Tipoff is still hours away, but I've gotta bang-out 17 rides to hit my weekend quest, so I'll try to make this quick. I don't wanna watch another game on my phone in a parking lot!
I am fucking terrified right now. Sure it's just a game, but I am truly emotionally invested in this team. Over the last couple of years, with covid and a microscope on all the world's man-made greed-driven problems, I thought I sorta outgrew the days of sports super-fandom, but this Celtics season pulled me back in. I care too much about sports again, horrrrrrraayyy! Life is really back to normal! (no, it's not!!!!)
This season started super frustrating. In the 2021 portion of the 2021-22 Boston Celtics, it felt like they blew a 25-point lead a week. I remember in October when they were losing to the fucking Wizards. This team felt broken and like it was going nowhere. There was a debate about whether or not they deserved two all-stars, and I was in the camp of no because of how poorly the team was playing. Some even wanted to break up the Jays (I NEVER FELL IN THAT CAMP). Of course, we all know about 18-21 record, but these Celtics had the bones of a winner; they just weren't winning.
They got rid of Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson, and Enes Freedom and replaced them with Derrick White and familiar face Daniel Theis, and everything changed. Well, the tides had sorta turned prior to ditching Dennis, but this team went from 18-21 to 51-31. The C's finished the regular season 33-10 and haven't lost back-to-back games all playoffs (most recent losing streak: March 28th-30th). Every time they've backed themselves into a corner, they've found a way out, but tonight is a tough ask. There have been multiple soul-crushing losses (Game 5 vs. Milwaukee, every loss in this series) during this playoff run, but they've always bounced back.
It's Game 7; the two best words in sports, blah, blah, blah. I don't feel it. I'm so worried. Of course, it has to be the fucking Heat too. I believe in our guys, but three road wins in a Conference Finals is a tall order. I hate to say it, but losing Game 6 felt like we lost our chance. It lined up perfectly, but we couldn't capitalize. Jaylen's turned into Shaq on the line. I 10000% would rather have Robert Williams there. The Celtics got outplayed but also fucked by the refs; that charge on Tatum that should've been an "and 1" that could've got them within one was atrocious. And despite that, we still held a lead late. FUCK.
Sure, Miami has fake fans, but it's still an opposing arena in a winner-take-all game. Is Herro gonna be available now? How the fuck did Jimmy Butler end up outscoring Lebron's 2012 Game 6 that surely killed a piece of me? I knew the vibes were off on Friday.
I mean, we can win this fucking game. We've already won in Miami twice, and held an 8 point halftime lead in Game 1 before the wheels fell off. We just need to hold on to the fucking ball. Turnovers have been the difference all series, you can find stats that back that up, I've already rambled too much. We need to box the fuck out and stop getting killed on second and third chance points too. I'd love to see the Jays be aggressive. You're the best players on this team. I'm living and dying with you. Hopefully other guys step up, but you guy combined for SEVEN shots in the second half of Game 6. Inexcusable. Tonight is a massive legacy game for you both. Luckily, Jayson has a decent track-record in these spots.
Obviously, I want to win it all, and it's very un-Celtic-like to say this, but I'd be happy with getting fucking swept in the Finals (that's probably not true if it happens, but bear with me). I just wanna get there. It's been 12 years. The last time the Celtics were in the NBA Finals, I went through my final days of high school, graduation, and URI orientation. Now I'm in my 30s (gross), and we haven't been back. Oh, but there's been plenty of opportunities. We lost in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2020. Sure, the 2017 C's weren't good enough, but the other teams were, just like this roster. I'm fucking done with heartbreaking ECF losses. Can the little ole Boston Celtics please catch a break? It's NBA 75. Warriors-Celtics would be two of the oldest franchises going head-to-head. The Heat have had their time. If the Celtics can grow the fuck up, play with some heart and hold onto the rock, they can win. God, I'm so nervous. Not loving this blog, but whatever, it's a rant. Rants are fine. I respect the Heat but also fucking hate them and have for some time. Celtics, please come out hot and make this a no-doubter. I can't handle this stress. Go C's. I'll be bleeding green somewhere in Rhode Island tonight. I gotta go crush these rides quick. Go Celtics. More thoughts to come on Twitter, later.