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So much for my Saturday night.
As much as the Boston fan in me wanted the Celtics to win Game 6 and advance to the NBA Finals, I also had vain hopes of doing fun things in New York City on a Saturday besides sitting on the couch at my apartment pulling my hair out and yelling obscenities at the television. Oh well.
But even though my social life is lost for tonight (I’m going to pretend it’s not an ongoing issue), I don’t think Game 7 is a similarly lost cause for the Celtics.
At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Here are the starting five for reasons why the Celtics can win Game 7 in Miami:
In case you missed the press release, Durant is starring in a Space Jam spinoff in which some short white kid steals his basketball skills in some supernatural, electrically charged transference of power (obviously while both have their hands on the same basketball).
Other than rolling cameras, Wade has undergone a similar (if not quite as exaggerated) slump. In Game 6, Wade shot just 6-of-17, while Game 4 saw him make just 7-of-22. If Wade continues to be that inefficient, the Heat won’t win. Also, I already trademarked the title Heatstroke. Don’t even try.
Of course, Wade’s shooting struggles might mean nothing if James goes Keyser Soze on the Celtics again (in case you missed it: 45 points shooting 19-for-26, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 silenced crowd). But how realistic is it to expect James to repeat a performance that epic? Can he really be that efficient two games in a row by hitting all those tough fadeaways and shooting 50 percent from three? Won’t Doc Rivers have some sort of defensive adjustment ready to throw at LeBron to force someone, anyone else on the Heat to score points? Do these questions have any merit to them besides making myself feel better?
Pierce was all sorts of bad Thursday night, scoring just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting while watching his man blow up for 30 points. In the first half. With Game 7 on the line, you have to think Pierce will step up in a big way. He’s done it before this postseason – 36 points to carry the Celtics without a suspended Rondo against the Atlanta Hawks, 24 points in a Game 3 romp over the Philadelphia 76ers (after just 7 points the previous game), three straight 20-point performances after a Game 1 loss in Miami. There’s no way he doesn’t drive to the basket and get to the line at least six times tonight. Right?
In his two games back, Bosh hasn’t been able to make much of an impact – 8.0 ppg, 37.5% shooting, albeit with a respectable 13 boards overall. But unless he Animorphs into his dinosaur alter-ego and starts devouring members of the Celtics roster, I don’t think Bosh is going to make a difference, offensively or defensively.
Without their usual allotment of tanning time in the hot South Beach sun, I predict Miami’s already fair-weather fan base will be in foul mood for Game 7. Which is another way of saying the lightning will be the most electric thing in Miami today. Zing! Also, it looks like it’s clearing up tonight in Miami, so Heat fans will want to get a few extra minutes soaking in some rays and catching the sunset just 19 minutes before the 8:30pm tipoff.
In just five years together, this core group of All-Stars and future Hall of Famers have been through seven Game 7s together. Talk about battle-tested. If there is any team you could pick this season to rebound from a crushing defeat and win on the road with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, the Celtics would be it. Everyone and their mother talks about experience with these Celtics, but what stands out to me is how fearless this team is. They literally have nothing to lose. This team was cooked, and not just medium-well, but well-done – before the start of the season, back in February at the All-Star break, after losing Game 1 and Rajon Rondo in Atlanta, after Avery Bradley underwent surgery, after choking away Game 2 and Rondo’s masterpiece in Miami.
But the Celtics are still alive, still kicking, and they have as good a shot as Miami in Game 7. Kevin Garnett will be foaming at the mouth. Ray Allen will have veins of ice. Pierce will be a warrior. Rondo will…well, one really can’t be sure what Rondo will do, but I think he will be at his triple-double best.
And my social life will be nonexistent.