No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs before. That is simply a fact of life that the 2023 Boston Celtics would hope to overcome, one game at a time. So why not channel the energy of yet another Boston-based major sports franchise that did the unthinkable almost 20 years ago?
Many scoffed at Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart's proclamations before the game. When taken out of context, it seems like Brown and Smart were simply taking out of their backsides, warning the Miami Heat, owners of a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, not to let them win one game.
But they were simply referencing the statements of former Boston Red Sox player Kevin Millar, whose proclamations when they went down 3-0 against the New York Yankees during the 2004 ALCS aged like fine wine. And to the Celtics' credit, it appears to have worked, as they took Game 4 with a 116-99 victory to extend the series for at least one more game.
This caused a bit of an uproar among the Celtics fanbase, as perhaps nearly two decades later, the Boston sports world could catch lightning in a bottle once more.
The down 3-0 Celtics to the 2004 Red Sox… pic.twitter.com/0VQ17Gnopm
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) May 24, 2023
I watched the Red Sox come back from a 3-0 deficit in 2004 against the Yankees.
I get it’s unlikely, but never say never. #celtics
— Savage (@SavageSports_) May 23, 2023
The Boston Red Sox overcame the first ever 0-3 series deficit in MLB history in 2004. It would be absolutely nuts if the Boston Celtics do it for the first time ever in the NBA 19 years later.
— Luca Rosano (@lucarosano3) May 24, 2023
I really need the Celtics to win tonight and game 5 so that we get like 48 hours of pure uncut Boston hopium and comparisons to the 04 Red Sox before they lose Game 6 in Miami in the most brutal and heart breaking fashion. The funniest possible outcome
— Lifelong Seattle Kraken fan (@CokeEnjoyer) May 24, 2023
Given how well Jimmy Butler and the Heat have played in this postseason, winning three more games on top of their Game 4 victory will be such a tough endeavor for the Celtics. But there's always a first time for everything.
For now, Celtics fans are clinging on to the hope that perhaps it'll be them that makes NBA playoff history.