Updated: June 10, 2010, 11:46 PM ET

Triple-Double Trouble: Rondo And Magic

Celtics Now In Must-Win Mode?

By Chris Sheridan
ESPN.com

Recent history is on the Celtics' side -- they trailed the Cavs 2-1 in the second round but came back to win the next three games -- but a broader historical outlook does not bode well for them.

Since the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, there have been 10 previous instances of a series being tied 1-1. In all 10 cases, the Game 3 winner went on to win the title. If you go back even deeper into the history books, the Game 3 winner of a series that was tied 1-1 has gone on to win the Finals 28 of 32 times.

But if anything in those two preceding paragraphs was referenced by Doc Rivers when he addressed his team after Game 3, it was not the long-term history.

"What really stuck in my head?" Tony Allen said of Rivers' postgame speech. "Stay together, staying together and knowing we can beat this team. Just pretty much confidence, and staying together."

And even before Rivers spoke, the players spoke among themselves and voiced much of the same.

To read the rest of Sheridan's column, click here.

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