Celtics edge Pistons in Game 5 win
In a highly contested Game 5, the Boston Celtics came out the victor at home to take a 3-2 series lead. The series moves to Detroit for a Game 6 on Friday but there are some important variables to look at before that.
Richard Hamilton scored 25 points 4 rebounds 6 assists 2 steals with an efficient shooting night in Game 5 but Rip also hurt his elbow at the end of the game. Hamilton was in a lot of pain so it remains to be seen if Hamilton will play in Game 6 as he is questionable with that elbow as of right now.
Chauncey Billups had a bounce back game with 26 points albeit on 7 / 17 shooting, but seeing him hit big 3 point shots down the stretch was a great sign for the Pistons. Rasheed Wallace also banged home 6 three points for 18 points but had some choice comments after the game. He went off on the officials in this game as the flopping got a little out of hand and there were a lot of soft touch foul calls on the Pistons. Of course Rasheed was fined 25,000$ for opening his mouth but you have to respect a guy who tells it like it is even when he knows it's going to cost him money.
The Boston Celtics were fortunate enough to get a monster performance from Kendrick Perkins with 18 points 16 rebounds 2 steals 2 blocks. With the attention the Big Three on Boston require, Perkins was able to get 5 offensive rebounds and easy baskets, making 8 out of 11 shots.
Ray Allen also decided to break out once more. He had a spectacular Game 2 and then went back to the Ray Allen of the 2008 NBA Playoffs by shooting about 33% the next two games. In Game 5 Ray Allen got hot, getting some easy baskets and 5 three pointers for 29 points on the night. This was needed because Paul Pierce had a so-so offensive game with 16 points to go with 4 rebounds and 5 assists.
Kevin Garnett has another lights out game with 33 points 7 rebounds and he even hit a three pointer. Best yet Garnett shot 10 / 12 free throws and 11 /' 17 from the floor. This type of efficiency creates so many easy baskets not only for himself but for Perkins and creates space for Allen to shoot.
Game 6 largely will depend on the health of the Pistons. With a healthy Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton, expect a gutty effort from the Pistons in a Game 6 win. If Hamilton cannot go or is ineffective, the Celtics proved they are capable of winning in Detroit.