As we prepare for the game 7 between Boston Celtics AND Miami heat, the term “history making” is still used today. Yes, it’s true: no team has ever come back from 3-0 to win a playoff series, and now the Celtics are on the verge of a memorable achievement.
Making history in front of an audience from your hometown in TD Garden will make everything even sweeter. Your own piece of franchise history that is as rich as it is successful. However, for all the motivation we expect from the Celtics and all the desire we expect from them, we must not forget that Miami has exactly the same reasons to be fired up.
The Heat is a proud organization. The term “warm culture”, while often misused, is a term that shows how well run their organization is while praising their eye for talent and commitment to player development. This franchise won’t be eager to fall on the wrong side of the history books on a Monday night.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo won’t be returning to Boston thinking they’ll be remembered for the all-time choke either. Instead, they will want to stop rewriting the scrolls of NBA folklore. They will want to strangle the scribes who will wait on pins for the final whistle, forcing them to tear up their rough drafts.
But most of all, they will want revenge for Game 7 last year.
It was Miami that had to give way to the Celtics last season. Miami was watching NBA finals from home, wondering if they could have had a different score against Golden State soldiers. And it was Miami that had to watch the Celtics tear the NBA apart early this season. So you can assume there’s a pretty big chip on their shoulder right now.
Let’s not twist it though; neither team will go into this competition without serious pressure on their shoulders. Sure, the Celtics have all the momentum and Jayson Tatum has a promising 7-game record at home. However, Butler also has a track record of achieving big successes when it matters most.
The difference is that Heat is playing with household money. No one expected Miami to return to the Eastern Conference Finals while everyone expected the Celtics to be there. So only one team is playing to live up to preseason expectations, and that in itself is a real mountain that Boston will have to climb for the full 48 minutes.
Passion and pressure, however, will not be the two deciding factors in Monday’s game. Instead, it all comes down to which team will execute their coach’s game plan and manage to impose their brand of basketball on the opponent.
Despite all the talk about Miami shocking the Celtics in the first three games, those losses were due to both Boston’s loss and Miami’s dead eye three-pointer, while the Celtics’ three wins were due to execution and game planning.
The decision to place the midfielder around the nail dampened Miami’s elbow moves, which usually caused the slasher to curl up before charging to mid-court. Defensive rotations on the weak side put pressure on shooters who attack closures. And making sure there’s a big man between the ball and the basket when defending snake dribbles against pick-and-roll actions ensures there’s no easy bucket.
Boston has rediscovered its identity in this series. In a way, it reminds me of the Kobra Kai season 3 fight scene where Miguel Diaz finally gets tired of the beating and kicks deep to fight the mental block that was there after the back injury.
With all that said, I’m still praying for the Celtics to win so we can see them go into the NBA Finals as a team with more experience. I also want to enjoy making history. But I have no illusions that the Heat will do everything in their power to stop adding new entries to the history books on Monday night.