Things didn't exactly go the way the Celtics were hoping in Game 5 Wednesday night. What was once a 3-0 lead in a series that was headed for a sweep is now suddenly making its way to a Game 6 Friday night after Orlando battled to two straight wins, the latter of which was a 113-92 drubbing last night. Time to hit the panic button in Boston?
No, says our CelticsBlog (well, at least not yet). Boston was knocked down, sure, but don't forget that it's still leading the series, with a game at home tomorrow night.
Take a deep breath. Exhale. Repeat.
Boston fans have a bad rap for being overly emotional and over-reactive. Personally I think that just describes passionate sports fans in general, but whatever. There's no need to panic here.
The Magic won because they are a good team and because they also got pretty lucky. Lucky that the refs did them favors, lucky that a few freak injuries left us reeling (in some cases literally), and lucky that all the shots were falling last night for them.
I still believe that the Celtics are the better team and they will win on Friday night. It is going to take a full team effort, especially on defense. The key, as always, is getting stops and creating offense from defense. It would also help to have Rondo back to playing the way he was for most of the playoffs. And a night of Ray Allen reigning 3's down wouldn't hurt either. But it can and should happen, in particular with the best fans in the world behind them.
Give the Magic credit. They got up off the mat and delivered some good shots of their own. But the Celtics still hold the upper hand and they can still have the last laugh. It doesn't matter how pretty it is. All that matters is the outcome. Survive and advance, just like in '08.
Visit CelticsBlog for the full, talking-Celtics-fans-off-the-ledge post.