Of the six playoff series the team has completed since 2008, all six have gone to at least six games, with four being pushed to a do-or-die Game 7.
So it's slightly ironic that, in a 2009-10 season where very little has come easy, Boston finds itself in position to make its playoff life much simpler as it packs a commanding 2-0 lead for its trip to Miami for Friday's Game 3 of the teams' Eastern Conference first-round series.
Judging by past history, a win Friday all but guarantees Boston a spot in the next round and likely ensures a swift end to its opening-round matchup. No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series, and in the 88 times a team has held a three-game lead, only nine times has the series even progressed to a Game 6 (53 ended in four games, while 26 ended in five).
And while Boston players admitted they can smell blood, this team -- prone to second-half collapses all season long -- has rarely shown the killer instinct it will need to ensure a rapid wrap-up to this series.
The Celtics did showcase that stomp-on-their-throat attitude Tuesday night in racing away from the Heat in the third quarter of a 106-77 triumph at TD Garden.
"I just remember [Tuesday] at halftime, guys were like, 'We smell blood,'" said Kendrick Perkins, who then pointed out that Boston emerged from halftime with a 16-point cushion, but quickly motored away with inspired play at both ends of the court.
"Going into Game 3, I hope we still smell blood."
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