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Rivers: You've got to focus on the process

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  May 12, 2010 04:06 PM

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It seems like every game since Game 4 in Miami has been dubbed a "Game 7." Throw tomorrow's elimination game against Cleveland into the mix. But if the Celtics took anything from the Game 5 beating they dealt the Cavs, it's that they can't come out trying to deal death blows.

“We don’t want to go back to Cleveland," Perkins said. "So I think we’ve got to come out with the right focus and the right preparation and just play our game.”

Perkins called it a Game 7. Kevin Garnett called it a Game 7. Paul Pierce called it a Game 7. So the Celtics are obviously on the same page. But they can't get so wrapped up in the idea of ending the series that they lose sight of playing the game. Celtics coach Doc Rivers can appreciate the urgency, but he'd prefer execution.

"We have one home game left in this series," Rivers said. "We haven’t done anything. You know you’re going to get Cleveland’s best shot. You know LeBron’s going to play an amazing game and we’re going to have to be able to absorb that and play the game.

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"End of the day, you’ve got to focus on the process of playing basketball. You can’t focus on anything that’s happened before or anything that happens after. I don’t even like hearing guys talking about ‘closing out.’ That doesn’t do anything. You’ve got to play the game. And you’ve got to focus on the game of basketball. That’s the only way you win this game."

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