An oft-repeated statistic made the rounds in the NBA world last weekend when the Lakers and Celtics fell behind by a 3-0 margin in their respective conference finals — NBA teams who lost the first three games of a best-of-seven series had a record of 0-149.
The Lakers became the 150th consecutive team to lose a series after dropping the first three games, and it looked heading into Game 4 in Miami on Tuesday like the Celtics would become the 151st, having shown few signs in their first three games against the Heat that they were capable of a history-making comeback.
But a big third quarter and an excellent night from Jayson Tatum, who had a game-high 33 points, fueled a road victory for the Celtics in Game 4. Back in Boston for Game 5 on Thursday, the C’s took a big lead early in the game with a 14-0 first quarter run and never surrendered that lead, forcing a Game 6 in Miami on Saturday.
The Heat still have the upper hand in the series, with a 3-2 lead and a home game on tap, but suddenly the idea of a Celtics comeback doesn’t seem outlandish. Miami’s roster is as banged up as it’s been at any point in the postseason, with Gabe Vincent (ankle) joining Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo on the inactive list for Game 5, leaving the club with little depth in its backcourt.
Heat star Jimmy Butler, who averaged 31.1 PPG on 51.8% shooting in his first 12 playoff contests this spring, has come down to earth a little in his last three games vs. Boston, with those averages dipping to 19.7 PPG and 43.2% shooting (including just 1-of-7 on three-pointers).
According to BetOnline.ag, the Heat are still the betting favorites to make the NBA Finals, but their odds are down to -145 (the Celtics are +125 underdog). And Boston is considered the better bet to win Game 6, having been listed as 2.5-point favorites.
Over the course of NBA history, teams in Boston’s position are 0-for-150, but if ever that streak is going to be broken, it could be in circumstances like these ones. Miami was a play-in team that has exceeded all expectations but is dealing with a handful of injuries and having its depth tested. The Celtics were a dominant regular season team, posting the NBA’s best net rating (+6.7) and second-best record (57-25).
We want to know what you think. Will the Celtics actually complete this improbable comeback or will their efforts hit a wall in Game 6 or 7?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to weigh in with your predictions for the rest of the Eastern Conference Finals!
18 thoughts on “Poll: Will Celtics Complete Eastern Finals Comeback?”
Denver vs Miami Finals is both the NBA and the Always Boring Channels worst nightmare. Because they wouldn’t have to try to explain why, a regular season baseball game game between Cleveland and Kansas City has a higher rating than a NBA Finals game.
Real ball fans would watch the finals if it were the Pistons and the Spurs. Those fans are who create younger fans (kids) which keeps this whole thing going. Do you see what Im getting at here?
Couldn’t be any more far away from the truth
Just to watch Joker vs Adebayo is already tons of fun
Only bummer is that the bubble boy is injured
Pattern seems to be that if the Celtics can create a little distance in the score that they’ll win the game. But if Miami keeps it close that seems to be their calling for victory. Must see TV saturday. Can’t wait.
If the Celtics pull off game 6 many will consider game 7 a Boston Victory no problem. I wouldn’t go that far.
If any team can do it it’s this Celtics team. I think Miami finishes this saturday though.
Heat better win Saturday or the Celtics could make history.
Celtics offense has amazing firepower
Not a whole lot of support for MIA in 7. Having watched this BOS team, I think it’s as likely as anything else that they’ll win G-6 and then lose G-7. Their worst games are home games that they’re favored to win.
That’s my thoughts as well… They’ll almost complete the comeback, get complacent and lose it in 7…
I think it’s the only way Joe saves his job…
Make a comeback and show he can get this team playing 48, not 40, not 36 but 48 .
Miami is toast. I said so much during the 3rd qtr of game 4. you are what your record says you are – Miami is an 8 seed and the celts found their game. series over.
Irrelevant, winner is gonna be beaten by DEN!
We must have been watching the same game. A lot of folks here want to talk about how they thought the Heat was going to make a comeback and that they really didn’t see anything different in this game
On the contrary, it seemed as if Spoelstra and his team let up off the gas and thought they could cruise, from odd substitution and rest time for starters to some shots that looked half-hearted, at best
Not a fan of any team in particular, but it just seemed like there was no urgency and a throttle-down of intensity
Not sure about such thinking when Tatum and Brown are on the other side.
Everyone who saw it watched the same game.
Heat had the same regular season record as Warriors, by the way and were 6 games above the 50%. Also, Hawks took the 7th seed from them in the play-in. It’s not all about that number…
Celtics definitely can do it but that requires them to actually show up for 2 more consecutive games. I don’t think they’ve won 4 games in a row all year. They definitely haven’t in the playoffs.
For what it’s worth, the Celtics had five separate winning streaks of four-plus games during the regular season, including two nine-game streaks. link to basketball-reference.com
“I don’t think they’ve won 4 games in a row all year”
You’re very wrong.
“They definitely haven’t in the playoffs”
Yeah, no kidding.