Posted by Steve Aschburner
ORLANDO – The longer the Eastern Conference finals last, the more dangerous the Orlando Magic become. That’s pretty fundamental – Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy even had fun with it after Game 4 (“The shorter the series, certainly the worse it is for us”) – but the Boston Celtics are aware of how the dynamics and ingredients shift with each game.
If Game 5 Wednesday at Amway Arena has a little more pressure for Boston than Game 4 did, the Celtics know that a Game 6 back at TD Garden Friday would bring a quantam leap in that intangible. At that point, the Celtics wouldn’t want to slip up, for fear Orlando would get to Game 7 back on its court.
Thus, Game 5 is Game 7 for the Celtics. Then Game 6 will be Game 8 – no, wait, Game 6 will be another Game 7, only more so. Aw, let’s just let Paul Pierce explain it.
“That’s how we’re approaching this, as do-or-die,” the veteran forward said before Boston’s shootaround. “We don’t want to give them any sense of confidence. You let a team linger around, play, win a game, then their confidence begins to grow. The way I’m looking at it, this is our Game 7.”
The Celtics took a similar approach against the Cavaliers, targeting Game 6 as the series finale, and never had to go back to Cleveland.