GEARING UP FOR LBJ
` While James managed just 15 points on 3 of 14 shooting in Game 5, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was preparing for an explosion by James with the season on the line.
‘‘We expect it,’’ Rivers said. ‘‘I said going into Game 1, we're going to have to win a game eventually, and maybe tonight, when he has a big game. It's what type of big game he has. If it's all points, I think we can live through that. If it's points and assists, I don't think we can live through that.’’
But the Celtics' defensive strategy for James hasn't changed.
‘‘We have to let him see as many bodies in front of him as possible, five at times,’’ Rivers said. ‘‘One guy's not going to stop LeBron.’’
Getting easier? ` Rivers' approach to the playoffs doesn't reflect well on Cavs' coach Mike Brown, whose team has been wildly erratic in this series.
Asked if he sensed consistency returning after two straight Boston victories, Rivers said, ''I don't know if I ever sensed it. We've turned into a 'One game at a time' team. During the regular season you play in patches, 'Let's get through this stretch.' In the playoffs we only talk about one game. I think it's easier to be consistent, it's easier to get the best out of your guys because it's one team, it's one focus.''
OUTTA MY WAY ` Celtics' 13-year veteran guard Ray Allen arrived at TD Garden before 4 p.m. to shoot. But that routine was disrupted at Quicken Loans Arena because he had to fight for space on the court.
''In Cleveland the whole dance squad was out there on my side,'' Allen said. ''They had the music faced in my direction. The dance squad, the energy squad, the fire squad. All the squads were right there on my side.''
But crowding Allen may not have had the desired effect.
''I had to focus more,'' he said.
READY FOR ANYTHING ` After surprise appearances by Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Daniel Gibson in Game 5, Allen and Rivers expect more of the same.
''We wouldn't be shocked to see (Anderson) Varejao in the starting lineup or him going with size early,'' Rivers said of Brown. ''But they didn't get this record by doing a lot of changing. So we have to prepare for everything, small lineup, big lineup. They have the ability to do a lot of things because of their personnel.''
Allen said, ''When Gibson and Ilgauskas came in, everybody's antennas did go up because when knew what they're capable of. They're good offensive players. You know what their tendencies are.''