No team in the history of the NBA Playoffs has blown a bigger halftime lead than the Indiana Pacers blew against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 on Thursday. But the Pacers will win Game 4. That’s at least the opinion of Jeff Teague.
“We’re playing for pride now,” Teague said, via Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star. “We’re all competitors in here and we all believe in one another. We ain’t getting swept.”
It’s a nice sentiment to have. Additionally, as Dan Feldman of NBC Sports noted, “the Pacers’ -12 combined point margin is the smallest ever for a team trailing a best-of-seven series 3-0.” So, it certainly seems plausible that Indiana might steal a game.
But some other factors say that that will be much easier said than done.
First of all, as Feldman also noted, in the history of the NBA Playoffs, 60 percent of the teams who have taken a 3-0 lead have swept. So, history isn’t exactly on Teague’s side. Additionally, LeBron James led teams have earned a 3-0 lead nine times and only failed to sweep twice.
No team in NBA history has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a postseason series, but Teague can’t be worried about that. Winning one game will be hard enough.