After losing to the Cavaliers in Game 4, the Boston Celtics are 1-6 on the road in the playoffs. Why can’t they win away from TD Garden?
All postseason, the Boston Celtics have made things a lot harder than they needed to be. Against Milwaukee, they were brought to 7 games by an inferior Bucks team with Joe Prunty standing on the sidelines. The Philadelphia 76ers stole a Game 4 at home to force a Game 5 in Boston that went down to the wire.
Now, LeBron James and the Cavs are back from down 2-0. The Celtics were more or less dominated in Cleveland and for the third straight time they will need to win at home to advance.
The good news for the Celtics is that they haven’t lost at home since April 8. The C’s are averaging 110 points and outscoring teams by an average of 11 points at TD Garden.
The fans have been great, and they will be again on Wednesday, and the Celtics have no choice but to play better in Game 5. All of a sudden, missed layups will start to fall. Threes that missed in Cleveland will magically drop when you’re at home.
Especially with young players, being in your home gym means a lot. The crowd is cheering for you. When the other team makes a run, it’s quiet, you can focus. When you make a run, everything is flowing. Everything is going the right way.
Good teams win at home. Great teams ruin the night of an 8-year old kid going to his first playoff game. They ignore the fans screaming on every free throw. The boos after every call against the home team (or, if you’re playing the Cavs, some boos from the best player).
So far, the Boston Celtics have wilted under this pressure. They have home court advantage, so this might not even matter in the end, but if it comes down to a must win Game 6 in Cleveland things need to change.