This is the first of the daily bustasports 1 on 1 debates. The way that this will work is that a question will be posed, and two bustasports writers will pick two different answers to the question, and prove why their answer is the correct one.
At the bottom of the article will be a poll, where the readers can vote on “who won the debate”. The poll will determine who won the debate, between the two writers. Please vote on the poll, and feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments section.
Written by: Tolulope Oladele
Even with the Celtics down (2-1) the Heat have no answer Rajon Rondo. Rondo has bounced back from his subpar Game 1 performance and erupted with 44 points, 10 dimes, and 8 boards in Game 2–even playing an unbelievable 53 minutes! And he showcased his whole offensive arsenal including consistently taking and making perimeter shots throughout the night. The Celtics “head of the snake” has cemented himself as one of today’s best players and will guide the Celtics back into this series if he keeps this play up. In game 3 things weren’t much different for Rondo as he scored 20 points along with 10 assists. Rondo’s success, and how Kevin Garnett has embraced his role as the center will prove to be huge for the Celtics. With Garnett at the five he can go to work on Joel Anthony on offense and simply can’t check him and allows the Celtics to put another shooter in the starting lineup to space the floor.Only 14 teams in NBA history have come back from down 2-0 to win a series, and I thoroughly believe the Celtics can be the 15th as long as they’re clicking on “all” cylinders, like they were last night when they won game 3. Most people are already talking “finals” for the Heat, but everyone needs to remember that even though the Celtics won game 3, they have yet to play their best basketball. Due to inconsistent contribution from two of their “Big Four” the Celtics find themselves in a 2-1 hole but once everyone is playing consistently the Celtics will be able to win this series and make their way to the finals.
On the flipside, in order for the Celtics to tie up the series and end up winning it they need Paul Pierce to find his shooting stroke. Paul Pierce is averaging 18.7 points on 34 percent shooting from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range. Indeed the bigger and stronger LeBron James is guarding Pierce but the Celtics need more from him. He needs to be more aggressive in getting his own shot and getting to the free throw line. The Celtics needs at least 20 plus points from Pierce to get into this series with at least 8 free throw attempts.
The Celtics are a very good jump shooting team running with a good portion of their offense coming from pin downs and pick and pop plays. These strategies aren’t potent if their best shooter–probably the best shooter of all time–is shooting 33 percent from the field and from 3-point range. Although the Boston are still able to use Ray Allen as a decoy and the Heat still respect his perimeter shooting the Celtics need him to hit shots. If Ray Allen can “gut” through his painful bone spurs in his ankles and find his balance the Celtics should be alright.
But the real reason why the Celtics will come back from this deficit is pride. The Celtics have way too much pride to get swept in what might be their last time the “Big Four” will play together. Despite the countless amount of injuries this season they have made this far and they can certainly will themselves to basketball’s “promise land.” Although father of time is rearing its ugly head at the “Big Three” know what it takes to win it all. First the Celtics have to pull off an upset and beat this seemly unstoppable Heat team. By doing so they will have more than enough confidence, energy, and motivation to beat either the Thunder or the Spurs in the Finals. [/one_half]
Written by: Nathan Palcowski
Teams up 2-0 win the series 94 percent of the time. The Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder are on the wrong end of that fact during the Western and Eastern Conference Finals, although they both did manage to win game 3.
That does however leave the six percent that have not won the series. So between the Celtics and the Thunder, who can come back from down 2-1 and win the series?
The Oklahoma City Thunder can still win their series.
There are four things that the Thunder must do to beat the Spurs, and they did all of them Thursday night in OKC. Here is how the Thunder, who are young, talented, have the three-time defending scoring champion and have proven they can score with the Spurs, can come back to take the series:
1.) Stop the pick-and-roll, especially Tony Parker.
If you have ever watched the Spurs for more than five minutes, you understand that there offense is based on pick-and-rolls. Point guard Tony Parker has mastered this art and has exploited the Thunder badly in the first two games. The Thunder need to clamp down on the defense for 48 minutes and make sure to switch on the roll to slow down the offense of the Spurs.
2.) Thunder need to play better in the first half.
Though the final score many not look close, this game has been decided by 12 points in the first two games. The Thunder had a nine point lead in the fourth quarter of Game 1 before the Spurs “Got Nasty” and then they had a three point lead in Game 2 before the Spurs took over. The Thunder have been outscored 101-91 in the first half in two games. If the Thunder can find a way to get out and hold on to an early lead against the spurs, they will be back in the series.
3.) Russell Westbrook needs to be more efficient.
This has been my prediction ever since the playoffs have started. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant cannot co-exist as Westbrook wants to be the main guy. Westbrook needs to learn when to pick his spots to pass the ball and when to attack the rim. This isn’t the LA Lakers or the Dallas Mavericks, he is facing a equally as good point guard and one of the best defenses of the past 5 years. Pass the ball, set your ego aside and give it to the scoring champion Kevin Durant.
4.) Home court advantage.
My final point. As we saw Thursday night, the crowd in Oklahoma City is an atmosphere unlike any other in the NBA. The Thunder play strong basketball at home, and with the intensity and uplifting from the home crowd. The Thunder can surely crawl back and win this series.[/one_half_last]