The Boston Celtics were left for dead by many fans after dropping the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. A win in Game 4 built some momentum, which they continued to build on in Game 5 on Thursday night.
No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Playoffs. However, it looks like the Celtics may have a real shot at accomplishing the historic feat after their second straight blowout win on Thursday.
The Celtics had an all-around impressive performance, with four out of five starters scoring over 20 points. The Heat made the final score respectable, but the Celtics cruised to a 110-97 victory to force a Game 6 in this series.
Marcus Smart helps lead the @celtics to a crucial win in Game 5!
5 STL (Playoff career high)
BOS/MIA Game 6: Saturday, 8:30pm/et | TNT pic.twitter.com/ZvaxqhJap1
— NBA (@NBA) May 26, 2023
TNT’s Charles Barkley received a ton of criticism ahead of Game 5 after calling the game “a cakewalk” for the Celtics.
"I think Game 5 is going to be a cakewalk for the Celtics. I think they are going to have so much energy. Now they are going back home and they are gonna be loud and incredible. I think they are gonna kill Miami next game."
"Game 6 in Miami's going to be Game 7 for Miami." pic.twitter.com/cYSUKgA5ku
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 24, 2023
It turns out he pretty much called the game correctly to a tee.
Many around the NBA world took notice of the Celtics’ win and believe that this series is now up for grabs.
Miami Heat really blowing the 3-0 lead 😭
— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) May 26, 2023
Miami Heat with a 3-0 lead against the Celtics pic.twitter.com/pghrhMH58r
— trace (@tracedontmiss) May 26, 2023
Heat failed to match effort again. Outplayed from the start.
Awful games from your stars. Ugly brand of basketball. 2 chances to finish them. Game 6 in Miami.
— 𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙉𝘼𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉 (@HeatvsHaters) May 26, 2023
FAST FORWARD TO GAME 6 In MIAMI! THE HEAT ARE COOKED!!! #Celticsin7
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) May 26, 2023
Is Game 6 in Miami a “must-win” for the Heat? pic.twitter.com/0hrIUkWs2k
— Guru (@DrGuru_) May 26, 2023
Heat fans right now pic.twitter.com/HEbswBYeUm
— OddsStack (@OddsStack) May 26, 2023
Perhaps the only positive for the Heat is that they will have one final chance to win this series on their home court in Game 6.
If the Celtics are able to force a Game 7, Miami will have to deal with both the pressure of being the only team ever to blow a 3-0 lead, and the rowdy road crowd at TD Garden.