After Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Boston was in control and most every analyst and sportwriter expected a sweep. Then, Orlando won Game 4 in overtime and routed Boston 113-92 in Game 5 at Amway Arena.
Now, those same writers who proclaimed Orlando’s season dead and halfway buried are writing about the resurrection of the Magic. Some Orlando Sentinel writers–George Diaz and Mike Bianchi– have gone so far as to predict the greatest comeback in NBA playoff history and a Finals berth for Orlando.
George Diaz wrote:
This time, the accountants have added up all the misery of NBA teams trying to crawl out of an 0-3 hole in a 7-game series, and they say the Orlando Magic have no prayer. The other 93 teams that came before them all failed.
But as coach Stan Van Gundy keeps reminding everyone, somebody has to be first.
It will be his team.
It will be his team because the Celtics are suddenly old, beaten and battered. Even though Kendrick Perkins will play tonight after having one of his technical fouls rescinded, he is no longer the smooth veteran frustrating big man Dwight Howard.
I don’t have a promise with optimism for the home team, but declaring the Celtics “suddenly old” after just two losses and one poor game (Game 5)? Diaz certainly wasn’t calling the Celtics “old” after they took a 3-0 series lead. It’s funny, when the Celtics are winning they are called a “veteran team” but when they start losing they are “suddenly old.” What hypocrisy.
But at least Diaz didn’t go so far as to stupidly compare the Boston Celtics to the Boston Bruins, who collapsed with a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers.
His colleague Mike Bianchi, however, thought the comparison was a good one:
Teams can absolutely feed on the synergy and psyche of another team in town. Especially when that other team — the Bruins in this case — own and play in the same arena you play in.
The seats in Boston’s TD Garden are painted Bruins gold and black, not Celtics green and white. The ushers and concessionaires in the arena are employed by the Bruins. And up in the rafters, the Bruins banners hang side by side with the Celtics banners.
I’m sorry Bianchi–and all the other idiots comparing the Celtics to the Bruins– but one sport has NOTHING to do with the other.
The Boston Bruins were an overachieving team who rode a hot goalie and good team play as far as the wave would take them. The Boston Celtics are former champions who almost beat Orlando Magic last year without Kevin Garnett–and if you happened to forget–still hold a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 being played in the TD Garden in BOSTON.
So for everyone out there, relax with the hyperbole and disaster warnings about the Boston Celtics. Home court advantage tonight is a big edge. The Celtics are still in the driver’s seat.