Yet, after completing a 4-1 series win with their 114-112 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, the Celtics are somehow back where no one - except maybe only them - believed they could be: headed to a second straight Eastern Conference final.
The Celtics continued to answer with big shots of their own.
It was a one-point game with 1:43 to go when the Celtics finished with a flurry as Brown dished out to Aron Baynes for a corner 3-pointer with 51.0 seconds left, Tatum grabbed a rebound and drove for two with 31.2 seconds on the clock, and Rozier drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 9-0 run in the final minute and 61-52 lead at the break. "So we'll go back 3-1, and hopefully, we put it away".
"Sometimes he draws stuff up, and I look at it, I'm like [confused]", Horford said after the game. They then fouled Smart on the inbounds pass, and he missed the first foul shot, ensuring Philadelphia could win with a three, then made the second one despite perhaps trying to miss to force a scramble from the Sixers.
Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in front of Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics after making a three-point basket in the second quarter during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 7, 2018 in Philadelphia.
They would also join their housemates the Boston Bruins, who lost a 3-0 lead to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. Then on Wednesday night in Boston for Game 5, they almost did it again in front of the pro-Celtics crowd, with Drew Bledsoe on hand, falling by the slimmest of margins, 114-112.
Rozier first invoked Bledsoe's name during a trash-talking back-and-forth with Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe, pretending to confuse the two.
Three of the standout players of the game took seats at the podium following the Sixers' Game 4 win over the Celtics to avoid elimination.
So, when the Sixers arrived at the fourth game, Brown replaced Covington in the starting lineup with McConnell. "He's got guts. He's a competitive guy".
Other coaches to receive votes were Brett Brown, Mike D'Antoni, Nate McMillan, Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers, Quin Snyder and Terry Stotts. Celtics' Larkin injures shoulder in Game 4 loss. If he's out Wednesday night, Boston would be down to an eight-man rotation. During the playoffs, he now has seven 20-point games, including five straight, with a 19-point game, as well. Boston was 6-for-20 in the third, with six turnovers, watching a nine-point lead wither to one. Tatum and Utah's Donovan Mitchell are the only two National Basketball Association rookies with seven straight playoff games of at least 20 points since Julius Erving did it in 1972.