Just How Much Trouble Are The Boston Celtics In?
Why the C’s might come back, and why they won’t.
Nobody wants to be the playoff team to lose the first two games at home. You also don’t want to be like the Boston Celtics, the number one seed that lost the first two games at home.
Just ask the Chicago Blackhawks if that feels any good. After dropping to 0-2 with consecutive shutouts as the NHL’s top team in the West, they fell to an almost insurmountable 0-3 hole on the road. Game 4 might be the end to a promising year.
Likewise, Games 3 and 4 could snuff out an exciting season for the C’s. Are they in quite as much trouble as the numbers say they are?
Why The Boston Celtics Can Come Back
Boston was the best team in the Eastern Conference this season. Despite the fact that point guard Isaiah Thomas is playing through personal grief, he’s still one of the best scorers in the game. If he’s on the court, he can be a difference-maker for Boston.
Otherwise, the Celts tied for the best road record in the Eastern Conference at 23-18. Their strong home record didn’t help them much, but it’s not impossible for them to win in Chicago.
Why The Boston Celtics Won’t Come Back
Down 0-2 in a series isn’t an impossible hole, but in the NBA, it’s extremely rare to triumph from there. Based on historical averages through last season, there is less than a 10 percent chance of the 0-2 team combing back.
Furthermore, the next two games are in Chicago, where the Bulls have a sturdy home record. Not to mention, the Celtics didn’t win there either time in the regular season.
In this series, the Celtics haven’t looked too good in either game so far. This is complicated by the fact that they are one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA. Over the course of the year, the C’s were fourth from the bottom in terms of rebounding differential. They face a Chicago team that’s done very well on the glass and tops the league in offensive boards per game. This series to date continues that trend as the Bulls are manhandling Boston on the boards. Not only does it bode poorly for this series, but for any going forward if they escape here.
The Celtics’ trouble-o-meter is at a 6/10. It’s not like they’re playing Golden State or Cleveland in the first round, but 0-2 is 0-2. They didn’t get here by accident, and now they have to fight their way out.
Games 3 and 4 on the road will be dogfights (bullfights?) for the Celtics. Should they lose Game 3, it jumps to a 10/10 as that’s a basketball death sentence. No NBA team has ever done it, nor will Boston if it comes to that.
It is easy to dislike how they played to begin this series, and one wonders if it’s already gotten too far away from them.