The Pistons never use the phrase "must-win game" unless they're literally at risk of being eliminated. A lot of fans don't agree with it, but now I see why they do it. From the MetroWest Daily News (via CelticsBlog):
While no one was particularly happy with the Game 4 effort last night, the attitude seemed to be that the Celtics did their job - get one back in Michigan - this weekend. That job becomes more urgent in tomorrow night’s Game 5.
"Definitely, it’s a must-win," Pierce said following an hour of mostly film work and some shooting. "Right now, Detroit has the momentum. The team that gets the win is the team that gets the momentum. We’ve got to find someway, somehow to get a win at home and bring that momentum back to Detroit."
He's backing himself into a corner with a statement like that. If the Celtics lose tonight, he's essentially already admitted they can't comeback to win the series. I know he's trying to motivate his team to take advantage of their home court, but there's a fine line between creating a sense of urgency and panic.
I know, I know; I'm being a homer fan reading too much into a boilerplate quote from the other team, but give me supreme cockiness over a star player fretting about "someway, somehow" winning at home any day of the week.