Numbers never lie? Breaking down the Celtics chances to come all the way back and stun the Knicks
Ok so by now you've probably heard that no team in league history has come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a series. 105 teams have tried, and 105 teams have failed.
With that said, the Celtics have already accomplished something that most teams down 0-3 could not - they won Game 4. I used the awesome (and ugly, seriously try spending 10 minutes there without having a seizure) website whowins.com to take a look at teams down 0-3 and 1-3, and just how far those teams were able to push the series. If you don't mind numbers, keep reading. If you do not like numbers, keep reading anyways because numbers are important for your future.
Teams down 0-3
Ok so the Celtics are no longer down 0-3 obviously, but they were at one point, so let's take a look at teams in the vaunted 0-3 hole.
- Only 41 of the 105 teams down 0-3 even won Game 4 (39%). So the Celtics have already gone further than most teams in this situation..not that that's saying much.
- Only 10 of the 105 teams forced a Game 6 (meaning they won two elimination games), or 9.5%. This is what the C's seek to accomplish tomorrow night. The last team to accomplish this? That would be the 2010 Magic who won Games 4 & 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics after trailing the series 0-3.
- Only 3 of the 105 teams pushed their opponent all the way to Game 7 (2.9%). The last team to pull this off was the 2003 Trail Blazers (otherwise known as the Jail Blazers) against the Mavericks.
Thankfully for the Celtics, they've already pulled off one win, which leaves them in a slightly better spot.
Now let's take a look at the breakdown of teams down 1-3.
- 86 of the 210 teams to trail 1-3 in a series won Game 5 (41%). This number is lower when the team down 1-3 plays game 5 on the road (26%), a situation the C's find themselves in tomorrow night.
- 28 of the 210 teams forced a Game 7 (13.3%). Both the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets were able to do this last season, although both fell short in Game 7.
- 8 of the 210 teams came all the way back and won the series (3.8%)
If you're talking about which number represents the Celtics current chances, it's that last one - 3.8%. While people cling to the 0 for 105 for teams down 0-3, the Celts have already won a game and therefore that number goes out the window. They've creeped their percentage up, albeit not by all that much.
Any way you slice it..the odds are obviously stacked against the C's, but that doesn't mean that they're completely dead. As people in Boston know, 3-0 leads aren't as safe as people think. With the Red Sox coming back from 0-3 down in 2004, and the Bruins collapsing in 2010 against the Flyers, the city has been on both sides of miracle comebacks in recent years. While the Celts may not have basketball history on their side..they do have Boston history on it.
And you just know that if they can find a way to win in MSG tomorrow night, palms are going to start sweating in New York. That's what happens when you haven't won a playoff series in 13 years..you start to think about the worst case scenario. And if the C's can come out of tomorrow night's game with a win, the seeds of doubt will have been planted.
**Note: numbers include Heat/Bucks and Lakers/Spurs series, but not any of the active series
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