The 1985-86 Boston Celtics were 50-1 at home, including the playoffs. They followed up with a 39-2 encore performance the next year. The Celtics typically built early leads, and then put the games away in the late third or early fourth quarters. Even when the games went down to the wire, the Celtics confidence was sky high that they would emerge the victor, while the opposite was true for their opponent.
If there is a mission over the final 13 games of the season, this is it.
Inflict pain on opponents at home.
At 29-5, Boston owns the second best home record in the NBA (behind Utah). Their final six regular season home games are against Philadelphia, Phoenix, New Orleans, Miami, Indiana, Milwaukee, and New Jersey. The Phoenix and New Orleans games are obviously the biggies. Two home games against two very good teams, and the only two teams that the Celtics have yet to beat this year.
Sounds like a couple more hurdles to clear before we call the regular season a done deal.
Coming off a 4-1 road trip, it would be tempting to say that winning at home isn't that important. But after grinding out 82 regular season games (plus seven pre-season games) and busting their tails to overcome injuries and obstacles in compiling a 60-win season, the Celtics need to keep fighting to defend every advantage they've earned. And the biggest advantage they've earned is the home court.
I'm not encouraged by the Green's last game at home, an 18-point loss to Utah.
Let's see what they do in their next six contests at the Gah-den, or whatever it is we call that building these days.
Well, I guess losing two straight overall and two straight at home does inflict a certain kind of pain.
Not the pain I had in mind.
But painful nonetheless.