The Boston Celtics looked dead in the water after mustering a lifeless display against the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, going down 3-0 in the process. That deficit is essentially a death knell, as not a single team in NBA history has come back from to win the series after going down convincingly for the first three games. But the Celtics, following their 110-97 Game 5 victory against the Heat, are approaching uncharted territory.
Per ClutchPoints Twitter, the 2022-23 iteration of the Celtics is one of just 14 teams that won two games after going down 3-0. All in all, 150 teams have faced that big of a playoff deficit before, in the end losing every single time. But the Celtics are looking to change that, especially when they’re channeling the energy of the 2004 Boston Red Sox — the team that famously broke the Curse of the Bambino by turning the tables on the New York Yankees’ 3-0 series lead in the ALCS.
To end Game 4, Jimmy Butler and the rest of the Heat squad were laughing on the bench despite suffering a blowout. But it’s difficult to imagine there being smiles on the faces of the Heat roster at the moment, especially with the Celtics hitting their stride on both ends of the floor.
One crucial aspect of the Celtics’ turnaround in Games 4 and 5 has been their ability to dish the rock all the while taking care of the basketball. Of course, it has also helped that the Celtics have been on fire from deep, making 34 triples over the past two games to make ending the series a difficult task for the Heat.
At the end of the day, the Celtics’ job is not yet finished. But as Marcus Smart said, they’re taking it one game at a time.