Fourteen straight times the home team has won. That includes an intense 7-game playoff series last season and two more game this season. The Cavaliers and Celtics have given new meaning and signifigance to the term 'home-court advantage'.
When the rivalry is renewed tonight in Boston, the Cavaliers will be trying to break the streak of home victories as well as take a commanding 3-game lead in the loss column in the battle for home court advantage in the playoffs. The job gets much easier with Kevin Garnett missing his 7th straight game with a knee strain. While it is unfortunate that Garnett will be out, the Cavaliers can't and won't feel sorry for the Celts and neither should the fans. Besides, the last time Garnett missed a Cavs-Celtics game, last season, the Cavaliers were only able to win 114-113 at the Q.
A win tonight would also do wonders for the confidence of the winners, whether it is Cleveland knowing definitvely that they can win in Boston, or be it the Celtics who would gain tons of confidence from beating a nearly full strength Cavaliers team without Kevin Garnett.
Nothing will officially be determined by th results of tonight's contest. The two teams will meet again, the final week of the season in Cleveland, in a game that will likely determine home court. That doesn't mean, however, that tonight is meaningless and I expect a playoff atmosphere, both on the court and in the stands.