Celtics Are Still In A Winning Position Even If They Don’t Pull Out Game 7

By By Travis H. Singleton, BASN sports writer
Updated: June 11, 2012

Down and Out

Down and Out

BOSTON, MA. (BASN) Game 7 speaks volumes in any major sport and the magnitude of this game is unreal for the fact that the old Boston Celtics weren’t even supposed to be in this position in the first place. Also a lot of people try to downplay the Celtics this season but they have had one of the best second half’s of a season in the league this year. After the Thunder and their young talented stars destroyed the Celtics before all-star break the Boston Celtics have been on a mission. The Celtics went on to win 19 of the remaining 26 games and have made a strong push in the postseason. That’s why I’m not mad at all because, what this team has overcome and to still be in a position to advance to the NBA Finals is mind blowing. People said ” The Celtics were too old,had no legs,couldn’t hang with the young boys” and the Celtics have yet proved them wrong once again. This game 7 is going to be a bare knuckle brawl and I’m expecting no love to be shown until that clock says 0:00 and the buzzer goes off.
The Miami Heat are in the ones that are in trouble and it’s hard for me to say that when they have the MVP and the best player in the league on that team but it’s the truth. The Heat are on the hot seat and so is their coach Erik Spolestra because, there organization is ran by championship or bust now ever since the “Big 3″ of Miami announced how many championships they were going to win. Great teams let their game do the talking in my opinion and I feel like game 6 of this series Lebron James had did just that. Lebron went off for 45 points against the Celtics and was not to be denied as he singled handedly beat the Boston Celtics on his own. The Heat will need their bench to step up for them in game 7 because, we all know DWade and Lebron will bring their A+ game on saturday night so the Battier’s and Mike Miller’s and Mario Chalmers will determine how this game will turn out. The Boston Celtics on the other hand will have to use all of the “Big 4″ and maybe even another 48+ minutes from Rajon Rondo. When Rondo is on he is on, and when Rondo is off he is off so I’m hoping the Rondo of game 2 shows up in South Beach tomorrow night because, the men in green will go as far as number 9 takes them.
If the ending results in the Celtics not winning the game they will have to shuffle the roster up and may have to change around some pieces with the “Big 3″ but, their are a lot of positives to take out of this situation. For one the Celtics weren’t supposed to make it this far with old legs and not having Bradley and Green doesn’t help either and also you have look at the organization as a whole they have won a title and have been to two finals in the past couple of years thats impressive. So on that note I have to say the Celtics are still the winners even though they would be upset and I would be too blowing a chance to go to the NBA Finals on your own turf and stink up the gym with terrible shooting. If the Celtics win game 7 it will be all about banner 18 but they will have to go up against a Thunder team that has beat them up pretty bad. Also a Thunder team with the scoring champion on it, and 6th man and also a team that has beaten the Mavs,Lakers,and Spurs which is also impressive. So we will see if the Celtics win game 7 if they do win I have them winning 93-86 over the Heat to advance them to the NBA Finals.
The Miami Heat on the other hand will have a lot to lose starting with Lebron James and his quest to getting a championship. He can win as many MVP’s as he wants too but at the end of the day and season you need to have that ring to stamp your place in the legends book. Lebron has pressure on him just as much as his coach does because, all year the Heat have been playing this high level of basketball and to lose in a game 7 at home they won’t here the end of it from Heat fans especially after making it to the finals a year ago and losing. The Heat are a modeled championship or bust team ever since they established their “Big 3″ but , the biggest star for the Heat game 7 to me will be DWade I feel like he will have to will the team to the finals. The Celtics won’t go down easy as we know the Celtics players still have another punch in them but, it will come down to who wants it more and also who coaches better. I believe that Doc Rivers coaches better but, Erik has a better team talent and stamina wise so it will be good to see. Like I said I have the Celtics pulling it out because, everyone has counted them out before and they keep proving people wrong.
Below are some quotes from Game 6 in Boston leading into Game 7 Saturday Night…….
Coach Erik Spolestra Postgame Interview

Q. Erik, you have seen a lot out of LeBron in two years. Have you ever seen that kind of a determination?

He was absolutely fearless tonight, and it was contagious. The way he approached the last 48 hours, and not only LeBron, but everybody else. It wasn’t end of the world. Nobody likes getting thrown dirt on your face before you’re not even dead.But he showed great resolve the last day before you get to this point. And you could see it leading up to that. But he was fearless in the game, and everybody followed from there.

Q. Coming into the game, Erik, was the goal or plan to play LeBron the whole game? Or did that just kind of work out ‑‑

Pretty darn close to it. I told him yesterday that it was going to be at least 46. I would try to get him two somewhere. I think he wanted to come out possibly when there were six seconds left on the clock in one of the quarters. I said, “Absolutely not. You have to finish that quarter.” But he was ready and willing. He said, “Whatever you need, Coach. If that means 48, 53, whatever. Whatever it takes, I’ll do.”

Q. Can you talk about how important it is, even though LeBron is an amazing playmaker, but for him to essentially force the issue and still looking to shoot non‑stop, and not just put his head down drive to the basket but rely on his skill set out of the post.

Yeah, they do a great job of taking you out of some of the things, and so we had to try to get our guys in areas where they could be aggressive. And he came out with an attack mentality right from the get‑go. That just pumped up the entire team up with a tremendous amount of confidence. But he is arguably the most skilled player in this league. And he has a lot to his repertoire, and he was able to showcase a lot of that tonight. But we needed every single bit of it. But particularly him coming out and setting the tone. That’s not just the game. Everybody notices the game; we saw the last 24 hours.

Q. You said you needed all tonight from LeBron. Were you fearful at all you’re going to need all 45 again in Game 7?

He’s going to play quite a bit. So he’s a playmaker. That might mean he gets more assists the next game. He does a good a job as reading a game and what a team needs to win. And that’s on both ends of the court. So whatever it takes. Obviously, that will be one through five as well.

Dwyane Wade Postgame Interview

Q. Dwyane, was that the best you’ve seen LeBron during your time together?

Yes. He played amazing. He was locked in from the beginning of the game like I’ve never seen him before. The shots he was making was unbelievable. Some good defense, and he just made it. So he really put on an MVP performance tonight. Not just scoring the ball, but rebounding the ball, defensively. He did it all tonight. So it was great. It was great to see him come out and lead this team the way he did today. We just gave him the ball and got out the way. He made us look good early on. We were able to do things to help him in the ballgame. Defensively, rebounding the ball, and make timely shots.

Q. Dwyane, how do you stay ready when LeBron is basically just going off the entire time? And how do you stay ready to take over like you did in the third?

It’s something that obviously when he has it going that way, you want to keep feeding him, keep feeding him. Then you also know eventually they are going to need you. I just tried to wait for my opportunity. I had a couple of shots early that I missed that I normally make. I just stayed with it, and I was able to make a few to really help us push the lead up. My job early on was to try to do my best to try to make it tough on Rondo. He had a great game. But still try to make it tough on him, so we don’t have to pull as many triggers, and do other things. When it was called upon me to make a couple of baskets, I was able to do it.

Lebron James Postgame Interview

Q. LeBron, your teams have struggled in this building over the years in the postseason. How nice is it to come in here and put on a performance like that in a must‑win game?

You just said it, it was a must‑win game for us to continue our season. I’m happy we were able to put together a complete game for the first time this series. We were close in Game 1. We played really good in Game 1. Since then we hadn’t played a complete game that we’re capable of doing. So that’s what I’m more excited about than anything, that we finally put a 48‑minute game together. And it allowed us to win this game, a game that we had to have.

Q. LeBron, what’s it feel like when you’re out there dominating a game like that? When was the last time you felt that way?

You just try to keep the pedal going, keep the pedal down and just continue to be aggressive. I felt like I was aggressive from the opening tip, and the guys continued to find me. I tried to keep it going. I felt like that a few times in this postseason. And it’s a great feeling to be in when you feel like everything you put up is going in. But you just can’t ‑‑ you can never let go. You can never let it die down or anything like that. You know you have to continue to put pressure on their defense, and I was able to do that.

Q. Can you do this again in a Game 7? And will you have to?

I don’t know. I take every game as its own. I will continue to be aggressive. I will try to continue to play at a high level like I done the whole postseason. If it results in these numbers or whatever the case may be, I’m going to go out there and play my game and play as hard as I can. I don’t really care what the stats say. I won’t regret Game 7. Win, lose or draw, I’m going to go in with the mindset like I’ve had this whole season. And we’ll see what happens.

Q. LeBron, Coach Spoelstra talked about clearing out the noise. I’m interested how you did that. Did you turn off the TV? Not listen to the radio? How did you approach the last couple of days?

I don’t really get too far in sports talk radio or anything like that too much. Over the postseason I’ve been doing a lot of reading and been watching movies and things like that. I don’t really hear the outside noise of what’s said about me or what’s said about our team. As a team, we never get too high, we never get too low. So we kind of just try to stay focused on what’s at hand. And over the course of these 48 hours we’ve just been worried about Game 6, how can we prepare to win Game 6. And our coaching staff gave us a great game plan, and as players we tried to go out and execute that.

Q. LeBron, you said, I won’t regret Game 7, and that’s been my mindset all season. Where did that mindset spawn from? I guess to not regret means you had to at one point regret.

No, it doesn’t mean that. I’m basically saying this whole team is about getting back to the way I play the game of basketball. I said that to all you guys, seen the interview I did with Rachel before the season. You guys have all seen it. In a great place right now as far as the game of basketball on the court and off the court. So I’m looking forward to Game 7. See you all in Miami.

Head Coach Doc Rivers

Q. Was this a matter of too much LeBron or was it more to it than that?

Well, it was a matter of too much LeBron. He was absolutely sensational. Made every shot, set the tone for their whole team. I thought he gave them comfort in the way he played tonight. We, on the other hand, never really established what we wanted to do offensively. I thought they played with more force for most of the game. Every chance we had to make a run ‑‑ we did miss a lot of open shots. Having said that, I really thought it was fool’s gold. I didn’t think it was the shots we wanted, even though they were open. And give them credit. That was part of their defense. But I thought it was a lot of us. I thought early on offensively for us we didn’t play like us. Each guy wanted to win the game for us, which is a good trait, but the bad trait is there was no ball movement. The ball just stuck for most of the game. Listen, it’s one loss against tonight a great player against our defense. And I think our guys should take that very personal.

Q. With LeBron just a big night he had, did they do anything scheme‑wise to free him up or anything like that?

No, not really. He made some fantastic shots. I didn’t think we played him with a lot of force, though, honestly. Listen, he made great shots. But we can play better defense.

Q. Were you okay with the shots that LeBron was ‑‑

Some of them. You mean, I wasn’t really okay with those dunks at the basket and things like that. Some of the turnaround jumpshots, we’ve been living with that and we’re going to continue to live with that. But he made a lot of tough ones. But I still didn’t think we guarded him with the force that we have to guard LeBron. I thought he brought it to us, and we never gave it back. Maybe that’s a better way of explaining it. I hope now you guys will stop talking about LeBron and that he doesn’t play in big games. He was pretty good tonight. Now that’s to bed. We can go ahead and play Game 7.

Q. Did you see anything different with Pierce or Kevin, just the way shots weren’t going down?

I don’t know. We clearly didn’t have the right energy. Like I said, you never know why. Obviously, they came and they wanted to have it. Listen, when a guy comes out and throws a barrage on you like that, that takes some energy out of you. And maybe it’s as simple as that. I don’t think so, but you just never know.

Q. Doc, you know, in a game like this, on your home court, where you’ve only lost one time in this postseason, where you’ve only lost once against this team in the last 16 meetings, what kind of opportunity did you leave on this floor?

We left a huge opportunity on the floor, but we still have another opportunity. And that’s what playoffs are about. Clearly we’re at home, you want to win. You always want to win. Did you hear our crowd the last three minutes of the game? What other crowd in the NBA does that? It’s a terrific place to play. The fans were unbelievable. They did their part tonight. We just didn’t do ours. Honestly, that was a great opportunity, but we have another opportunity. We get to play another game, Game 7. I would say most of the people in this room would have said, wow, they’re going to get to Game 7, we’ll take it. That’s the way we have to view it. We won a game at theirs, they won here. Now we get to play for all the marbles. This team has not done it the easy way this year. Maybe this is justified for us, go in there and do it.

Paul Pierce:

Tough loss tonight?

“It was tough. You got an opportunity to close out the series on your home floor. For us to come out and play like the way we did, it’s very tough. I mean, you gotta take your hats off to them. They really had a great game. Lebron got hot, playin’ like a true MVP tonight. We just didn’t recover.”

When did you get a sense that the C’s wouldn’t win?

“Right now. When the games over. I always think we got a chance. We’re not the type of team that looks at the score or say it’s over until it’s over. So, ya know, tip my hat off to them. They did what they had to do and now were goin’ to a Game 7.”

Confidence going back to Miami?

“This team has been about adversity all year long. Ya know, so this is not gon’ be nothing new. Its been tough for us all year long to get to the point where we would be at, and why wouldn’t it be tough now? Winning is hard. Trying to get to the finals is hard. And this is as hard as it gets. And I think we are prepared for it.”

Thriving against the world, everyone favoring the Heat?

“Well its been that kind of year for us anyway. (I) think we are in the perfect opportunity. We’ve been the underdog all year long, goin’ into Game 7 the underdog. We are right where we want to be.”

Fans send off for the team?

“We have the best fans in the world. Down 20, at home, in the playoffs, and they cheer us off the court. And that’s just awesome. That’s why we have the best fans in the world.”

Thoughts on Lebron

“He hit a lot of shots that he hasn’t been hitting all series. Sometimes superstars get hot. I’ve had that feeling before and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Rajon Rondo Postgame Interview

Q. Rajon, Ray said that after the game guys were angry. Can you describe what it was that made you guys angry?

I wasn’t angry. They won one game. Now we have to go down and go to Miami and win a game. We done it before. Put this game in the past, and we have to look forward and not let this linger on too long. I’m fine. I’m ready to get going and play a Game 7.

LeBron was comfortable all night. We didn’t get into his airspace. We have to play that as a team collectively. I have to do better as far as taking care of the ball, getting into my sets. I have to make it harder for him. It was too easy.