All NBA teams look for their respective superstars to rise to the occasion in a winner-take-all scenario.
But if you ask Kendrick Perkins, it could be the players a bit deeper down the Celtics’ bench who could make all of the difference Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.
Perkins, a former Boston center who now serves as an NBA analyst for ESPN, was asked to identify the key for the Celtics in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I’m looking at the others. Role players need to play better at home,” Perkins said on “NBA Countdown. “The Garden is going to be rocking. Grant Williams, Payton Pritchard, Al Horford — I need those guys to step up. The Celtics need those guys to step up. At least two out of the three should be in double figures.”
Horford and Williams are the most likely among those three to score in double figures Sunday, as Pritchard contributed a combined 16 points through the first six games of the series. It should be noted the Celtics’ largest margin of victory (23 points) in this best-of-seven set came in Game 2 when Williams dropped 21 points.
Boston and Milwaukee are scheduled to tip off at 3:30 p.m. ET. The winner will move on to the Eastern Conference finals where the top-seeded Miami Heat are patiently waiting.