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Celtics-Heat Game 7: The Truth about Boston’s Revenge Tour

Jun 9, 2012, 9:52 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Three Getty Images

Game 7 Saturday night between the Celtics and Heat would honestly be better had the Celtics not won the title. You’d have so many legacies on the line. As it stands, this is the Celtics’ push for a second title, which just isn’t as much of a big deal. It’s not even as important as a third title, as that third one is more in line with how we think of traditional dynasties. (Stupid KG’s knee injury in 2009!) But multiple titles still puts them on another level, while the Heat are still desperately clamoring for that first one with this core (Wade and Haslem are similarly “certified” as KG would say).

But the Celtics aren’t approaching it that way. This is their revenge tour. Everyone who doubted them, said they were too old, too slow, and that their star power couldn’t match up are getting a lesson in how experience matters in the NBA, the greatness of these players, and what… ugh… excuse me, I’m about to gag on cliche… makes a champion.

And for the Celtics to get past the superteam Saturday night, they need The Truth. Paul Pierce has to have a good game. Not a great game. We haven’t seen Pierce have a great game since he sprained his MCL in the first round, and the Celtics are still here. They can survive him having a bad game as long as he has a few plays that shift the momentum. Much like Game 5. Lost in the Heat collapse and the dagger three that Pierce nailed in James’ face was that once again he had a pretty terrible game. Pierce has the toughest assignment offensively and defensively in this series. When he has the ball, he’s either got the best perimeter defender in the NBA, LeBron James, latched onto him, or Shane Battier‘s tricks and grit tweaking him at every turn and hot.

But he’s got to come through. Pierce has to hit shots. He doesn’t have to improve his shot selection, God knows that’s not going to happen. But he’s got to rise and fire. One key is he has to get to the rim. Pierce has struggled at the rim in the playoffs (54.5 percent) vs. the regular season (63.5 percent). He’s got to use the post to get the turn and attack the rim or draw the foul. He needs to nail those slow-set trailer threes when Rondo finds him. And he’s got to find a way to get to that elbow sweet spot. The Celtics have leaned on Rondo and Garnett. This is Game 7. It’s time for the franchise guy to take them home.

Pierce’s Boston legacy is reaching pretty epic proportions. He passed Larry Bird on the points list in franchise history. He’s threatening to land multiple titles which will put him up there with some of the all-time greats even if he’ll never reach that hallowed ground, which is a shame. What’s amazing is that it hasn’t been Pierce’s best seasons that have netted him the most success. It says a lot about how awful those early 00’s teams were around Pierce that his MVP-level play didn’t take them to the promised land.

But here they are. If Garnett is the angry ferocity of the Celtics, and Rondo the driven determination, Pierce is the source of their swagger. It’s Pierce who has the most confidence in his game regardless of percentages or circumstances. Much like this Celtics team, no matter how many things suggest he’s in the midst of failure, he finds a way to come out on top. The Celtics need that attitude, that swagger, that player tonight in Game 7.

It’s time for the Truth.

  1. addictedzone - Jun 9, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    The truth is, the Celtics had the series in their pocket and proceeded to get lambasted. Still I’m a bit shocked at the line going into tonight. The Heat favored by 7.5 in most of Vegas. Favored by 8 at nearly all offshore sites. That’s up from a 7 point spread at the open.

  2. sbauzay - Jun 9, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    The Truth is that no team can beat Miami if Lebron plays up to his potential like he did in game 6. The fear Miami had coming into the last game is gone and the momentum has drastically shifted coming into tonight’s game in Miami.

  3. trueballs - Jun 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    This was a nice thoughtful article. Many legacies are on the line! I would have expected the usual “here’s what needs to happen” and then a list of everything strength and weakness these teams have.

  4. paulhargis53 - Jun 9, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    I can’t wait for the “Heat in 8″ posts after the Celtics win tonight.

  5. mungman69 - Jun 9, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Miami is 7 point favs? The betters are gambling that Boston’s age can’t overcome Miami. Again, if Bosh slows down Garnett, the Heat will win.

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    The truth is that the Celtics have everything to gain nothing to lose. The Heat (LeBron) has everything to lose and nothing to gain It’s that way in every game the Heat (LeBron) has played since November 2010, but this is obviously it’s most extreme form.

    For the Heat (LeBron), nothing in the history of their franchise or the resumes of the players matter except tonight. Except if they win, and then nothing matters except the next game. For the Celtics, a win tonight can improve their legacies but a loss won’t damage them.

    The Heat and their fans are on a high wire, with no net, with the entire sports world pointing lasers in their eyes and yelling “NOONAN” trying, hoping, praying for them to fall.

    It’s been an insane ride. It’s been great. It’s been horrible. And hopefully, it isn’t over.

  7. scalfor3 - Jun 9, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    “He’s threatening to land multiple titles which will put him up there with some of the all-time greats even if he’ll never reach that hallowed ground, which is a shame.”

    what?

  8. rickeydynamite25 - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Something tells me that Lebron will have another good game, not like game 6 but still another good game, while the rest of the team sucks, but the refs will see to it that Miami gets the win, and I’m sure David Stern will be in attendance for a lil extra encouragement. Pay attention to how many times D(irty) Wade gets to the free throw line. Boston shouldve finished them when they had Miami on the ropes.

    • addictedzone - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      Eight hours from game time and already blaming the refs? Seriously?

  9. jomochiefsfan84 - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Sounds to me the celtics & their coach have been the one’s talking themselves up way too much in this series & are in my opinion over confident! I hope Miami smashes on them tonight & swipes that smug look off of Ray Allen’s face! As the fans in Miami would say LET’S GO HEAT!!! LET’S GO HEAT!!!

  10. ceschatz - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    @rickeydynamite25
    Still running with the conspiracy theories huh? You sound pathetic, but whatever makes you feel better.

  11. rickeydynamite25 - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Addicted,,

    It doesn’t matter because wether it’s Miami or Boston,, they’re going to get destroyed by OKC anyway.

    Seriously.

  12. truthhurtstoo - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    “too old, too slow, and that their star power couldn’t match up”… yup, that sounds about right. GO HEAT!

  13. rickeydynamite25 - Jun 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Ceschatz,,,

    Pathetic? Well thank you. Lemme guess,, you’ve been a Heat fan all your life. Really since 2010 but all your life.

  14. paulhargis53 - Jun 9, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Boston will not shoot like crap Luke they did on Thursday. That is part of the reason the Heat won. Boston thrives in game 7 situations.
    Rondo and the Big Ticket will see to the end of the Heat. The Truth comes out on fire tonight. Boston by 9

    • kinggw - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      I keep hearing this line of “reasoning” as the main reason why Boston lost Game 6.I dont buy it. I believe that what happened in Game 5 was more of an outlier versus what happened in Game 6.

      In Game 5, Boston benefited from two deflections that left a wide open Pietrus in the corner. Also, Pierce’s end of the game three that iced the game was a hero ball shot that was unbelievable, but it wasn’t a qualilty shot. In Game 6 Boston missed some open shots, but they were missing because their shots were being contested. KG has been shooting 18 footers all series without anybody in his face. That changed in Game 6. Same thing with Pierce. The Heat didnt get lucky in Game 6 and Boston didnt have an off night, the Heat played amazing defense. The media is so stuck on the C’s that they refuse to give credit where its due.

  15. j0esixpack - Jun 9, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    The Celtics have already “won” regarding their legacy. They exceeded expectations and have made it to Game 7 on heart.

    The fans four minute standing ovation even after they got blown out by Miami shows that all fans understand and appreciate what they’ve give fans this year.

    If they lose fans will be disappointed but thankful for a nice unexpected run.

    If Miami loses fans will be angry, not thankful.

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