Give the Philadelphia 76ers a lot of credit. They refused to get swept on Monday and forced a game 5. There have been in every game and at times looked as good as the experts predicted they would be. In fact, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a scenario where they are up 3 games to 1.
Still, I’m feeling oddly confident that the Celtics can finish things out in game 5 on Wednesday. As the title of this article indicates, my confidence stems from three things: the coach, home court, and history.
Again, hats off to Brett Brown for making some adjustments (full court pressure, emphasis on points in the paint, etc.) that proved very effective in game 4. I wish I was smart enough to tell you how Brad Stevens will counter those measures, ...because then I’d be a rich coach instead of a guy with a blog. All I know is that every time Brad has needed to make an adjustment, he’s pushed the right buttons and put his players in the position they need to be in to execute his gameplan.
As for home court, I don’t think I need to remind you how important that is in the playoffs. Stars play well anywhere but the role players and rotation guys always tend to step up more at home than on the road. There’s just something fundamentally more comfortable about playing at home. In a game so predicated on confidence and “feel” that familiarity can go a long way to deciding a game. I fully expect the Garden crowd to be rockin’ on Wednesday night.
History is very clear. No team has ever come from a 3-0 hole and won the series. Sure, there’s always a first time and there’s no sense tempting fate by giving anything less than a great effort in game 5. Still, the Sixers would have to win 3 in a row and I don’t feel like they’ve “figured out” the Celtics or come up with some secret sauce to shift the momentum that dramatically.
Again, all respect due to the Sixers who are a talented team. This reborn rivalry looks like it is going to be a lot of fun for years to come. I just feel like the Celtics have a lot going for them headed into game 5. I don’t know if it is going to be another Jayson Tatum 20 point effort, or a Jaylen Brown “don’t forget about me” effort, or a Terry Rozier “say my name” performance, or another all around “worth every penny” Al Horford effort, or some combination of the above.
I just think the Celtics are going to do what they’ve done all season and postseason long. Win.
Off night Q&A with Jeff Clark of CelticsBlog. Can the Celtics close it out in 5?Posted by Celtics Blog on Tuesday, May 8, 2018