By A.Sherrod Blakely
WALTHAM The Boston Celtics are in a 2-0 series hole to the Miami Heat.
The only time a Celtics team has rallied from such a deficit to win a series was in 1969, a team that featured Hall of Famer John Havlicek . . . who just so happened to be at the Celtics practice facility on Thursday.
"John shows up when he thinks we need him," quipped coach Doc Rivers. "John just shows up. He's great. I love having him around."
Coincidence or not, his timing could not be better.
While the Celtics continue to maintain that they are confident that they can get back into their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with Miami, it can only help to hear words of encouragement from a Celtics legend who has actually been there and done that.
"I love when all those guys come around," Rivers said. "Hell, I wish they'd come to every practice. I just think they got more stories, more truthful stories . . . " and with a glance towards the championship banners that hang on the walls, Rivers added, "and the history is above them. It's always good when they (Celtics legends) come around."
The 1969 Celtics trailed the Los Angeles Lakers 2-0 in the NBA Finals. After losing both road games, the Celtics returned home to win Games 3 and 4. They lost Game 5 in Los Angeles, and bounced back to win Game 6 in Boston and closed out the series with a 108-106 Game 7 win in Los Angeles.
The game-winning basket in Game 7 was scored by former Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson.
"We always felt that if we could just get healthy, we could beat anybody we played," Nelson told CSNNE.com.
Here we are, 42 years later, and some things remain the same.