Why Stephen A. Smith thinks the Heat vs. Celtics are ‘in a troubled world’
In just a matter of days, the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals has suddenly gone from a probable series to a very compelling one.
The Boston Celtics lost the first three games of the series to the Miami Heat, including an embarrassing away loss in Game 3. But instead of giving up, the C’s upped the pressure on the Heat by winning the next two games, the last of which took place on Thursday night with an impressive 110-97 win in Game 5 at TD Garden.
The streak now returns to Miami, where the Heat have lost four of their last six playoff games to the Celtics since last season’s Conference Finals.
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How big is the pressure on the Heat to find a way to wrap up that streak in front of their home fans on Saturday night? All according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
“They’re in a world of trouble,” Smith said Friday morning on ESPN’s Get Up!” “Game 6 is an absolute must. The pressure is solely on the Miami Heat considering 150 teams tried and all failed to come back from a 3-0 deficit.”
“For Miami to be in a position where they’re 3-0 up – definitely going against a better Boston team in terms of top-to-bottom talent – put yourself in that position and follow up tomorrow night South Beach.” and you lose the game and have to come back and face Jayson Tatum in Game 7 in Boston? Good luck with it. The Miami Heat need to win Game 6 in South Beach tomorrow night.”
There are a couple of worrying trends for the heat.
The Celtics have won four straight elimination games, including Game 7 of the Conference Finals in Miami last season. Boston has also won six of their last seven games in Game 7, including a 4-1 home record in Game 7 during that span. Sure, the Celtics have struggled at home in the playoffs for the last two years with an 11-11 record, but when it comes to winning they usually rise to the challenge. This should worry Miami.
In fairness, the Heat still have control of the series and home field advantage. But they are one loss away from being in a position to make history in the worst possible way for an NBA team.