at Boston Celtics (3-2,7-5) at Orlando Magic (2-3,6-5)
Round 2, Game 6
Postseason game #13 Home Game #6
7:00 PM ET
Pre/Post Game: CSN HD 6:00 PM ET, After the Game
Amway Arena Probable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Rafer Alston Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Courtney Lee Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Hedo Turkoglu Power Forward
Big Toddler Davis vs Rashard Lewis Center
Kevin Garnett (knee) out
Leon Powe (knee) out
Brian Scalabrine (flu like symptoms) probable
Kendrick Perkins (shoulder) will play Player to Watch
Ray Allen has been struggling in this entire series but he hit the go ahead basket in game 5. Hopefully that will get him going and we will see a big game from Ray in Game 6. He is definitely due for one. the Celtics need Ray to break out of his slump to win this one on the road and close out the series. Reserves
Jameer Nelson (labrum) outPlayer to Watch
After game 5, Dwight Howard pointed fingers at his coach and teammates saying that he wasn't getting enough touches and questioning his coach's substitutions. It will be interesting to see if the Magic go to Dwight early and often in this game and how he responds to it. Key Matchups
Rajon Rondo vs Rafer Alston
As it has been in every game, as goes Rondo, so go the Celtics. Rondo struggled somewhat in game 5 but Marbury was there to pick up the slack and get the team going. Hopefully Rondo will come out aggressively on both ends in this game and get the Celtics off to a quick start along with keeping the pedal to the metal the entire game. The Celtics need Rondo to set the pace and play well. KEY MATCHUPS
Kendrick Perkins vs Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard called out his teammates and his coaches and virtually demanded that they give him the ball more and run more plays for him. Perk did an admirable job holding him to 12 points in game 5 and holding him out farther from the basket than he is comfortable. With Howard publicly demanding the ball and proclaiming himself a dominant player, Perk's job may just have gotten harder. It will be up to Perk to once again defend Howard without picking up fouls and prevent Howard from taking over the game.
Paul Pierce vs Hedo Turkoglu
Paul Pierce had a solid game 5 and has shown signs of returning to the Paul Pierce that can take over a game and defend the best player on the other team. Turkoglu is the closest thing to a go to guy that the Magic have. Pierce would love to close out the series in 6 and get some rest. In order to do that, Pierce will need to lift his game and dominate Turkoglu on both ends of the court.
Ray Allen vs Courtney Lee
Van Gundy has been starting Reddick but should see that his team needs to get out to a strong start and start Lee in this one. Ray Allen is due for a big game. Hopefully hitting that 3 late in game 5 will get him going for this game. Lee has been a very good defender but hopefully Ray can get his shots and hit them.
Big Baby Davis vs Rashard Lewis
Big Baby has been the star of the past two games which has to give him an incredible amount of confidence. Lewis is still theCeltics' biggest matchup problem, but Big Baby and Scal have been doing a decent job of it. With Howard demanding the ball more, it will be interesting to see how many shots Lewis gets. Big Baby and Scal have to both have big games on both ends of the court to make him work on defense and they must also continue to front him and prevent easy shots.
Bench vs Bench
After just 2 points in game 4, the Celtics bench came up big with 26 points in game 5. Marbury, House and Scal all hit big shots and should get the credit for the comeback in the 4th quarter that gave the Celtics the win. Hopefully that was a break out for Marbury and that he will be productive in this game as well. Scal battled flu symptoms in game 5 and still did a good job. Hopefully his flu will be gone for game 6 as the Celtics need his defense on Lewis and his ability to spread the floor on offense. The Celtics also need House to do what he does best. If Marbury and Scal are hitting, they won't be able to blanket House quite as closely.
On the other hand, Pietrus has been very effective off their bench and the Celtics must find a way to limit him. Also producing for the Magic off the bench are Battie and Gortat. In fact, their bigs off the bench were more effective than Howard was in game 5. Keys to the GameFocus
- The Celtics' focus seems to waiver at times and when it does, the Magic build leads and win games. But, when the Celtics put their mind to it and focus especially on the defensive end, they can shut down the Magic and take over a game. We saw this focused team in game 2 and again in game 5 when they came back from a 14 point deficit to win the game. If the Celtics would come out focused and keep their focus for 48 minutes, they will put the Magic away in 6 games. Fpcus will especially be important on the road. Defense
- Defense is the key to winning. Period. The Celtics have shown that they have the capability of shutting the Magic down and playing lock down defense, but we have only seen this in spurts. The Celtics need to come out with the defense first mindset from the beginning and they need to keep that mindset for the entire game. If they want to win in 6 and move on, defense will be the key. Rebound
- Dwight Howard can take over a game on rebounds and putbacks alone if the Celtics don't box him out and crash the boards as a team. Rebounding takes effort and desire and the Celtics must show both if they want to win this game. Ball Movement
- The Celtics need to move the ball and find the open man. When they have their passing game going, they get good shots and can catch the Magic defense off guard. When they resort to too much dribbling and too many iso's, it allows the Magic defenses to set up and the Celtics struggle to score. X-FactorFocus, Desire and Mental Toughness
The Celtics have proved that they can win in Orlando. They also proved that they can lose there. It will all come down to which team is more focused, which team wants it more, and which team shows the most mental toughness. Hopefully the Celtics will bring all three.