When the Orlando Magic went down 3-0 in their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Boston Celtics, they joined 93 other NBA teams who have fallen in this exact same hole. Of the previous 93 teams, not one has come all the way back to win the series. What makes this 2010 Magic team different?
First of all, this is a second seeded team that swept through the first two rounds of the Eastern Conference playoffs with surprising ease. This is a very talented Magic team that is the defending Conference champions, so they are different than most of the other teams that have been in a 3-0 hole.
Dwight Howard was visibly angered after the embarrassment that the Magic endured during a 94-71 Game Three loss. Since then, Howard took it upon himself to make sure that Orlando got back into this series, providing two dominant performances in Games Four and Five. Now that Howard, Jameer Nelson, and Rashard Lewis seem to be back in rhythm on both sides of the ball, the Magic look like the superior team.
The first two games of this series were rather competitive, but Boston just happened to pull both of them out in the end, claiming a 2-0 series lead. Sure, Orlando was dominated in Game Three, but it's not as if they were completely overmatched in the series. They have got the rhythm and confidence back, so now it is Boston who is scuffling.
As seen by the previous two games, Orlando has certainly gained momentum going into the crucial Game Six in Boston. The Magic have been a great road team this season, going 5-1 on the road during the playoffs after sporting an impressive 25-16 road record in the regular season. Boston seems to be in a must win situation in Game Six because of the fact that is their last chance to close it out at home.
Boston has a lot of things going against it in Game Six, most importantly the potential loss of Glen Davis due to a concussion. If he can't make it back in time for Friday's game, the interior play could swing severely in Orlando's favor.
Kendrick Perkins is looking at a one game suspension after his seventh technical of the playoffs in Game Five, another potential frontcourt depth problem. As a Boston fan, you probably don't want to see Shelden Williams getting any significant minutes in a crucial Game Six, but that could be a necessity if these guys both miss the game.
The Celtics are an old team, there is no getting around that. Is that starting to show with their fourth quarter/overtime performances in the last two games? Possibly, and that could be all the Magic need to pull off the improbable comeback.
With all of this said, I'm not saying that it is a certainty the Magic will come all the way back and win this series, I'm just saying I wouldn't be surprised if this was the first team to do it. Hey, they are playing a Boston team in 2010, so it's possible, right?