After defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics are now looking ahead to their most important postseason game this year.
With one more win needed to advance to the NBA Finals, the Celtics find themselves in the driver’s seat heading into Friday night when Boston will travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers on their own court for Game 6.
Though it seems like an opportune time for the Celtics to close out the series, it will take a monumental effort from the team on the road, which is something we have not seen very often.
However, if Boston is able to pull out a win in Game 6, it will tell us a couple important things about the Celtics.
The Celtics Can Overcome Anything
We have seen this team overcome injuries and inexperience, along with a bevy other obstacles that would leave most teams in shambles come the end of the season. But because of great coaching and great leadership, the Celtics now find themselves in the midst of a Cinderella Story after being picked as a NBA Finals candidate during the preseason.
Celtics at home in the playoffs:
• 110.5 offensive rating
• 99.8 defensive rating
• +10.7 Net
• 56.9% True Shooting
Celtics on the road in the playoffs:
• 99.0 offensive rating
• 110.6 defensive rating
• -11.6 Net
• 51.0% True Shooting
— Shane Young (@YoungNBA) May 24, 2018
Boston’s final hurdle to overcome this season will come during Game 6 where it has the opportunity to break the curse of losing on the road in this series, and in the postseason where they have a 1-6 overall record and a 0-2 record in the Eastern Conference Finals. If the Celtics can beat the Cavaliers at home Friday night, it will prove this team can overcome just about any obstacle thrown in their direction.
Here is a hopeful stat regarding Boston winning Game 5’s: The Celtics are 29-3 all time when they win Game 5 in a best-of-7 series.
A Competitive NBA Finals
Barring that Boston manages to win Game 6 in Cleveland, the win away from the TD Garden could hint at what’s to come during the NBA Finals.
The Golden State Warriors aren’t exactly playing their best basketball as of late. In fact, the defending champs have, similarly to Cleveland, fallen behind 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals. Game 6 is on their home floor.
This postseason the Warriors have five losses, four of them happening on the road and one in Oracle Arena.
Warriors offense fell to pieces in fourth quarter of stunning 95-92 loss to Rockets in Game 4.
Golden State: 3-18 shooting & 0-6 on threes in 4th
Stephen Curry: 1-8 in 4th.
Kevin Durant: 1-5 in 4th
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 23, 2018
This may hint at an advantage for Boston, since the Celtics best play this postseason has happened in the comfort of The Garden. That could foreshadow a much more competitive series against the Warriors than we may have previously thought. *Again, if the Celtics win Game 6 and if the Warriors win the Western Conference Finals.*
No, I am not saying Boston is going to win a championship this season, I’m just simply saying it should be a more competitive NBA Finals than anticipated.
But if there is one thing I have learned this season from the Celtics:
Don’t ever doubt Boston.
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