I’m not going to lie; after game five of the Eastern Conference Finals, thoughts of the Orlando Magic tying and possibly winning the series was no longer unbelievable, but possible. The team was down 0-3 in the series and not looking to make a comeback. Their first win against the Celtics in game 4 had people thinking they got lucky. Then by the end of game 5, it was starting to look like the Magic might accomplish something that no other team in the NBA ever has… a 0-3 comeback to win and advance to the 2010 NBA Finals against either the Lakers or Suns. Unfortunately for the Orlando Magic that was not the case and Boston was able to use a little of their own magic to make them disappear.
The Celtics managed to avoid the biggest playoff collapse in league history. Boston clinched the series 4-2, beating Orlando 96-84. The Celtics are the first team in NBA history to advance to the Finals after having a better road record than home record during the regular season. It will be the 21st trip to the NBA finals for the Celtics organization, only the Lakers have more with 30. Now the next question is who will the Celtics play in the finals? Will it be the Suns or are the Lakers going to make their 31st appearance? The Lakers are currently leading their Western Conference Finals 3-2 against the Suns.
Regardless who their opponent may be, if Boston (17-3 all-time in NBA Finals) keeps playing the way they did in game 6 of the East Finals, they will definitely have a good chance of taking home their 18th NBA title in franchise history (no organization has won more titles than the 17-time World Champion Boston Celtics). Each game they have a different player that rises up to lead the team to victory. The win over Orlando in game 6 was their 17th straight game with a different leading scorer. Seriously! They have not had the same player lead them in scoring in consecutive games this entire post season. Game 6 goes to Paul Pierce, ending this Eastern Conference Finals in game 6 with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Pierce was aggressive and assertive and it worked perfectly in Boston’s favor. Celtic’s guard Ray Allen followed Pierce with 20pts.
It was Nate Robinson though that seemed to get Boston fans on their feet. After Celtic’s starting point guard Rajon Rondo took a hard fall, it was time for the little guy to step up in a big way. After the incredible season Rondo has been having, especially in the Finals (Rondo had 14 points and six assists before leaving the game), Robinson had some pretty big shoes to fill in a very important game. Luckily for Boston, he was up to the challenge. With 13 points off the bench in the second quarter, Robinson was making passes and nailing three’s that had the players he was sharing the bench with only moments before on their feet. Robinson had more points in the second quarter than he had in the previous 8 games combined. “There will be a game where we’re flat and need somebody to make something happen and Nate [Robinson] will do that. He’s going to win us a playoff game”, stated Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics head coach, back in April.
They now have just shy of a week to rest and practice until they hit the court again. This will be the Celtics second NBA finals appearance in 3 years. The first game of the 2010 NBA Finals is Thursday, June 3rd.