Is Boston Really In Trouble? Ok, Maybe They Are.

Boston has a tough task ahead of them in Game 3 and for the rest of the series.  Being down 2-0 in a series, even when you have games 3 and 4 at home, leaves a team with a slim chance to win the series.  NBA analysts have been saying that Boston shouldn’t worry, since a series doesn’t really start until someone loses at home.  I tend to believe that too, but the stats don’t bear that out.  In the 40 2-3 matchups in the playoffs since 1991, only eleven have seen the higher seed/home team win the first two games of the series.  Therefore, an analyst can’t really say that higher seed is supposed to win the first two games at home; as it has only happened 28% of the time in 2-3 matchups.  But there is hope for Celtics fans and Heat haters:  in 2 of those 11 instances, the team down 2-0 has won the series, and in 6 of the 11 the series has gone to at least a game 6.  If the Celts can get it to a game 6, you can throw all these stats away; because then anything can happen.

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Celtics-Knicks: Staying In Boston For A Week.

The Celtics and Knicks will play eachother in the season finale and in the first round of the playoffs; this has happened 13 times before in the last 20 seasons.  In six of these instances, highlighted in red, the two teams have stayed at the same venue.  In those six instances, the home team, which was also the team with home-court advantage was 20-8.  In the other series, where the season finale and playoff opener were played at different venues, the team with home-court advantage was 20-15.  Although this stat is not 100% predictive or even 50%, it doesn’t bode well for the Knicks’ hope of a first round upset.

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How To Beat The Miami Heat (Click Image to Enlarge)

Based on the table below and the Heat games I have seen, here’s how to beat the Heat:
When the Heat are offense it usually doesn’t matter who they’re playing; either they’re making their shots or not.  They shoot 49.8% in their wins vs 43.2% in their losses, and from three they shoot 40.8% in their wins and 30.2% in losses.  The opposing defense can affect the Heat offense by playing great team defense (the Celtics); play any other way on defense(relying on one or two good defenders) and you lose.
Ball movement is the key to an opposing offense beating the Heat defense; they have several good on-ball defenders.  In their losses, 62% of the opposing teams field goals are assisted compared to 55% in their wins.  If your teams plays an isolation offense revolving around one player, they no chance against the Heat D. 
Looking at these stats, there’s no wonder the Heat haven’t beaten the Bulls or Celtics this season.