With all this talk about the Celtics forgetting how to win on the road… I figured I'd take the opportunity to remind them.
Do what you always do
You've heard me say it before… but it bears repeating… and it extends to off-the-court. Do the things you always to do keep you relaxed and focused. If you take a nap at 2pm… then take your nap. If you watch Oprah…. then watch Oprah. If you dress like a woman and sing the title track to "Sound of Music"… then do it. Nothing used to get me pumped up quite like slipping on those heels and belting out "The hiiiills are aliiiive… with the sound of muuuusic." Wait… what was I saying?
On the court, its all about executing your game plan. Don't get caught up in their runs. Don't get caught up in their annoying announcer. Don't get caught up in their crowds going nuts after a few made hoops. Do your thing… especially when 'your thing' generally leads to dominance.
Embrace Your Inner Douchebag
Speaking of crowds… even the road crowds can be your friend. You must drink up their venom… and spit it right back at them. Their boos are your cheers. Their loud roars are your calming white noise. Their silence is a thick gravy over a big plate of "F-You." Don't get caught up in shutting them up… because you'll press, get tight, miss… and only make them louder. Don't listen to volume. Loud, crazy, 10-0 run madness is zen to you. Think of using the noise as a tunnel. The louder the cheers… the darker the tunnel walls… and the more focused you are on executing the game plan. The only outward reaction you should have the crowd is a smile or a-hole-ish smirk when they boo… or when its silent. Basically… pretend you're the bad guy in a wrestling match. Learn to love that role… because that's what you are in the fans' eyes anyway… might as well embrace it and hide some salt or brass knuckles in your shorts.
Go For Overkill
Teams have more of an ability to come back at home. A 15 point lead on the road is really more like 10. Ever see a movie where one guy thinks the other person is dead…. except that "dead" person somehow finds the strength to reach for the gun on the floor and squeeze off one more shot? Yeah… that's the home team… coming back from the dead to kill ya when you didn't expect it. So don't just "assume" the home team is dead. Make sure they're dead. Empty the clip… reload… and empty that one too. Again… think 'bad guy in the wrestling match'. Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine didn't let go of the figure-four leg lock when the bell rang. He held it for a few more seconds… then stomped on the guy's leg for good measure.
Bottom line: basketball is basketball… all that other stuff out there is in your head. Get your head right… and your game will be alright.
Now go win Game 4… will ya?