Remain calm, Spurs and Magic ... all is well   

Updated: May 7, 2008, 8:58 AM ET

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There's no denying that things look bleak for the San Antonio Spurs and the Orlando Magic. Both teams are staring at 2-0 series deficits and need to win four of the next five games to reach the conference finals.

Further, only 13 of the previous 211 teams that faced a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-seven NBA playoff series came back to win -- that's a measly 6.2 percent. So while Spurs and Magic coaches are busy breaking down game film in search of the perfect adjustment, Page 2 has analyzed these 11 odds-defying teams and come up with foolproof solutions for rallying in the postseason.


2007 Cleveland Cavaliers
What happened? Cleveland lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the Detroit Pistons 4-2 in the Eastern Conference finals.
Lesson learned: LeBron James is an unstoppable force of nature.
Solution: In the absence of King James, we suggest cultivating an appearance so bizarre it leaves opponents helplessly dizzy from laughter.


2007 Utah Jazz
What happened? Utah lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the Houston Rockets 4-3 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Lesson learned: It really helps if Tracy McGrady plays for your first-round opponent.
Solution: In the absence of McGrady, we suggest using so much hair gel that it leaves opponents dizzy from the fumes.


2006 Miami Heat
What happened? Miami lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 in the NBA Finals.
Lesson learned: Listening to David Hasselhoff turns your playoff mettle into mush.
Solution: Pipe this song into your opponent's locker room.


2005 Dallas Mavericks
What happened? Dallas lost the first two games at home but rallied to defeat the Houston Rockets 4-3 in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Lesson learned: OK, so it's possible to enjoy limited postseason success while listening to the Hoff.
Solution: Nevertheless, don't dare listen to this song under any circumstances.


2005 Washington Wizards
What happened? Washington lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the Chicago Bulls 4-2 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Lesson learned: Don't give Kwame Brown any meaningful minutes.
Solution: Just answer a simple question: What would Gilbert Arenas do?


2004 Los Angeles Lakers
What happened? Los Angeles lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 4-2 in the Western Conference semifinals.
Lesson learned: As long as the NBA keeps the silly rule that allows a team to advance the ball three-quarters the length of the court with a timeout, miracles are always possible.
Solution: You still have to make the shot.


1995 Houston Rockets
What happened? Houston lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the Phoenix Suns 4-3 in the Western Conference semifinals.
Lesson learned: A defending champion shouldn't panic -- even after two blowout losses on the road.
Solution: Convince Charles Barkley to take opponents out on the town and offer to pick up the tab. Maybe they will feel like this come game time.


1994 Houston Rockets
What happened? Houston lost the first two games at home but rallied to defeat the Phoenix Suns 4-3 in the Western Conference semifinals.
Lesson learned: It ain't over till Oliver Miller sings.
Solution: Tell Robert Horry to let it fly in Game 7.


1993 Chicago Bulls
What happened? Chicago lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the New York Knicks 4-2 in the Eastern Conference finals.
Lesson learned: Never be intimidated by your opponent, regardless of their brute strength.
Solution: When games become physical, there's no excuse for lack of preparation and planning.


1977 Portland Trail Blazers
What happened? Portland lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 in the NBA Finals.
Lesson learned: If you can establish a presence in the post, all things are possible.
Solution: Mellow out, man. It's a seven-game series. Everything will be just fine.


1971 Baltimore Bullets
What happened? Baltimore lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the New York Knicks 4-3 in the Eastern Conference finals.
Lesson learned: Bill Walton wasn't the first NBA player to master the shaggy look.
Solution: Let your talented guard/swingman combo take over … but don't trade the guard to your opponent the next season.


1969 Boston Celtics
What happened? Boston lost the first two games on the road but rallied to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 in the NBA Finals.
Lesson learned: There's no substitute for experience and intelligence. (Boston had four future NBA head coaches on its roster.)
Solution: When in doubt, crank up the heat in the visitors locker room and take maximum advantage of the dead spots in the hardwood. Ha-ha.


1969 Los Angeles Lakers
What happened? Los Angeles lost the first two games at home but rallied to defeat the San Francisco Warriors 4-2 in the Western Division semifinals.
Lesson learned: Greatness is expressed when a player refuses to let his will be broken.
Solution: Shatter your opponents' focus by regaling them with tales of your scoring prowess.


Thomas Neumann is an editor for Page 2. You can contact him here.


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2008 NBA PLAYOFFS Round 2


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Playoff schedule | Playoff bracket | Playoff home

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