The Celtics may have looked demoralized following their ugly 29-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3, but they're at home Sunday afternoon with a chance to even their second-round playoff series yet again.
Game 4 will be a pivotal one. Win it, and the Celtics are once again right there with the Cavs, tied 2-2. Lose, and they're headed back to Cleveland with a near-insurmountable 3-1 deficit facing them.
The Celtics are now 3-4 against the Cavs this year including the playoffs.
Paul Pierce vs. LeBron James
In LeBron James' seven games against the men in green, he's
dropped: 38, 36, 30, 42, 35, 24 and finally, on an epic Friday night at
the Garden, 38. In the last three playoff games, Pierce has figured out the sad truth — it's not just about slowing LeBron down and limiting his opportunities on the defensive end. You've also got to keep enough energy left in the tank to work hard offensively. That'll be the trick for Pierce going forward. He's got to come out strong offensively so that he can take it to the hole and score. The jumpers aren't falling, so he's got to find another way.
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins
Point guard: Mo Williams
Shooting guard: Anthony Parker
Small forward: LeBron James
Power forward: Antawn Jamison
Center: Shaquille O'Neal
The Celtics need to get Rajon Rondo back to his active, playmaking ways. They've got to get their offense, led by Pierce, to stop settling for tough jumpers. But most importantly, they've got to bring back the strong team defense that's been this team's hallmark for the past three seasons. If the Celtics can do all that, they've got a good shot. But if not, summer vacation isn't far off.