When told that only 14 teams in NBA history have come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a playoff series, here’s what Vince Carter had to say. (Orlando Sentinel)
“It’s not something I want to hear, really,” Carter said. “I just feel like we know what needs to be done. Right now, it’s not about the whole great motivational speech. I think the first step of overcoming that frustration is that everybody still believes, and that takes you miles and miles and that could put us over the hump right there. It’s like, OK, regardless of the position we’re in, we still feel like we can win. We can win games.”
They know what needs to be done, but the odds of it happening are almost negative. I don’t want to jinx the Celtics or anything, but they’ve now won five games in a row against the NBA’s two best teams. A streak like that can’t possibly be a fluke, especially the way the Celtics have done it — with all kinds of defense, timely shooting and balanced offense.
If you look at the two Celtics wins in this series, you can view them both as close games — after all, the combined margin of the two games was only seven points. Or, you can look at it this way: The Celtics won two games on the road and, were it not for two late Orlando comebacks, the C’s would have won each by double figures. They’ve clearly been the better team in almost every facet of the game. For two games in which the final margin was so close, the Celtics couldn’t have been more in control.
The way the Celtics have been playing, I can’t see Orlando beating them in this series. Hell, I can only see the Magic even stealing a game or two if the C’s take their collective foot off the metal. The Magic can’t guard Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo gets the better of Jameer Nelson and the C’s ability to defend Dwight Howard one-on-one limit the Magician’s three-point attempts. On top of that, Orlando doesn’t have a single reliable crunch-time player, while Boston has three or four.
“We know what we have to do,” Dwight Howard told reporters about coming back from an 0-2 deficit.
But actually doing it is a whole other issue.