The Time Has Come For The Celtics To Finally Step Up And Break Through To The NBA Finals. Holy Shit.
It still doesn't feel real. All season you dream about the possibility that your favorite team will win an NBA title. It gets you through the hard times, it makes your brain go to irrational places during the good times, but it's one of those things where for many fanbases that's all it is. A dream. I know personally, I've been having that dream every day of every season for the last 12 years. It's always remained jsut that, a dream. That is how long it's been since we've seen our beloved Celtics in the NBA Finals. They've been close a few times, only to have our hearts ripped out and stomped on….by LeBron. It wasn't great. I'll have you know I double checked and LeBron isn't on the Heat. I had a nightmare about that last night, but I am happy to report that he is in fact not playing in this series. That's huge.
When I think of this Celtics postseason run, the entire thing seems to be about avenging previous heartbreak. It's been a revenge tour in every sense. First round they took care of Brooklyn, who sent them home in 2021. Then they took care of the Bucks, who sent them home in 2019. Now they are on the verge of taking care of the Heat, the team that sent them home the last time we were in the ECF in 2020. It goes deeper than that though. One of the biggest demons that has plagued this franchise over the last 12 years is the up 3-2 demon.
In 2012, the Celts won Game 5 in MIA to head home up 3-2. We know what happened next, I don't need to say it. That shit is like Voldemort in my house. We do not speak of it. In 2018 the Celts won Game 5 to go up 3-2 against the Cavs. We know how that ended as well. So couldn't you make the case that in a postseason run that is all about defeating these previous playoff demons, it only makes sense their path to the NBA Finals would be to come through and finally close the deal on a 3-2 series lead? To take down that final demon? I'll say it. That's exactly what tonight is.
Both nationally and locally, there's been a lot of talk about how this series is "over" and how the Celts match up with Golden State in the Finals. Fuck that. You won't hear me talking that way until I see the clock at 0.0 with the Celtics up by at least 1 point. Not with what I've lived through. I'm with Tatum
I don't really care how MIA looks right now. Each and every game is different. You don't think the Celts can go 7-45 from three? I watched this very team go 4-42 just this season. Now is NOT the time to stop respecting the opponent or letting the foot off the gas by even the smallest margin. This is where I need the Celts to go out there and step on throats. Break their will. This is also what we thought would happen in Game 3, and they weren't ready to go. The Heat were and they stole that game. Until that team is officially dead and buried, I will not talk about them as if they are dead and buried. On some level, I think it's only normal to have some uncertainty about how the Celts will come out tonight. They have a history of being a little tight to start these HUGE games at home. Well with a spot in the NBA Finals on the line, I'm sure it's not possible to have a bigger game to date.
As of the writing of this blog, here's where everyone stands health wise
The Heat's has been like that all series, and all of those guys end up playing so I'm not too thrown off by that. The big question will be Herro, and it wouldn't shock me if he also sat because you don't really screw around with groin injuries. You'll notice Jimmy Butler is not even listed. That's interesting.
For the Celts, we've been here before. Being QUESTIONABLE doesn't really mean shit for someone like Rob. In Game 5, the questionable turned into ACTIVE, but plenty of times this postseason we've seen him go from questionable to out. It's why we all need to spend the rest of our day praying he's good, because there's no denying what an impact he makes on both ends. With Smart, I imagine you're going to have to cut his foot off to keep him from playing so I have less concern there.
It really comes down to the same shit we've been saying all playoffs. Just play smart and don't beat yourself. You have a rather large sample that the Heat cannot beat you if you don't repeatedly hand them the basketball. If you rebound and limit second chance points, they really struggle to score in the halfcourt. But we've also seen them be able to take advantage of when the Celts start flat. Do I need to remind you of their 10-12 start from the floor in Game 3? I know they haven't made a shot in 2 games, but none of that really matters now. It's about what they do tonight. Take care of your shit and you have 5 days off to recover for the Warriors. For a team that hasn't had any sort of rest since early May, that would be MASSIVE and is just another reason why tonight is so important. if you fuck around and this ends up going to a Game 7, anything can happen. We know this. They know this. That's why I am begging them to just play smart and be ready to go from the opening tip.
It's crazy I just wrote a preview blog about this team potentially going to the NBA Finals after everything we've witnessed and gone through this year. From 18-21 to on the brink of the Finals. That simply doesn't happen. Deep down we always knew there was a reason to love and trust, and tonight is the Celts opportunity to show us why that was.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go
1. Pray that Rob plays
2. Puke my fucking guts out because I am a complete nervous wreck.
Playoff basketball baby, there's nothing like it