Last night was huge for Boston sports fans. Three big games - all at the same time. Unfortunately, as things turned out, it wasn't quite the glorious night fans envisioned. The Yankees made easy work of the Red Sox and the Bruins couldn't complete a sweep in Philadelphia. With my sympathies extended to die-hard baseball and hockey fans, the most stunning and depressing loss last night happened at the TD Garden.
Before last night, the Celtics had the Cavs on their heels. They'd utterly dominated Game 2, blowing out Lebron James and Company, 104-86, in Cleveland. They'd stolen away home court advantage and the momentum.
In an even series, Boston looked like it held the advantage. Certainly, no one was counting out the Cavaliers but what happened last night was unexpected.
The Celtics came out completely flat and Cleveland caught fire - handing Boston it's worst home-playoff loss in franchise history, 124-95. The surging Celtics were left deflated. They had been tossed around on their own court. It was both embarrassing and depressing to watch. However, Doc Rivers prefers not to view it as the end of the world.
After practice today, Doc told the media, "It happens and it was one night, hopefully. I still think we have [our focus]... But, we gotta live for tomorrow and not for yesterday". Losing by that wide of a margin is certainly not worth overlooking, but the team has to move on. If not, Boston could quickly find themselves in even more trouble. A scary statistic: NBA teams leading a series 2-1 go on to win that series 82.3% of the time.
That being said, if the Celtics look at last night's loss as being the end-all, be-all of the series, their confidence could wane.
Doc is making sure this doesn't happen, "I did ask them, after three games, if a series is as close as possible, what would be the number? It'd be 2-1. Well, it's 2-1 and we're down... But we have to show up and win [Sunday], then get back to Cleveland.".
As Doc said, only three games have been played and it's as close as it could possibly be. In the first two games, they proved that they can hang tough with Lebron and the Cavaliers. As horrific as last night's loss was, the Celtics are still very much alive in this series.
If they fell at home again tomorrow afternoon, however, it'd be much harder to make that case. As Perkins said today, "We've got a chance to tie it up, 2-2, and get back to Cleveland. I feel like it's a must-win for us tomorrow". So, it's not as bad as it seems...yet. A lot fringes on tomorrow. In any playoff game there's a lot on the line but, if the C's enter Cleveland Tuesday night down 3-1, it could be a death sentence.