Facing elimination, the Boston Celtics are in Miami looking to get a win against the Heat and turn around a 3-1 series and get it back to Boston giving themselves an opportunity to win game six and force a game seven. To do that, they need to win tonight, and to win tonight, they need to make a few adjustments.
Offense: Execute Better Late
If you think of Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics in terms of execution, you think about a coach who can draw up phenomenal plays and a team that usually executes what is drawn up. In game four, the Celtics had a chance to win the game in regulation after a huge LeBron James turnover (where he basically dribbled the basketball out of bounds). After some confusion, Paul Pierce missed a jump shot as the Celtics failed to execute properly:
Maybe the most frustrating part of this if you are a Celtics' fan is that this isn't really all that complicated a play. It was supposed to be Ray Allen flaring off of a Garnett screen, and then a Pick and Pop involving Garnett and Pierce:
Sure, you can say that this is just one play, but it comes at an extremely important time. With the Heat's defense, they are so good that you are only going to score if you execute properly. You aren't going to get many points on broken plays, so if Boston wants to win game five, they need to execute in the 4th quarter and take advantage of their possessions.
Defense: Make Everyone Else Beat You
The face that the Miami Heat's big three scored 83 points while the rest of the team scored 15, shows you they are a little dependent on their stars. When these guys penetrate, the defense needs to collapse on them, force the kick out, and make everyone else beat you. In Game four, it worked, but they didn't do it nearly enough. On 8 of the spot up opportunities not taken by the big three, they only had 2 makes for 4 points:
Here, the Miami Heat try to run a pick and roll along the baseline, and when Wade penetrates along the baseline, the entire team sinks into the middle. When the ball gets kicked out to LeBron James, Rajon Rondo rotates over to him, leaving Mike Bibby wide open, but Bibby misses the three.
Here, Chris Bosh gets the ball in the pinch post and looks to face up on his man. Rondo shades him to the middle, taking away the dribble penetration with his right hand. Bosh makes the right play (a kick-out pass to Chalmers in the corner), but Chalmers misses the shot.
Obviously, it is harder to do when all three of the big three are on the court, but they need to overplay them so much that the pass is obvious. Make the rest of the Heat handle, shoot, and try to create more and the Boston Celtics have a chance to win this game.