Celtics

Five tweaks for the Celtics to consider to keep season alive against Heat

(Ashley Landis/Getty Images)

With the Celtics season on the line entering Game 5 on Friday night, here's a look at five ways the Celtics can fight back against the Heat and force a Game 6. 

1. Get the ball in Gordon Hayward’s hands more and think about starting him: The 30-year-old ranks sixth in usage among C's players in this series, which has made him an afterthought in Boston’s offense over the last two games. With some of his rust gone after his five-week layoff, it’s time to get him more prominently involved in an offense that has incredibly turnover prone. Marcus Smart (17 percent) and Brad Wanamaker (28 percent) have been the worst of the bunch, exactly what you don’t want from your point guards. Hayward, on the other hand, has been able to handle Miami’s pressure, posting the lowest turnover rate (9.7 percent) for any Celtics rotation player in this series. In a game where the C’s need to maximize every possession to match the Heat’s offensive firepower, Boston’s careless play with the basketball needs to come to an end in Game 5. Hayward has been steady with the ball in his return and he’s just as capable of a facilitator as Smart. Time to get him involved more to create for himself or others, a move that should help bring out the best in Boston’s offense for a full 48 minutes. Starting him to do it has to be considered as an option.

2. Put Marcus Smart and/or Gordon Hayward on Tyler Herro: Boston’s best defender did a nice job taking Goran Dragic out of rhythm in Games 3 and 4. However, Herro has emerged