will put the Lakers on their heels early and banner 17 will be a reality. Defense is the key and they need to play it for 48 minutes.
I guess it is still 50-50 whether Perk plays or not. In his presser, Doc said that Perk was fine and had good motion in his shoulder and would definitely start. When they asked Perk, he said it was still sore and wasn't sure if he could go. He also didn't use that arm in the practice. The Celtics bench is deep enough to still pull it out even if Perk can't go. I loved the lineup with KG, House, Posey, Ray and Pierce. This is the lineup that was on the floor as the Celtics made their comeback in game 4. Lex Nihil Novi calls them KG and the Four Guns. I love it!!! The Lakers have trouble defending this lineup because every spot is a threat to score and they can't double team. It also works because they are all good rebounders and defenders.
There has been a lot of talk about who should win the MVP of the Finals assuming the Celtics win it all. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce both are candidates. Ray has been the most consistent and has really upped his game for the Finals. Pierce had that horrible game 3 but otherwise has been very strong. KG has also been solid with a double double in every game, even game 3 where he didn't play well. These three have done everything together all season. They have shared the credit and the blame. I think the league should make history and choose co-MVP's. If the Celtics should win the series, Ray, Paul and KG should share the honor. Ubuntu.
Defense has been the difference in this series so far. The Celtics have won all 3 games with defense and in the game they lost, that defense was missing. Defense will decide the winner of this series and if the Celtics want to close it out in 5, they need to play 48 minutes of the most stifling defense ever. If they do, the Celtics will once again be World Champions.