The Boston Celtics are facing a do or die moment Friday night in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals. Not for their season, or their team, but for the careers of three future hall of famers.
Ray Allen is 36, Kevin Garnett is 35 and Paul Pierce is 34; Allen and Garnett aren't even under contract for next season.
If the Celtics lose tonight they will fall into an 0-3 hole, a deficit no NBA team has ever come back from. If Boston is defeated by the Miami Heat, it will be the end for the Big Three in Boston.
The problem might be that no matter what they do it isn't enough. The Big Three plus Rajon Rondo, combined for 96 points in game two against the Heat, the most the foursome has ever scored in five seasons of basketball. They gave the Heat their best shot and they still lost.
But despite that bleak prognostication, Celtics coach Doc Rivers is not worried.
We still know we have to play better, Boston coach Doc Rivers said Thursday. But I think our guys know now that we can play (with Miami). And I don't know if they did know it or not, but after Game 1, it was such a bad loss for us, I think we needed to have that type of game last night. Obviously, we'd have rather won it. But I think our guys are very confident going into Game 3.
Perhaps he has reason to be optomistic. The Celtics were 3-1 against the Heat in the regular season, but more importantly he knows his team.
People called the Celtics too old before only to be proven wrong and Rivers is hoping they will do it again.
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 Celtics will get at least one win in this series and tonight will be the night they do it. They have been nearly impossible to beat inside the Garden in the Big Three era and this year is no different.
Predicted Score: Boston over Miami 101-95