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Confidence in the Heat 7 vs. the Celtics can only add to the meltdown

Confidence in the Heat 7 vs. the Celtics can only add to the meltdown

Brian Lewis


May 28, 2023 | 10:59 p.m

Miami is guaranteed to win Game 7. Boston is looking to complete an impossible comeback, to rewrite history rather than just a footnote to it.

Either Miami’s Jimmy Butler and Eric Spoelstra will take Joe Namath’s collateral Mark Messier Monday at the TD Garden, or they’ll suffer the biggest chokehold in playoff basketball annals.

For many, Boston may have as much talent as any team in the league. But this Game 7 will not only be about talent but temperament and the ability to handle pressure. Boston hasn’t always done well at home in these playoffs, but they’ve given themselves a golden opportunity to erase all of that.

But it’s just a chance, nothing more, if they don’t finish the job.

The Red Sox are the only Major League Baseball team to overturn a 0-3 deficit – in the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees on their way to winning the World Series. No one has ever pulled it off in the NBA, but the Celtics won on Monday.

Of the 150 NBA teams that have attempted, only three have forced a Game 7; And they all failed on the way. Boston is on the brink, but the abyss doesn’t matter.

Jimmy Butler and the Heat try to avoid a meltdown after taking a 3-0 lead.
NBAE via Getty Images

“Oh, no, we’ve all talked about it. We all realize it’s not time to celebrate. We haven’t achieved anything,” Jason Tatum said. “The work is far from over. that is great [Heat] A really well trained team, and we have to be ready on Monday. not finished yet.

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“The series isn’t over yet. We still have a big game on Monday.”

Injuries — the second most in the league this season — have made this year difficult for the Heat, who have had to fight through the game. The Celtics—talented, but inconsistent—have made things difficult for themselves.

During these playoffs, Boston gave up games due to a lack of focus. Yes, they’re 5-0 in playoff games, but a talented team shouldn’t have been pushed to the limit over and over again by the 76ers and Heated.

“It doesn’t get much worse than losing 0-3. We feel like we’ve been to hell and back. We feel like we can take on whatever adversity is thrown at us,” said Jaylen Brown. “It all means nothing if we don’t go out and do our best on our home floor Monday night.

“I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like for Game 7. It’s going to be huge. The two best words in sports are ‘Game 7.’”

In fact, the two best teams are world champions. And after upsetting top-seeded Milwaukee and eliminating the Knicks, the eighth-seeded Heat won their chance to play for the title. Until they fumbled it away, allowing Derrick White’s split-second tip-off to lose Game 6 on Saturday night in Miami.

It was in the same building where Heat star Ray Allen hit his iconic shot to beat San Antonio in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in 2013, setting up a Game 7 brilliance. , but eventually fell off. Will the Heat suffer the same fate?

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Jason Tatum and the Celtics will attempt to complete an improbable comeback against the Heat.
Getty Images

The Heat are an eight-point underdog, and “no person in America” ​​thinks Miami will win, said TNT’s Charles Barkley. But there will be a handful in the Heat’s locker room on Monday who think they will.

“I don’t know how we’re going to do this, but we get up there and get it done,” Spoelstra said.

“I will not allow our men to quit,” said Butler. “I don’t care what happens, we’re going out there and we’re going to win.”

If they didn’t, they would have suffered the biggest postseason collapse in NBA history. And he wrote the most unpredictable chapter in Boston’s unpredictable season.

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