NBA Playoffs: Can the Celtics Actually Pull Off a Comeback?


May 1, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) defends against Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) during the second half in game five of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. The Celtics won the game 92-86. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I know it may seem improbable, but no team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best of seven playoff series. It seems weird that it’s never been done, but it’s the truth. The Celtics, led by Paul Pierce know what they’re doing. They somehow allowed the Knicks to win the first three games of the series, but have furiously comeback to force a Game 7, won that, and then a game six.

If you ask Knick fans, they’ll say it’s luck, but as tensions flare, you may be looking at something more than just luck. The Celtics came into New York and had one of the most complete halves that they’ve had these playoffs. Paul Pierce had his offense working for him, and so did Jeff Green, who hit two killer 3-pointers towards the end of the game. The Celtics had a 15-point lead, but eventually ended up winning just 92-86.

Tensions flared at the end when DJ White (who?) got in the face of Raymond Felton. Carmelo Anthony and Jordan Crawford were also in the middle of things, and the two teams, of course, didn’t exchange pleasantries. This is exactly what the Celtics want to do. They want to get inside of the emotions of the Knicks players, so they don’t have too much pressure on themselves. Now that they’re in the heads, a game six victory would almost certainly lead to a heated game seven.

It may seem unlikely that the Celtics can pull off a comeback, but the Knicks haven’t won a playoff series in well over a decade, so that could be the inexperience taking place. We’re talking about Carmelo Anthony, a guy that’s been past the first round just one time. I don’t know about you, but I think Pierce, who was the NBA Finals MVP, and Green can easily take care of the Knicks.

In a Game 7, your crowd is supposed to be involved with you and very heated. The Knicks, however, don’t have those type of diehard fans. They may show up just for a good time, but they don’t truly care about their team. Of course some of them do, but they certainly don’t show it with their screaming or their passion. There’s a lot of bandwagon, but the Knicks fans are easily swayed by dazzling performances.

With that being said, Pierce may be struggling a bit in the series, but he still owns New York. In the biggest spotlights, he is one of the most clutch players in the NBA. In the final minutes of the game, the Celtics put the ball in his hands, and he knows what he is doing. Inexperience may not always be a factor, but it certainly plays a huge role in this case.

Verdict: The Celtics will be under pressure, but are capable of pulling a comeback off.