Boston Celtics

The 2018 Eastern Conference Final has become as predictable as can be, with homecourt advantage holding serve through the first five games, giving the higher-seeded Celtics a 3-2 series lead over the Cavaliers.

It’s not considered all that unusual, especially in the NBA where home teams typically dominate, but it was undoubtedly worth a question asked by Toucher and Rich during Danny Ainge’s Thursday appearance wondering how this is happening.

“The ball’s not going in the basket for either team on the road,” Ainge said. “Usually as a series goes along, the homecourt advantage becomes less and less, but I don’t know the answer. I wish there was a simple answer. The crowds are impactful.”

To Ainge’s point, the road teams have been absolutely hopeless in this series. Boston is shooting just 40.3 percent on the road in this series compared to 43.7 at TD Garden in this series, and the Cavaliers are shooting 49.7 in their two home contests while shooting just 41.25 in their three trips to Boston.

These road struggles are something new to the Celtics, though, at least given their regular season mark away from home.

“We’ve had guys play well on the road all year long,” said Ainge. “We were one of the best road teams in the Eastern Conference — I think we were the best road team in the Eastern Conference. so we haven’t had trouble playing on the road in the past.”

But with just one win in seven road games this postseason compared to a perfect 10-0 mark at TD Garden (a mark the C’s haven’t reached since ’86), the Celtics’ postseason has undoubtedly became a tale of two teams.

Even so, Ainge was not willing to say that the Celtics have legitimate problems with winning on the road.

“The Philly win was a big win, Milwaukee was a tough place to play, they’re a good team. I just think they are fairly evenly matched teams we’re going against,” Ainge offered. “I wouldn’t take this situation and say they haven’t been able to keep it together on the road. [The playoffs] are different, but I still don’t think we have a road issue.

“It’s a small sample size and hopefully we can get it together in Game 6. But our guys are capable of playing on the road.”