Can the Boston Celtics pull off the unthinkable? At the very least, Jayson Tatum and company think so. And who could blame them? After all, the Celtics took Games 4 and 5 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Miami Heat in convincing fashion. Here we’ll be making a few predictions for Game 6 of the third chapter in the Celtics and Heat’s conference finals rivalry this decade.
The Celtics’ performances over the past two games are such a stark contrast to their lifeless Game 3 display, and at the moment, the momentum is safely within the Celtics’ grasp.
Of course, despite the Celtics’ dominance over the past two games, what remains ahead of them is an uphill climb. No team in NBA history has come back from 3-0 deficit in the playoffs before. It’s also worth taking into consideration that the Heat, despite looking shaky, will have a golden opportunity to close out the Celtics at home on Saturday night.
Even then, the opportunity is there for the Celtics to make history. Their roster certainly isn’t lacking in talent, while the Heat are facing some injury problems, with Gabe Vincent, who’s been stellar thus far on both ends of the court for the entire playoffs, nursing an ankle injury.
The Celtics will have to muster the performance of a lifetime to send the series back to Boston, especially with a raucous crowd in Kaseya Center awaiting their beloved Heat to snatch the Celtics’ dream of winning the franchise’s 18th NBA championship.
With that said, here are three bold predictions for how the Celtics will perform in Game 6, and whether it’ll be good enough to put them within an arm’s reach of history.
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each score 30+ points
It was a rousing triumph for the Celtics when their two foundational stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, were named to the All-NBA First Team and Second Team, respectively. Tatum and Brown were excellent all season long, proving to be the best wing duo in the NBA due to their ability to show up on a nightly basis and the synergy they have between them. The two do not take away from each other, instead amplifying one another to be at their best.
However, Brown, in particular, has had his fair share of struggles against the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Brown, through the first three games of the series, did not look like his usual locked-in self, as aside from finding it difficult to attack the Heat defense, he settled for far too many difficult looks. As a result, his efficiency waned, and the Celtics found it difficult to get into a consistent groove.
Nevertheless, it seems like the pressure got into the Celtics’ heads for the first three games, and as Marcus Smart said, the Heat managed to sneak up on them en route to a commanding 3-0 series lead. But now, with the Celtics playing looser than ever, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum should be back to their best. And the Celtics will need every bit of contribution they can muster, as the Heat will be especially incentivized to give it their all in Game 6 to shut down any talk of a historic upset.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Celtics have gone 22-1 in games where Tatum and Brown both scored 30+ points, so doing so should be a good omen for their chances of achieving victory.
Celtics hit 20+ threes
One key to the Celtics’ success in Games 4 and 5 has been their ability to hit the three-ball. For the first three games of the series, the Celtics could not hit the broad side of the barn. They made just 31 out of their 106 attempts from deep, “good” for an unsightly 29.2 percent. For a team looking to win a championship, that kind of output simply won’t cut it.
However, in Games 4 and 5, they proceeded to catch fire, making 34 out of their 84 attempts (40.4 percent), which is more than their output for the first three games. There might be merit to the Celtics’ claim that going down 3-0 simply freed them from a tough spot mentally, allowing them to stroke shots from deep with ease.
Even with their backs against the wall once again on the road on Saturday, expect these Celtics to rain fire from deep yet again, this time one-upping their past two performances by making 20+ threes in Game 6.
Boston blows out Miami… again
Rarely does the home team that owns the series lead ever get blown out by the opposing team on the road in a closeout game, but given the predictions above, a blowout may be in order.
From top to bottom, the Celtics are a deeper, more talented team. Sure, at this point, it’s not the wisest idea to doubt the capability of the Heat’s unheralded players to pop off. However, they do not have the longest track record of success, and surely the pressure must be mounting on their end as what was once thought to be a cakewalk is proving to be more difficult after the Celtics have come alive.
And with Gabe Vincent’s status remaining unclear and Kyle Lowry not exactly at his best, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo simply may find the burden they must carry to be too heavy to bear. With the Celtics on a roll and sensing blood, no one should be surprised if they blow out the Heat in Game 6.
The post 3 bold Celtics predictions for Eastern Conference Finals Game 6 vs. Heat appeared first on ClutchPoints.