This is uncharted territory for the Celtics in the Big Three era. The C's will take the TD Garden hardwood on Saturday night and for the first time since they were rebuilt they'll be looking to dig out of an 0-2 hole, while the Miami Heat try to bury Boston for good.
A Celtics-Heat series was something practically everyone wanted to see, but it's pretty obvious that things haven't gone the way things Celtics fans had envisioned them going when hoping for the series.
The Heat have been everything we thought they could be. Dwyane Wade carried Miami in Game 1, with a pretty substantial assist to James Jones off of the bench. Then, in Game 2, it was LeBron James stealing the show.
Miami has lived up to its potential through two games, but it's also true that all they've done so far is hold serve. There's a common adage that is uttered in the playoffs that says "the series doesn't start until a road team wins." Well, the Celtics have to hope that the series doesn't start anytime soon and that they can also hold serve at home.
A couple of things will have to happen. First, and quite obviously, the Celtics are going to have to play better from top to bottom. There's been no one who's really stood out in green at all throughout the series.
After Paul Pierce was ejected in Game 1, things fell apart down the stretch. He returned in Game 2, only to injure his Achilles, limiting his minutes. He claims to be healthy — as healthy as one can be in his situation — and he claims to be ready to shoulder the load down the stretch should the Celtics need it.
He'll need to be better, and so will everyone else. Ray Allen had an impressive Game 1 performance, only to disappear in Game 2. Kevin Garnett hasn't been much better. After an abysmal Game 1, he saw more looks in Game 2, but was only 8-for-20 from the floor.
Shaquille O'Neal is supposed to play in Game 3, and if he does so and stays healthy, you would likely assume that he's back for the rest of the series. His presence alone could help, but then again, it may not. Shaq has battled injuries all year long, and he's only played just over five minutes since Feb. 1.
Holding serve at home, however, will only help the Celtics so much. At some point, they will have to start the series and win a game on the road if they want to dig out of this hole. Before they can do that, though, they need to find a way to win a game in front of the home crowd.
Can the Celtics win the series against the Heat after losing the first two games? Share your thoughts below.
Tuesday, May 3: Should NBA officials be suspended for poor officiating in the playoffs?
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