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All the pressure is on the Celtics who have been in situations similar to this in their last two post-season series. Can they force a Game 7 with a win on their home floor?
Tune in from 11:00am for Boston v Golden State on Kayo.
Concerns around Boston’s ability to score consistently have been amplified in the last two games.
In Boston’s last six quarters, they’ve scored 25+ points in a quarter just once, with their last quarter fade outs likely to cost them a championship. In Game 4 the Celtics scored just 19 points in the final quarter, while only managing 20 points in the last term in Game 5.
Golden State’s defence along with tired legs from Boston’s primary playmakers in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart has made the Celtics offense extremely stagnant and predictable, generating lots of turnovers while shooting the ball at a poor clip.
With the Warriors giving Gary Payton II more minutes at the expense of Jordan Poole, this has allowed Golden State to play smaller with Draymond in the five. Boston’s only hope is limiting Golden State’s offensive spread and relying on their defence, making Game 6 a grind.
What are we witnessing here? Andrew Wiggins is a man possessed this post-season, and to go with his scoring and defence, we’ve seen him rebounding in Games 4 and 5.
Across Wiggins’ career he’s averaged less than 5 rebounds per game, but with Boston’s field goal percentage struggling along with Looney playing limited minutes in Game 5, Wiggins has put together back-to-back double-doubles with 16 rebounds in Game 4, backing it up with 13 in Game 5.
Averaging 9.4 rebounds per game in the NBA Finals, there’s no doubt we see Wiggins’ minutes over 40 in Game 6, and now that he has a taste for this rebounding caper expect him to drag in another 10+.
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His decision making is generally questionable, but Marcus Smart continues to be one of Boston’s most aggressive offensive players in the NBA Finals. Averaging 16.4 points per game this series, Smart has produced 15+ in four of the five games.
We know what Wiggins has been doing on the glass, but Jayson Tatum hasn’t been far off and is this series second best rebounder averaging 7.6 per game. Produced 11 in Game 4 and 10 in Game 5, and based on his Game 5 minutes we could see Tatum on the floor for 45 minutes in Boston’s ‘win or go home’ Game 6.