The Time Has Come For The Celtics To Fight Like Hell To Keep Their Season And Title Hopes Alive

Jesse D. Garrabrant. Getty Images.

Well folks, this is it. The 6+ month long basketball journey we've all lived through, the ups and downs, the highs and lows, blah blah blah, it all comes down to tonight. Win, and the season stays alive and moves to a Game 7 where anything can happen. Lose, and it's the biggest failure of this core's run. It's truly as simple as that.

There's no point in dwelling on the mental errors and poor play that put the Celts in this position. It is what it is. It's not as if they can go back and change it, but they do have one final chance to do something about it. If there's one thing we know about this team, it's that they are truly capable of anything and everything. They could come and look dominant and blow the doors off the Sixers and we could have another complete no show like Game 5. The Sixers smell blood, they're at home and playing great, so it's going to have to require a near perfect two way performance to extend this series.

A tall task for sure, but not something we haven't seen before.

While I think it's dangerous to play that game because everything is different between this series vs PHI and last year vs MIL, the point is, the goal is the same. The approach needs to be the same. And quite frankly, we need the same Jayson Tatum

Brad Stevens said it best.

Of course, the Celts are going to need more than just the right attitude tonight. As it so often does, everything starts on the defensive end. The overall team defense we've seen these last two games has been nowhere near good enough. You cannot have 5-6+ minute stretches where you get 0 stops. You HAVE to find a way to defend without fouling for the most part. You HAVE to be diligent on the defensive glass and limit extra possessions. In the games we've seen the Celtics do this, they've won. When they haven't, the Sixers' offense has crushed them.


The key in games like this is you can't overreact. There are going to be moments where the Sixers hit a big 3PM or have a huge Embiid AND1. Maintaining discipline through those moments is crucial. That's something I think this team understands given how many of these big elimination games they've played together, but it's going to be about actually doing it. Coming off a big Sixers play, if the Celts immediately try and make up for it with a bad possession/terrible shot, that's as good as a turnover in my opinion.

Offensively, just play the way you've played all year. Game 5 was brutal, but that was mostly due to open shots not falling. The process was good in terms of generating those looks, and at the end of the day the players either execute or they don't. As long as the Celts take care of the basketball and play together, I trust those open looks will fall. At the very least at a higher rate than what we saw in Game 5, which can make all the difference. 

Just like the Sixers did in Game 5, the start of this game is incredibly important. Removing the crowd does wonders, and it starts to create the possibility of doubt. The Celts cannot afford to get another 0-5 start from their best player, so how they get him clean/high efficient looks is going to be crucial.  

The nature of the Celts unpredictability is probably the root of all the nerves every Celtics fan is feeling today. With so much on the line, not knowing which team we're about to see tonight is torture. All I know is I am in no way ready for the season to be over tonight. Can't have it. 

Let's just hope the players feel the same way and then go out and do something about it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go puke for the 15th time today.