With Celtics/Pacers Game 3 set to tip off at 8:30 tonight in Indiana, it's a good idea to take inventory of the C's road struggles in the playoffs.
While the Celtics are still only in the first round of the playoffs, tonight's game against the Pacers will be the team's first opportunity to take their show on the road (literally) as they try to go up 3-0 in Indiana.
If things go to plan, the Celtics will buck a pretty ugly trend of struggling on the road in the postseason.
The Celtics are just 5-16 on the road in the playoffs in the Brad Stevens era, going back to the team getting swept in the first round against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of the 2014-15 season.
The C's went 0-3 at Philips Arena in Atlanta against the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs the following season.
In the 2016-17 playoffs, the Celtics went 3-0 in Chicago, but 0-3 in Washington and 1-1 in Cleveland.
In the 2017-18 playoffs, the Celtics went 0-3 in Milwaukee against the Bucks, 1-1 in Philadelphia against the 76ers, and went 0-3 against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
While the Pacers do not necessarily present the challenge of the LeBron James Cavs, the stats show that where games take place can be just as, if not at times more important, than the opponent.
During the same span, the Celtics were night and day better at home, going 17-7 in Boston.
In the 2015-16 playoffs, the Celtics went 2-1 at home against the Atlanta Hawks while still managing to get bounced in the first round.
In the 2016-17 playoffs, the Celtics were 1-2 hosting the Bulls, 4-0 hosting the Wizards, but 0-3 hosting the Cavs.
In the 2017-18 playoffs, the Celtics were 4-0 in Boston against the Bucks, 3-0 against the 76ers, and 3-1 against the Cavs.
As the Celtics have progressed further in the playoffs year over year during this span, and, barring injury, have more talent on the court this year than in any of these prior years, hope to do even better this season.
Playing better on the road, at least mathematically, will have to be part of this, and it starts tonight.
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