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In the waning minutes of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics were down 20 points on their home court. The Big 3 and Rajon Rondo found themselves sitting on the bench watching the reserves play mop-up duty.
Many of the fans at the TD Garden, with the game so clearly out of reach, had already made their way to the exits. The Celtic’s starters were left to watch the final minute run-off the clock and wonder how it turned out so bad.
With about 1:02 left in the fourth quarter, a faint “Let’s Go Celtics” chant could be heard, started by a few of the fans that were left. The chant began to catch on, and all of a sudden any fan that was left in the Garden was chanting. The chant continued for over 4 minutes, and was only interrupted by a few cheers when the Celtics would score a basket.
Watch the chant:
Some may see this gesture as mocking the team for playing so poorly. Others may look at it as a final salute from the fans to the Big 3, knowing this very well may have been the last game they play in Boston together. However, anyone from this city and the surrounding areas will tell you that this was nothing short of a rallying cry, urging the Celtics to go out and take Game 7 by any means necessary.
This chant showed what it means to be a fan of Boston sports teams The city of Boston prides itself on hard-work, determination, and the will to succeed, as opposed to natural talent and self-entitlement, which the Heat flaunt in spades. This chant served as a call to those aging veterans and the budding superstar Rondo that the fans are there with them every step of the way.
They could be winning a come–from–behind game on the road, or getting blown out in front of their home fans in a series clinching game. The one constant is that the fans are always there to will them on.
Unless you are a resident of Boston or the New England region, you aren’t expecting the Celtics to win Ggame 7. Almost every sports reporter picked the Heat to win this series, and no one will be surprised if the Celtics fold on Saturday and watch the Heat celebrate.
That is just how the Celtics and (Boston in general) likes it. When their backs are against the wall and no one is giving them a chance, that’s when Boston does its best.
The Red Sox did it in 2004 when they mounted the greatest comeback in sports history, defeating the Yankees in the ALCS after trailing three games to none in the series. The Patriots did it in 2001 with a quarterback who, at the time, no one had heard of. The Bruins did it last year, winning the Stanley Cup when critics counted them out every step of the way.
Boston teams thrive on being counted out, it gives them nothing to lose.
Going into Game 7 Saturday, the Celtics will be the underdogs again. The analysts will pick against them. The Las Vegas betting lines will pick against them. Most of this country will pick against them.
But the Celtics are not going to allow that to happen.
When the fans were chanting “Let’s Go Celtics” in the final minute of game 6, the camera showed Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Rondo sitting next to each other. All four of them could be seen nodding their head to the chant. That slight nod from the stars of this team signified one thing: “We hear you, Boston.”
The Celtics know what a win in Game 7 means. It means silencing the critics and proving that they are nothing short of great at what they do. It means showing guys like Lebron James that the will to win will trump natural talent every day of the week. It means they have another shot at an NBA Championship, and it very well could be their last.
The Celtics know what’s at stake, Boston knows what’s at stake. The only thing left to do is to win the whole thing.
“Let’s Go Celtics.”