in less than two hours, you play the New York Knicks in Game 4 of the First Round of the NBA Playoffs, at home, down 3 games to none.
You lost Friday night in Boston, the first game in Beantown since that punky kid from Cambridge decided he’d try and knock us down. What a fool. You can huff, you can puff, but you can’t knock Boston down.
Or can you?
Until Game 2 of this series, do you know how many times the Knicks had won consecutive playoff games since the turn of the century? Zero.
Until Game 2 of this series, do you know how many teams had scored 25 or less points in a half in consecutive games EVER? Zero.
And do you know how many teams in NBA History have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in any round of the Playoffs to win a series? You guessed it: Zero.
It’s time to make history, or be history. The choice is yours.
So before we begin, let’s take a stroll down memory lane to October 2004 and our friends over at Fenway Park. Specifically, move about 50 seconds in.
Dont. Let. Us. Win. Tonight.
No, you don’t have Pedey going in game 5 or Big Schill going in Game 6. You also don’t have your super-hustling rookie Jared Sullinger because of a season-ending back injury, or your superstar leader of the team in Rajon Rondo, who tore his ACL back in January. But you do have Kevin Garnett, maybe the Greatest Power Forward of All Time (with no apologies to Tim Duncan or Karl Malone – I mean it). You do have Paul Pierce, slowly cementing his legacy that will hang forever in the rafters with his number 34 jersey, already more or less retired and waiting for its owner to do the same. And, remember, anything can still happen in Game 7, should you get there.
Sure, you’re hurt. Paul is a shadow of his former self. Kevin, too. Bone spurs and ankle sprains and bad backs and years and years and miles and miles up and down a basketball court eventually catch up to you. Father Time never loses.
But the biggest injury of them all is mental; A hit to your Pride hurts the most, and that’s what you’re about to take.
Remember you’re playing for the name on the front of your jersey, and not the one on the back. Remember you’re playing the game because you love it and have since you could walk. Remember you’re playing the games for the fans, who pour out in droves to support you even on the brink of elimination in embarrassing fashion. Remember you play for this city, that needs you now more than ever. Remember you want to make history, and that this team knows more about history than any other team in the league.
Remember you are Paul Pierce. You are Kevin Garnett. You are Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Jason Terry, Jordan Crawford, Chris Wilcox, Shavlik Randolph, Fab Melo, DJ White, and Terrence Williams.
You are the Boston Celtics.
Now get out there and play like it.