No one could blame Celtics fans for getting lost in the hysteria brought on by Saturday night’s thrilling finish at Kaseya Center.
But Boston players? They know there still is a lot of work to be done.
The Celtics’ NBA championship dreams were kept alive by a last-second win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. The gritty Miami Heat erased a double-digit lead in the final minutes of the contest, but Boston avoided a colossal collapse thanks to Derrick White’s clutch put-back as time expired.
“We’re all aware it’s not time to celebrate,” Jayson Tatum told reporters, per ASAP Sports. “We didn’t accomplish anything. We won a big game that we had to win in incredible fashion. We’re proud of the way we played, proud of the way we figured it out.
“But the job is far from finished. This is a great team, really well-coached team, and we’ve got to be ready on Monday. It’s not over. Both teams want this extremely — like to the highest degree. They want it. We want it. The guys are competing on both ends, giving everything they have.”
An NBA Finals berth is more than enough to motivate the Celtics on Monday, but the chance to make league history might give Boston even more juice. Should Tatum and company come out on top at TD Garden, they will become the first NBA team to overcome a 3-0 deficit and win a playoff series.