“Down 2-0, the pressure is on the Sonics to win game 3 in Seattle.”
“The Sonics eked out a victory, but the pressure is still on them to tie the series up.”
“With the Spurs heading back to San Antonio at 2-2, the pressure is back on them to win and maintain home field advantage.”
Can someone name a situation in the playoffs where there is no pressure on both teams? I can’t imagine a single scenario where there is stress on one team but not the other. Even before the opening tip, there is stress on both teams to win game 1, not just the home team. If the low seed steals one of the first two games, there is “pressure” on the other team to reclaim the home field advantage. But there is “pressure” is on the low seed to keep that advantage, especially against what was a better team in the regular season.
It’s obvious that any team that is facing a single game elimination is under “pressure”. When a team is down 3 games to 2, there is “pressure” on them to win in order to keep their season alive. However they’re not the only ones carrying the load as a team up 3-2 suffers from the burden of not allowing a pivotal game 7. The same can be said of being up 3-1, since you don’t want to let the other team “back in the series.” One game from a sweep there has to be pressure on that team to earn that distinction. And of course no one wants to end there season losing 4 straight, so there is pressure on them as well.
1-0. 2-0. 2-1. 2-2. 3-2. 0-1. 3-1. Quite simply in the playoffs, for every game played there is “pressure” on both teams to win.