ORLANDO- The Celtics might have turned the season around Friday against OKC, when they beat the mighty Thunder to get to 7-6. But, we have to remember that there's still 69 games left to play. They won't win them all, but I think they'll find a way to get into the top 4 in the east. I do believe that Friday was a turning point and I expect a winning streak to begin tonight against the Magic. The Magic are just 5-7, and are Dwight Howard-less. But they are still a decent team, and the Celtics can't go easy on them. With that point made, here are five things that the Celtics must do to win tonight:
5. KEEP RONDO'S STREAK GOING:
Rajon Rondo has gotten 10+ assists in what is now 36 consecutive games going back to last year. The all-time record is held by Magic Johnson who had 46 straight games. You may look at this as a personal stat, but let's be honest. Rondo has heard the media talk about this. It is probably stressful for him going into each game. If he can get it out of the way early, don't you think he will play better the rest of the way? And when Rondo plays better, the rest of the team does too.
4. KG MUST KEEP SHOOTING:
Kevin Garnett had 18 points on 5/11 shooting Friday night. I'm not saying that eleven shot attempts is a small amount, but for him it is. Think about how many points he could score if he had 15 shots or 18 shots? If a guy is shooting as good as he was, shouldn't he get more shot attempts? If he is on fire tonight, keep him on fire.
3. MAKE GREEN UNSTOPPABLE:
Jeff Green had what was easily his best game of the season against his former teammates. With 17 points on 6/11 shooting, Green looked unstoppable, especially in the third quarter. I have heard many people say how good this guy is and how he can be "unstoppable" if he gets going. So, basically what you have to do is get him going.
2. ESTABLISH PIERCE AS YOUR SCORING LEADER:
Paul Pierce is easily the best scorer on this Celtics team. He made a lot of big shots against OKC and I expect more of the same tonight. Give him the most shot attempts and have Pierce score the most needed points.
1. OUTSCORE THE MAGIC:
Basketball is a tough sport to play. I understand that, which is why I don't mind if they don't win by thirty. Just score at least one more point than the other team, and I will look at it as a good day.
Tip-off for this one is at 6:00 pm ET. Coverage will be available here at Celtics Green and from me at Panktics Blog.