All season long, we've waited for this moment. When the shutdown happened and basketball was paused, we longed for this moment. Now it's here. The Celtics will play in a Game 7 tonight to decide their fate in this strange, strange, bubble basketball world that 2020 has brought us.
As everyone knows, sports have a way of repeating common themes. In this case, the theme is the one where a young, athletic, team looking to prove themselves meets a less talented but more experienced group with a championship pedigree. When this happens, it almost always plays out in a similar fashion. The two teams trade haymakers and no matter what the first 6 games entail, they always find themselves in a do-or-die seventh match up.
Both teams had some words after the wild 2OT finish 😳 pic.twitter.com/5TDbrWidxF— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 10, 2020
Forget about everything that's happened so far. None of it matters. The regular season results and highlights do not matter. Last round's sweeps do not matter. All of the dunks, threes, timeouts, fouls and final scores from this series do no matter. We've seen it all in this series. We've had a 2-0 lead. We've had an improbable game winning three-pointer with less than a second left. We've had blowouts and bad calls and OT thrillers. As Celtics fans we could probably argue that we should have been done with this series three times over already. Instead, the slate is wiped clean. All that counts is tonight.
When you go into a Game 7, it's easy to be nervous. Every possession is huge. We spend our time over-analyzing things like referee assignments and wondering about every possible scenario that can play out. For myself, I have a pit in my stomach. It's not a bad thing and it's not because I believe the Celtics are going to lose. It simply comes from knowing that I do not know anything and I have no control. I've watched this team and loved them all year long. When they went away I missed them more than any other thing that the pandemic took. Now, I could lose them again in the blink of an eye.
I am confident though. There's no time to be nervous. While this team of course has it's flaws, I believe it's ready to win. I truly believe they should and will get out of this round and it will be a gigantic step and confidence booster as they fight to the death with the reigning NBA Champions. You've gotta love your odds when you have guys like Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker and Brad Stevens. You can love them even more when you consider Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are going to show you who they are tonight. With the season on the line, I'm more encouraged than not. It's about who wants it more and with the exception of Kyle Lowry, I think we win that in a landslide. The hunger is there and the mental toughness is too. Now it's time to go out, be unafraid and unfazed when something goes wrong, and earn it.