The Boston Celtics lost the opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Monday night. Doc Rivers' side remain in Miami for Game 2 tonight looking to even out the series and clasp home court advantage from the Heat's clutches.
In order to do that, the Celtics have to alter certain things about their perfornabce that didn't work in the first game.Execution:
The Celtics simply couldn't score against the Heat in Game 1. The quality of shots the Celtics got weren't actually that bad, however with a jump shooting team those games will always occur. With extended rest since the Philadelphia 76ers series, the Celtics should finish this game with a much better percentage from the field.
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were a combined 6-25 from the field. The Celtics need to get more than 18 points from their two primary scorers.Early Defense:
Dwyane Wade and Lebron James both had big games in Game 1 for the Heat. A key component of that was their ability to get easy baskets in the first quarter. Both James and Wade had layups within the first six minutes of the game that led to their 54 point performance.Hold down the bench:
There are two ways to beat the Heat. The first is shut down Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, the other is to shut down the rest of their teammates. In Game 1, the Heat's bench contributed 16 points to a 14 point victory. The Heat were 5-25 from behind the arc, but their bench was 3-6.
The Celtics can't let a guy like Mike Miller score eight easy points, as he did in Game 1.Reignite Rondo
Rajon Rondo has a very temperamental personality. It undoubtedly affects his consistency on the court as he once again didn't impose himself on the first game in Miami. Rondo played well during the second quarter and the Celtics scored a playoff high 35 points.
Rondo needs to aggressively attack the basket no matter who is defending him. Another game without a free throw attempt is not acceptable for the talented point guard.Give Dooling more time on the court
When Keyon Dooling played against the Heat in the first game, he brought incredible energy to the court while also adding an assist and a big three pointer. Dooling's energy on the defensive end alone will make him very valuable in trying to front Wade and force him to take jump shots.Twitter @ICSportscentral