Celtics looking to find a way to win on the road

Celtics looking to find a way to win on the road
April 22, 2013, 3:45 pm
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NEW YORK — All it takes is for the Celtics to win one road game and just like that, they have home court advantage in their first round playoff series with the Knicks.

In past years, the idea of needing to win a road game was an easy concept for Doc Rivers to embrace. This season, not so much.

Boston came into this series as the worst road team in the playoffs, winning just 14 road games all season. And their last road win over a team with an above-.500 record was March 6 at Indiana, a game in which Jeff Green scored the game-winning basket on a feed from Kevin Garnett with five-tenths of a second to play.

Just like that win didn't give the C's the kind of bounce they were looking for in terms of future road wins, Boston's 85-78 Game 1 loss to the Knicks did nothing to shake the image of the C's as being a team that simply can't get it done on the road this season.

Rivers acknowledges that the C's regular-season struggles away from the TD Garden were indeed something he worried about heading into the postseason.

"I'm concerned by it," Rivers told reporters prior to Monday's practice. "And I have said it before, this is not that group. This is not the group we've had."

And there lies the problem. Boston's up-and-down play all season made it abundantly clear that they are not the steady-as-it-goes Celtics of recent years where the playoffs always started at the Garden -- the TD Garden, not the Madison Square one.

With Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as the only holdovers from the 2008 championship squad, Rivers went into the postseason not really having an idea of how his team would play. And not surprisingly, one game hasn't changed his feelings on the matter.

Balancing the reality of who they are, while maintaining a certain degree of optimism, is one of the lines that Rivers walks with virtual ease.

"If we win this series, we have to win a game on the road," Rivers said. "I can take any of them. If you look at it, you got four chances. But I think sometimes you have to win twice on the road, as I'm sure they're thinking they have to win once in Boston."