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NBA Playoffs 2013: Winless Teams Who Are Still Alive in First Round

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 3:  Avery Bradley #0 of the Boston Celtics talks with head coach Doc Rivers during action against the Detroit Pistons during the game on April 3, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

You never want to be down 2-0 in a seven-game playoff series, but that does not always mean the series is over.

In the 2013 NBA playoffs, six of the eight matchups began with the home team winning both opening games. In many cases, this is the beginning of the end for squads that should just be happy to be in the postseason at all.

However, there are teams with the ability to come back in the series and advance to the second round. It will require winning four of the next five games, but these squads are definitely capable of pulling it off.

 

Memphis Grizzlies

This matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers was expected to be one of the most exciting series in the first round. Despite the fact that the Grizzlies have lost the first two, it should still be a classic.

In Game 1, Memphis tried to keep up with the speed of the Clippers and failed miserably, allowing 112 points including 37 in the fourth quarter. This is quite a problem for a defense that only allowed an average of 89.3 points per game.

The Grizzlies were much more physical in the second game, although a Chris Paul game-winning shot still gave the Clippers the win 93-91.

For the rest of the series, Memphis has to be able to find a way to slow down the talented point guard and force tough shots. On the other end, Zach Randolph must become the veteran leader who makes big shots when needed.

Memphis is capable of making these adjustments, and it should help the team get back into this series.

 

Boston Celtics

The last two games have been embarrassing for the Boston Celtics, especially in the second half. The New York Knicks held their opponent to only 25 points after halftime in Game 1 and only 23 in Game 2.

However, this type of start was to be expected out of the Celtics. During the regular season, they were only 14-27 away from home, which was the worst road record of any playoff team.

Fortunately, returning home will give the squad plenty of momentum to compete against their rivals.

The defense has played well, holding the Knicks to an average of only 86 points per game. Once the offense picks up in the comfort of TD Garden, Boston will be able to reel off a few victories. 

All the Celtics will need to do is hold serve at home and win one game on the road. Once they regain their confidence, this will certainly be a possibility.

 

Houston Rockets

It will be hard for the Houston Rockets to come back in the series considering the competition, but it will not be impossible.

The Oklahoma City Thunder won the first two games with high-scoring attacks while holding James Harden to poor shooting displays.

However, it is very hard to hold the Rockets down for long. They were the No. 2 scoring team in the NBA this season thanks to 10.6 threes per game. The shooting has been poor so far in this series, but it is certain to pick up when the team returns home.

In addition, Houston found a new key contributor out of Patrick Beverley in Game 2. The guard only played sparingly throughout the regular season, but he totaled 16 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in 41 minutes. He also played strong defense on Russell Westbrook.

If Beverley can continue this strong level of play as the shots start to fall on the offensive end, the Rockets will certainly challenge the Thunder for the rest of this series.

 

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