Thursday, May 05, 2011

Cetics great John Havlicek spoke with Glen Davis today during the afternoon practice session and it could inspire the team that is currently down 0-2 to the Miami Heat in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs.
This is the first time Boston has faced an 0-2 deficit since the current Big Three came together, and therefore they’ve never been afforded an opportunity to crawl back from this far behind. Doing so against the Heat will be incredibly difficult to accomplish, but just because this group hasn’t done it before doesn’t mean it’s an impossible feat.

Kevin Garnett’s famous words after his team took home the 2007-08 NBA title were, “Anything is possible!” John Havlicek is another Celtics legend who can attest to that statement, and he can apply it to the franchise’s current task at hand.

Havlicek, who played all 16 of his NBA seasons with the Celtics, was a part of an aging core group during the 1968-69 season that fought its way to the NBA Finals and lost its first two games on the road to the Los Angeles Lakers. Many compared last season’s title run by the Celtics to that ’69 squad, and the comparisons are returning again during the postseason.

There was no hoo-rah speech at this afternoon’s practice in Waltham, Mass., but Havlicek was present at the facility and one player was able to have a personal conversation with the franchise legend.

Glen Davis, who has not played to his capabilities during this series, took advantage of Havlicek’s presence and pinged him for some advice and story telling.

“I was talking to Havlicek today – Havlicek stole the ball – and I said, ‘Which one of these banners were you 0-2 (in a series)?’ “ recalled Davis. “And he said the one that stood out was ’69, 1969, when they were down 0-2 and they came back to win it in Game 7 against the Lakers.”

It was great to hear that another team in this historic franchise had accomplished the feat that this current Celtics team faces in the Conference Semifinals, but Davis wanted to learn more, and Havlicek gave it to him.

“He was just saying that it’s going to take everything in you to fight and crawl back to get back to the 2-2, to the even,” said Davis. “And then it’s going to take something special to finish them off.”[...]

Even with Shaq’s likely return, though, Boston has a difficult task at hand. It must defend its home court, or this series will be on the brink of completion. This Celtics team hasn’t been in this situation before, but Ray Allen, for one, is soaking it all in and is fully confident that he and his troops can pull off a comeback similar to Havlicek’s ’69 team.

“It’s fun to me,” said Allen. “Just look at the situation that we’re in. We’ve found different ways to rise from the ashes, so to speak, and winning championships, there’s never really a clear-cut formula on how there is to do it.

“We talk about having resolve all year, and we’ve proven that we have (it), we had it during the regular season. So now we’re just in a playoff situation where we have to prove it again.”

The tools are there to complete the task. The Celtics just have to use those tools in the correct manner. Boston has admittedly gotten away from its preferred style of play thus far in the series, but it can return in an instant, as we saw during the first-round series against the New York Knicks.[...]

Boston has shot nothing but blanks through the first two games of this series, but that’s exactly what happened to Havlicek and his teammates against the almighty Lakers back in ’69.

The table has been set for Boston to replicate such a comeback during this series. Now it’s time for the Celtics to serve.

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