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Which Teams Down 2-0 Have A Chance to Win Their Series?

by Photo of Kenneth Teape

Coming back from a 2-0 deficit is not easy, but do any of the teams facing it this season have a chance to do it?

Which Teams Down 2-0 Have A Chance to Win Their Series?

The NBA Playoffs have lived up to the billing thus far.. Some series have gone back-and-forth, but there are also a couple teams are staring down 0-2 holes. 85 percent of teams go on and win once they open up a 2-0 lead; only 16 teams have come back from an 0-2 deficit in an NBA playoff series, most recently being done by the Memphis Grizzlies last season against the Los Angeles Clippers. Will any of the teams facing that deficit become the 17th team to do it? Here is what each of those teams trailing 0-2 need to do to take control of their series.

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls came into the playoffs riding high on their their chemistry and defense to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Both have abandoned the Bulls in the postseason as they are in an 0-2 hole to the Washington Wizards despite having the home court advantage.

Coming into the series, many people believed the Bulls held a serious advantage in the paint, as the trio of Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson has been the backbone of the team all season. No one told the Wizards this, as they have actually been the ones benefiting from the play of their big men. The resurgent Nene has led the way. Nene has gone for 24 points, eight rebounds, three assists and 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the first two games. He has been able to affect the game of Noah, disrupting Noah with his brute strength.

The Bulls should still feel comfortable that in the end Noah and their other big men will get the most of the Wizards bigs, but the problem they face then is slowing down the Wizards perimeter players. John Wall and Bradley Beal make up one of the best young backcourts and are thought of by many as potentially the best backcourt in the NBA within the next few seasons.

Wall has yet to get going, combining for only 10 field goals in both games while turning the ball over eight times. The Bulls will regret not getting at least one of these games at home. They cannot pin their playoff hopes on Wall putting up underwhelming games four more times.

Beal looked much more comfortable in Game 2, leading the way for the Wizards with 26 points. He made big time shots in the fourth quarter as well, canning two of his four three point makes to keep the Wizards deficit at a manageable margin in the fourth quarter. Beal, like Wall and Nene, gives the Wizards a player that creates offense for himself and can get a basket when they need it most. That is something the Bulls lack, as D.J. Augustin was the player keeping them in the game last night.

Even worse for the Bulls, the Wizards are now heading home with all of the momentum and a 2-0 lead. The Bulls have proven they play well in the face of adversity, but this is a task that seems too tall to climb. The Bulls became the 24th team in NBA history to go down 0-2 starting the series at home, and only three teams previously came back to win the series. The Bulls should avoid the sweep, but becoming the fourth team to come back from that kind of series deficit does not look to be in their future.

Charlotte Bobcats

The Bobcats gave the Miami Heat everything they could in Game 2, yet the result was the same as Game 1: a loss. The end score was closer, but in the postseason morale victories are useless, and all the Bobcats came away with from the first two games of the series is a morale victory.

When you get 22 points from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who hadn’t scored more than 11 in game since November 15th, you are thinking positively. Add in the fact that Al Jefferson had 18, Kemba Walker chipped in 16 and Gerald Henderson scored 15, and you would say the Bobcats had a pretty good shot at the victory.

Unfortunately for them, the Heat have the best player in the world in LeBron James and he put up a great stat line of his own, scoring 32 points with eight assists and six rebounds.

With big man Jefferson injuring his left foot in Game 1, the Bobcats minuscule chances of pulling off the big upset became nonexistent. Couple that with the fact that the Heat are a perfect 17-0 against the Bobcats since James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade, getting a victory in this series would be something to celebrate for the Bobcats. A win on their home court in the playoffs would be nice for the fans, and the best they should expect, as the Heat have the Bobcats number and the Bobcats are without a lot of firepower with Jefferson hobbled.

Houston Rockets

Coming into the postseason, this was a series circled by many to be the most entertaining of the first round. Matched up with the Portland Trail Blazers, this was a series many people picked to go seven games. Both teams were extremely similar, posting identical regular season records and playing similar styles. Unfortunately for the Rockets, they do not have LaMarcus Aldridge.

Aldridge has been a monster through two games, scoring 89 combined points between Game 1 and 2. The Rockets have had no answer for Aldridge, as he has dominated all over the court. He is 17-26 from the paint, 16-31 from the rest of two point shots, and 2-2 from three point line. These are not all open shots, but Aldridge has supreme confidence right now and does not look like he will be slowed down anytime soon. He is the reason why the Blazers are up 2-0 in a playoff series for the first time since 1977, coincidentally the same year they won their only championship.

The Rockets blew a golden opportunity to tie this series up, as Aldridge was the only player who shot the ball well for the Blazers in Game 2, and Dwight Howard finally showed up. He scored 32 points to go with 14 rebounds, yet that was not enough to get the Rockets a victory. Houston even dominated the paint, outscoring the Blazers by 38 in the paint, yet they still found a way to lose the game.

Things are not looking up for the Rockets right now, and they have the deck severely stacked against them. The series shifts to the Moda Center (formerly the Rose Garden) The one thing that can get the Rockets back on track is James Harden. All season they have relied on Harden to lead their up-tempo attack, but through two games in the post season he has struggled. The struggles have caused the Rockets to change how they play, running the offense through Howard on the interior in Game 2 instead of getting out in transition.

The Rockets need Harden to play how he played throughout the regular season if they are to have any chance of making this a series again. With how similar the teams are, the Rockets have the best chance of coming back from the 2-0 deficit they face of any team on this list. That is not saying much, as teams down 2-0 are in a big hole, but when you have firepower of the level of the Rockets anything is possibly. It just is not very likely, but for the fans sake hopefully they get it going as the two games in this series have made for the most entertaining series thus far in the post season.

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