The Boston Celtics lost last night to the Orlando Magic 113 - 92 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic have forced a Game 6 back in Boston tomorrow night. This was a dominating victory by Orlando. They now have a tremendous amount of momentum in this series. Before we jump ahead I always look back. What happened last night? Were any of my "keys" to the game major factors in this Celtic loss? Below is an "Analysis Of My 5 Keys To Victory For The Boston Celtics Against the Orlando Magic".
1.The Celtics need to contain Dwight Howard's ability to rebound and get second chance opportunities to score. There is no question that Dwight Howard is stepping up his game. Again last night he was a force and caused many problems for the Celtics. This key for the Celtics was to stop Howard's rebounding. Howard grabbed 10 rebounds and scored 21 points. The Celtics failed in this key.
2. Rajon Rondo needs to take control of this game. I am starting to think that Rondo might be struggling with an injury. He has not had the speed and spark to his play in the last two games. On defense the pick and rolls against him are really hurting. Jameer Nelson is really getting the better of him in the last two games. Rondo did score 19 points with 6 assists. He just did not have control of the game. For the Celtics to win they need him to be setting the tone of the game on offense and defense.The Celtics failed in this key.
3. The Celtics defense needs to do a better job on Jameer Nelson. Jameer Nelson is now forcing his will on Rajon Rondo. He is the point guard who is being aggressive and taking the game to Rondo. Not only is he being the floor general for the Magic, but he is scoring and hitting huge shots. Nelson had 24 points last night. Right now the Celtics are having a hard time containing him. The Celtics failed in this key.
4. The Celtics need to lean on their bench more. Rasheed Wallace I thought stepped up his game yesterday. He scored 21 points and was a very good offensive threat. Glenn Davis going out with a concussion during the game hurt. There wasn't much other production from bench players. Overall, because of Rasheed's play the bench did step up. The Celtics succeeded in this key.
5. The Celtics need to be aggressive on Dwight Howard and force him to the line. The Celtics waited too long to start fouling Dwight Howard. They did it in the fourth quarter out of desperation. Unfortunately, I think it was too late. Dwight Howard scored on dunks five times. I would much rather take my chances at the line with Howard. He shot 58% from the line. He made seven out of twelve free throw attempts. The Celtics need to be more aggressive with this player. The Celtics failed in this key.
In concluding, if you look at the majority of my keys to the game, they were big factors in Orlando beating the Celtics last night. What the game really came down to was the inability of the Celtics to stop Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard. If the Celtics plan on going to the Finals they are going to have to find a way of containing these two players.