Boston and New York have been going at each other’s heads in the four major sports for an entire century. Spring has popped its up, which is why it isn’t so surprising that the Celtics and Knicks are engaged in another tug of war with one another. The shocking part is how it's culminating. Less than a week ago, the Knicks had the Bucket List Celtics on the brink of flatlining.
After Boston avoided the trauma of witnessing its own funeral in Game 5, they’ll return to Beantown for a little more CPR from its home crowd at TD Garden. However, the gold standard for playoff resurrections remains the Boston Red Sox during the 2004 ALCS.
Every comeback needs a catalyst. The Celtics rally began when J.R. stole Jason Terry in the jaw, with a blatant elbow that cost him a one-game suspension. Boston took the L (Game 3), but it was smelling salt for their senses. It was a typical moment for Smith, who appeared to have finally snuffed out the silly J.R during a career year.
Click rewind on your mental remotes and rewind to October 2004. In the ninth inning of Game 4, outfielder Dave Roberts woke up the Fenway faithful by stealing second base just after midnight. In the next at-bat, Roberts rounded third and tied the game off a Bill Mueller double. Three days later, the Sox were champs after becoming the first team in MLB history to dig themselves out of a 3-0 hole.
It's never happened in NBA history, but the Celtics are welcoming the ‘04 Red Sox comparisons. In Game 4, Terry stole the series from the Knicks en route to scoring the Celtics final nine points of overtime. After Game 5 in Madison Square Garden, Terry quoted Kevin Millar, who was on base when Roberts made his move for second.
Heading into Game 6, the Knicks are still in control of the series. However, the Celtics have red socked the Knicks upside the head. They may need a heart transplant to recover from the Celtics snatching theirs in two straight wins.
It's the summer of sequels and we've seen this adaption before. Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks still have the script in development. They have two games left to put their heads down, get to work and alter the ending.