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?


Peter King, NFL

Sports Illustrated's Peter King weighs in on the Patriots' offensive line, the outlook for New England, Jim Harbaugh's relationship with his team and the Cowboys' success.

Opening Rant, 9/30

Colin Cowherd shares his thoughts on the state of the Patriots, New England's offense and Brady Hoke's future at Michigan.

First Take

Skip Bayless & Stephen A. Smith debate if the Patriots dynasty is over, if the 49ers have stopped listen to Jim Harbaugh and more. Plus, they make their World Series predictions.


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