FanPost

Key: Travel disadvantage?

The Celtics were blown out in game 3 against the Cavs, only to come back and win game 4 (both games in Boston).  We were also blown out in game 5 against the Magic in Orlando, only to come back and win game 6 back home.  Finally, we were semi-blown out in game 1 against the Lakers, only to come back and win game 2 (both games in LA). 

Those that are familiar with my posts know that I like looking for patterns, but really, what is the pattern here?  It's not home vs away, as all three were different situations.  But I read in passing earlier today that one of the commonalities for our two biggest blowouts was travel...and that set off alarms.

If you go through this year's playoffs, you'll see that in the first game played in a new location the Celtics are only 7 - 6 with a margin of -0.9.  On the other hand, when one game is played in the same location as the previous game (be it home or away), the Celtics are 8 - 2 with a margin of +7.8

Against the Lakers in this series, it is even more extreme.  The Celtics are 0 - 3 with a margin of -14 in the three travel games, and 3 - 0 with a margin of +7.3 in the three "stay" games.

And this is a case where statistics really do make logical sense.  Everyone talks about how the Cs are an older, veteran team full of aches and pains.  Well, as anyone who has ever traveled with a sore limb can attend to, it is HARD.  The injured area hurts more, stiffens up more, and just basically doesn't work the way you want it to for awhile.  And LA is by far the furthest the Celtics have had to fly this postseason (in both directions), so if the travel is bothering them you would expect it to show up in the first game after the travel.

:Shrugs: By tomorrow night analysis like this will be made moot as the team will just have to go get it.  But for an interminable off-day, I thought this was an interesting finding with possible relevance for what we might expect on the morrow.

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