After falling behind the Miami Heat 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals most fans left the Boston Celtics for dead.
Now they have won three straight games and look poised to eliminate the vaunted Heat with their trio of stars on Thursday night at the Boston Garden.
The Garden was a house of horrors for LeBron James when he was in Cleveland, and it hasn't gotten any better in Miami. The Heat have lost seven of their eight games in Boston since James took his talents to South Beach, and unless they can find a way to get one in game six he will watch the Celtics raise the Eastern Conference Champions Trophy live instead of on television.
By the end of game five in Miami the Heat looked defeated and confused. They continued to spend energy campaigning for calls, even after Rajon Rondo called them out for it at halftime of game four. They had trouble getting back on defense, even after made shots and they steadfastly refused to run an offensive play after the halfway mark. Instead they relied on heroball from James and Dwyane Wade and they paid for it.
For Boston there is some pressure as well. With the Thunder already in the Finals, eliminating the Heat as soon as possible becomes paramount. The Thunder were able to get past the Spurs by just outrunning them.
Like San Antonio, Boston is old. They would certainly benefit from getting done with the Heat sooner rather than later to conserve as much energy in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett as possible.
Where to watch: The game can be viewed online at FirstRowSports. It will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Prediction: The knock on Miami and James is that they can't ever seem to get things done in crunch time. Tonight will be no difference. Expect James to fade away in the fourth quarter of a close game leaving Wade to battle alone.
Predicted Score: Boston over Miami 102-96