BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics head home down 2-0 to the New York Knicks, looking to pull off something only 15 teams have done in NBA history.
The odds are against the Celtics though, and CBS Sports’ Ken Berger doesn’t think the C’s have a very good chance at advancing to the next round.
“I don’t think it’s very likely,” Berger told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show on Wednesday night. “I’ve been so reluctant over the last couple of years to write off the Celtics when they get into a hole like this — when they look like they’re in a desperate situation and they seem to fight their way out of it. But the deck is stacked against them without Rajon Rondo. They’re relying on Paul Pierce too much, and the stark reality is they’re up against a better team.”
“I don’t see them being able to win four out of the next five; I don’t see that happening.”
The Celtics have put together decent performances in the first half of the first two games, but have scored a combined 48 points in the second half. What do they have to do on offense to keep things rolling into the second half of games?
“They have to figure out how to not be a jump shooting team; they have to get the ball inside,” said Berger. “The only post player they can rely on is (Kevin Garnett), and they have to hope he isn’t going to get into foul trouble. You would think the whistles would go in the Celtics favor at home more-so than in Game 2. They got out in transition pretty decently in Game 2; that would help and it would help if they could get some stops at the other end. If they get their stops, get some rebounds and are able to run a little bit, that would help as well.”
“They’ve lost their runner, their guy who has gotten them through so many playoff series in Rajon Rondo,” said Berger. “He does have his flaws — he can be a pain in the neck and difficult to coach — but he’s an incredible competitor and gets you into transition and gets your offense organized. When you don’t have that, it’s hard in the playoffs to become a consistent offensive team. They’ve been there in spurts in the first half of these games, but 48 points combine in the two seconds halves – that’s a number you should be averaging, not a combined total.”