There were two things the Boston Celtics did in last night's game which paved the way to a much better looking product and end results. Unlike going with something generic and unrepeatable, I'm not going to go with the lazy man's rationale about making shots. These are actually two items which the team has 100% control over regardless of what Miami is doing and if they are getting calls or not.
DEFENSIVELY- Last night was the first time in a while that the Celtic's weren't playing a lazy defense. By lazy I don't mean that they weren't hustling in the first four games, I mean that they weren't all fighting through screens. Instead of trying to stick with their man, they were switching on just about every screen. Theis was in my eyes the most guilty of this. He was switching before the screen was even set. If you were watching Miami's offense you would have noticed that they were making screens to just get Theis to switch into the matchups they preferred. Within two to three passes of every possession, Theis would suddenly be playing defense at the top of the circle while the paint was wide open. During last night's game he did a much better job helping for a second and then returning to his man.
TAKING IT STRONG TO THE BASKET- After having a miserable first half in game 4, Jayson Tatum had a solid game 5. While he didn't really have a great shooting night, it goes unnoticed when you put up 31 points and your team wins by 13. Right now going strong to the basket for Tatum is completely different than going strong to the basket when you're LeBron James. Jayson going strong isn't a Mack truck plowing through people knowing that he's going to get the call. In my opinion, that's a good thing because he isn't going to get that call. So, while he didn't come barreling through the paint on his way to the rim, he finally stayed strong and didn't try to avoid the contact. In doing so he made much better attempts and actually got to the line a decent amount of times. Additionally, by not making some uncalled for circus layup attempt, he allowed his teammates to be more prepared for putting back any misses.
In my eyes, those are the two adjustments that the Celtics made which can be duplicated moving forward.
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