One series remains tied after five nights of NBA playoffs

Blake Krantz

by Blake Krantz
After the first five nights of the NBA playoffs, each series has seen two games. All but one series is currently at 2-0, a rare occurrence with the current playoff format.
The Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and Memphis Grizzlies are all up two games to none.
This leaves Brooklyn, Boston, Milwaukee, Toronto, New Orleans, Dallas, and Portland all desperate to make a first-round comeback and keep their season alive.
Historically, teams down 2-0 in a playoff series only advance to the next round a mere 6% of the time, a less than encouraging number.
In the first two games of their series, the Celtics have provided reason for hope and been very competitive, but they were not able to sustain Cleveland’s late-game surges led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
At one point during the second quarter of game two, the Celtics had a nine-point lead, and Boston held a similar advantage in the beginning of game one, but the Celtics were unable to keep pace with the Cavaliers throughout the second half of either game.
Essentially, the 2-0 deficit makes game three tonight at the TD Garden a must-win for the Celtics. The chances of the Celtics climbing back from three games to none against a talented team like Cleveland is slim to none. Therefore, tonight is do-or-die for the Celtics on their home court.
Finally, the eighth and final series of the first round between the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs has lived up to expectations.
In an overtime thriller last night, the Spurs evened the series at one game a piece with a 111-107 victory. As mentioned, this is the only series of the first round that is currently tied, and it does not look likely to end anytime soon.
More than any other series in the playoffs, this showdown in the Western Conference has promise for an electrifying game seven and could very easily produce the winner of the Western Conference down the road.
The developing storyline of this series is San Antonio’s Tony Parker, who left last night’s game in the fourth quarter with an achilles injury. Parker has already been playing with a bad ankle, among other ailments.
In the coming week, the NBA’s first round will see many teams struggling to stay alive, and hopefully, many games leaving fans wanting more in the coming rounds thereafter.