Throughout the history of the NBA Playoffs, no team has ever battled back from a 3-0 series deficit. In 103 series where one team fell behind three games to none, only 10 had ever fought back hard enough just to win the next two games and force a Game 6 in the series. In the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, you can now make that 12 teams, as the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets have battled back after losing the first three games of their respective series against the New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder and have now forced pivotal Game 6 contests at home on Friday night.
As I stated earlier, no team in NBA Playoffs history has ever battled back to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to sweep the next four games. But, while the Knicks do a lot of talking and the Thunder look to overcome the devastating loss of Russell Westbrook, the veteran Celtics and upstart Rockets look to capitalize on their way to possibly making history.
The Knicks have struggled in recent postseason matchups against the Celtics. That looked to have all changed during the first few games of the series. New York was a much better second half team than Boston, which comes as no surprise, considering that the Celtics are much older than the Knicks. But you can never discount experience, which has helped the aging Boston squad come back against the perhaps over-confident bunch in New York.
In Oklahoma City, the Thunder jumped out to an early 3-0 series lead, but that all came crashing down when Westbrook suffered a knee injury that will sideline him throughout the remainder of the postseason. If the Thunder cannot find a way to slow down the player they traded to the Rockets prior to this season, James Harden, Westbrook may not be on the sidelines for much longer. He can hit the malls to continue to sports that thrift shop look. Perhaps he should have starred in Macklemore’s video.
On Friday night, the Celtics and Rockets will host their Game 6 matchups against the Knicks and Thunder. Win, and they advance to play again on Sunday in a do-or-die crucial and historic Game 7 on the road. It will not be easy, but both Boston and Houston have more than a fair chance at making history before the end of the weekend.