Celtics return home with backs against wall in Game 6
BOSTON (WLNE) — The Boston Celtics will be back home on Thursday night, hosting the Golden State Warriors for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
The C’s dropped Game 5 on Monday night 104-94, and trail the Warriors three games to two.
In order to force a Game 7 on Sunday night, they’ll need more from the team as a whole down the stretch and a solid outing from Jayson Tatum.
Throughout this series Boston has consistently put themselves in position for success, but in the last two games have failed to execute in big moments.
They were outscored by a total of 20 points in the fourth quarters of Games 4 and 5. In those quarters they shot just 11-36 from the field and 6-21 from deep.
“For us, confident as always because we been through it, but we can help ourselves and play better offense overall,” said head coach Ime Udoka.
Udoka noted in his press conference after Game 5 that he felt like stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, felt some fatigue down the stretch after playing the entire second half. He thought that that could’ve been a factor in the team’s struggles in the final frame.
In Game 6, the green will have to find a way across the finish line if things get tight towards the buzzer.
Udoka thinks the way across may be better ball movement and spacing.
“For us, spacing is huge… big part of that is physicality with the ball because they’re a team that reaches and have really good hands,” the coach said.
Tatum will be another key factor should the game be close. He was solid in Game 5, scoring 27 points on efficient shooting. However, he wasn’t a factor at all down the stretch. The fifth year star scored just five points in the fourth quarter, making just one of his five shots.
The Celtics have been waiting for a big game out of their First Team All NBA player for the entire series.
Guard Marcus Smart talked after Game 4 about how team has remained confident in Tatum, saying, “This isn’t your first time being in a slump. Won’t be the last time. You got to figure it out.”
“I think he’s getting solid (looks)… getting there and making the right read is the main thing” Udoka added.
Boston will be looking for a superstar performance from Tatum on Thursday, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility. He had a monster Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks just over a month ago, when he scored 46 points. The situation was nearly the same then as it is in the Finals, with the team needing to win the final two games.
The only difference is that the Celtics had to play that game on the road.
They’ll play Thursday’s game at home and it can be see on ABC 6 at 9 p.m.