Can Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics actually do it? After going down 0-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, the Celtics have now won back-to-back games to keep their series alive — which was capped off by a very impressive 110-97 blowout win in Game 5 on Thursday night. At this point, you can't blame Boston fans for starting to seriously believe that their team can pull off the biggest upset in NBA history.
Speaking of history, this won't be the first time the Celtics have come back from such a significant deficit in the East Finals. No team has ever survived from being down 0-3, but in 1981, the great Larry Bird led Boston to a series win against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals after being down 3-1. Incidentally, the Celtics went on that year to win it all, marking Bird's first-ever career championship:
In 1981, a 24-year-old Larry Bird was down 3-1 coming back to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals. He would lead the Celtics to three straight wins, advance to the NBA Finals, and win his first championship.
In 2023, a 25-year-old Jayson Tatum was down 3-1 coming back to… pic.twitter.com/blrHPxIdP3
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 26, 2023
This iteration of the Celtics is now looking to repeat history. They were down 3-1 against the Heat as well earlier in the series, and Tatum and Co. are now just two wins away from punching their ticket to the NBA Finals after their Game 5 victory on Thursday night.
A few days ago, no one believed that the Celtics would be able to come back from the dead after getting themselves buried in a deep 3-0 hole. However, the tone has changed significantly as this series now heads back to Miami for Game 6 with the Celtics now down 3-2.
Can they actually do it? We shall soon find out.