Odds and ends: Opportunity knocks

May, 5, 2012
A quick look at what past playoff series tell us about the importance of Sunday's Game 4 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks, with help from our friends at ESPN Stats and Info:

* Teams with a 2-1 series advantage have won 82.1 percent (266-58) of those best-of-seven series since the playoffs went to 16-team format during the 1983-84 season.

* If Boston were to open a 3-1 series lead, past teams in that position have won 96 percent (194-8) of those series. Only twice has a team rallied from a 3-1 hole in the opening round of the playoffs (2003 Pistons vs. Magic, 2006 Suns vs. Lakers).

* If Atlanta were to tie the series at 2 games apiece, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to prevail in the series 83.3 percent (135-27) of the time. Atlanta would own a distinct advantage in hosting both Games 5 and 7. The home team in Game 5 of a tied series has won 76.5 percent (124-38) of those games.

The Celtics, of course, have rarely made their lives easy this season. A win in Sunday's Game 4 at TD Garden, however, would put them firmly in the driver's seat towards the conference semifinals.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Baseball Tonight - Lester Moving?

Buster Olney talks to Tim Kurkjian and Bill Brink about the teams most likely to make a move for Jon Lester. Plus, Matt Gelb on why the Phillies have stayed so quiet.

Baseball Tonight - Lester Moving?

Buster Olney and Jayson Stark talk about the chances that Jon Lester and David Price will be moved before the deadline. Plus, Roch Kubatko on the Orioles' momentum.

Tedy Bruschi, NFL

ESPN NFL analyst Tedy Bruschi weighs in on the responsibility Tom Brady shoulders for the Patriots, Rob Gronkowski's physicality and how New England will use Darrelle Revis.

Baseball Tonight

Buster Olney talks to Alex Speier, Karl Ravech and Justin Havens about whether the Red Sox will move Jon Lester before the trade deadline, pace of play and much more.


Jeff Green
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9