“I don’t know if you
can say you have momentum when you’re down 3-2 going into their place,”
Van Gundy said after the game. “I still look at it like we’re climbing a
playing better, but we’re going to have to go up there and play even
harder and even better in Game 6. I think momentum from game to game is
an overrated thing to begin with.”
I'll say one thing, listening to Stan's news conferences is certainly entertaining.
There's a misconception out there about momentum. And there's a lot of talk using that misconception out there today.
Momentum, like Stan said, doesn't carry over from game to game. Momentum is an intangible. You can't see momentum. You can't look at game film and break down "momentum."
Momentum is a feeling. In individual games, momentum can be huge. Momentum is a collective feeling that you can't be stopped, or your jumper is just wet, or your man simply won't score on you. But once that final horn sounds, momentum goes on the ball rack and is locked up in the utility closet.
That's not to say that a couple of good games can't give the Magic confidence. They should get credit for making adjustments that are working, and it's easier for them to pick up some momentum the next time around. But let's not cheapen what the Magic have done… or look past what the Celtics deficiencies have become, by simply saying "whoa… the Magic REALLY have the momentum now."
Momentum dies when the lights go out, a players head hits the pillow, and he drifts off into whatever kind of sleep he gets after a game like Game 5. Today, the Celtics will look in the mirror and come to realizations. They will go to practice and work on problems. They will go to bed and visualize Friday night. All those things play into whatever "momentum" exists somewhere in the air between Amway and The Garden.
When the ball is tossed at 8:37 pm, Dwight Howard and Kendrick Perkins will leap off the floor to begin a new game… with new momentum… that is almost completely unrelated to what happened last night.