Why Stephen A. Smith Believes Celtics Can Make History Vs. Heat

Boston isn't going down without a fight


May 24, 2023

The Celtics kept their season alive Tuesday night, but their odds of advancing to the NBA Finals for a second straight season still are heavily stacked against them.

However, if Boston wins back-to-back games over Miami, Jayson Tatum and company could be primed for another trip to basketball’s biggest stage.

One day after the Celtics outmatched the Heat in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, Stephen A. Smith couldn’t stress the importance of Game 5 enough. It has a chance to be a make-or-break contest for both sides, and it’s why the “First Take” co-host still is giving Boston a puncher’s chance to win the East.

“I think their chance is slim, but I certainly can’t say none,” Smith said on ESPN. “You’ve got Game 5 coming up. Obviously, they have to win that game or they go home. They’re 10-11 at home (in the playoffs) over the last two seasons, 4-5 this season. If, somehow, they manage to win, they’ve actually been better on the road. So, it’s conceivable that if Boston wins, the pressure obviously shifts to Miami in Game 6 because you were up 3-0, now you’d only be up 3-2 and then you’ve got Game 6 on your home court with the specter of a Game 7 and history being made if you lose a 3-0 lead.

“The chances are slim, but I still say, ‘Wait a minute.’ Game 5 obviously is everything, but that shifts the pressure. If Boston wins Game 5 on Thursday night — if you’re Miami you do not want to have a Game 7 forced in Boston after having a 3-0 lead when nobody in the history of the sport has ever surrendered a 3-0 deficit.”

Smith isn’t the only ESPN personality who still has faith in the Celtics. Mike Greenberg does, too, but he doesn’t need to watch Game 5 to fully buy into Joe Mazzulla’s club. The “Get Up” host saw enough Tuesday night to believe the C’s will win four straight over the Heat.

Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports Images
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