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Dub Nation HQ Rooting Guide: Boston vs Miami Game 7 Edition, plus open thread
a wild series
You can also read the complete Dub Nation HQ Rooting Guide for Other Teams.
Game 7 happens Mon May 29, 5:30PM Pacific.
Below, we have the usual DNHQ Rooting Guide, but since this is an unusual Game 7, there are
Special Rooting Considerations for Game 7
What’s at stake for the Boston Celtics
BOS can be the first NBA team in 151 tries to come back from a 0-3 series deficit
BOS had a big comeback to get to Game 7 which has already temporarily saved Coach Joe Mazzula’s job. But if they lose, all the vultures might come out again to call for firing him.
If BOS loses, there will be renewed calls for trading Jaylen Brown and generally rebooting the team.
If BOS wins, this will underline the importance of sheer luck in these random ending basketball games and therefore in the playoffs as a whole. If Derrick White shoots 0.2 seconds later, if the referees don’t put so much time back on the clock, if any one of 50 calls goes a different way in the game, MIA goes to the Finals. (To be honest, people should have already learned this lesson last year with these exact two teams when Butler missed a series-winning 3 at the end 2022’s MIA-BOS Game 7.)
What’s at stake for the Miami HEAT
MIA would be the first play-in team to reach the Finals
MIA is already the first #8 seed to reach the Conference Finals in 24 years. The #8 Knicks made it to the 1999 Finals, only to lose to the #1 seed Spurs, in the famous “asterisk” strike season.
If they lose, they would become the first team in 151 tries to blow a 3-0 series lead. Given the current trolly NBA fan culture, they might be mercilessly mocked.
On the other hand, I think people generally like Jimmy Butler and recognize that MIA is overachieving despite injuries, so the mockery might be muted compared to the mob that came for Doc Rivers and his 3-1 series losses, or the mass bullying of GSW after the 2016 Finals, led by LeBron and the Nike-aligned media.
Okay, now on to the general rooting considerations…
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Steph Curry and Jayson Tatum seem to have some mutual respect.
Marcus Smart. Reckless play injured Steph Curry and nearly took him out for the year.
Blake Griffin. You probably didn’t remember that Blake was on the Celtics… Essential part of the rival Lob City Clippers, as their most punchable face. We studied that rivalry before in detail, but by now feelings have cooled as Blake’s career took a nose-dive due to injuries and bad teams. A couple of years ago, a healthy plurality of Dub Nation still wished him ill, but even more just plain don’t care and so he does NOT officially qualify for Warriors Villain.
Grant Williams raised eyebrows with his comment that Boston was the better team in the 2022 Finals.
Ex-GM Danny Ainge started a Boston tradition of announcing after every big NBA trade that he offered a better package that was rejected.
UPDATE (2022-05-27): Ainge also made the baffling and factually incorrect statement that he’d never heard of Celtics fans being racist in 26 years.
Jaylen Brown went to Cal if you care about that.
Abaddon writes: in the great Steph/Kyrie duel in 2018(?) Steph was seen visibly flapping his right hand at Brown after hitting a three over and around his defense. He also was jawing at Brown. It was a while ago and I’m not sure if there’s been anything since, but it is so rare to see Steph directly taunting someone that it sticks out in my memory.
The 2022 Finals were bitterly fought and the BOS fans really brought the bile in antagonizing Draymond Green. But that’s sports for you. It worked to throw Dray off his game and also made Steph elevate his game in the legendary Game 4.
Long history of racism from Celtics fans.
Isaiah Thomas played through his sister’s death and various injuries at the cost of his career and was immediately dumped by BOS for Kyrie Irving. Pretty shocking move even if the league’s motto is “It’s Just A Business”.
Celtics fans talk a lot about their many championships, omitting the fact that they’ve won 1 championship since 1986, and most of the previous ones came from Red Auerbach ripping off other hobbyist owners when the league was eight teams that could barely get a highlight on TV.
Jimmy Butler. Famously couldn’t get along with the Minnesota Timberwolves management, couldn’t get the most out of Andrew Wiggins through tough love, and caused so much chaos that it forced trades and moves that put MIN in such a dreadful position that MIN had to make a desperation move to keep Karl-Anthony Towns from leaving: the glorious trade of Andrew Wiggins and the 2021 Top 3 protected 1st round pick (#7 Kuminga) for KAT’s pal D’Angelo Russell. Thanks, Jimmy.
Kevin Love. Childhood pal of Klay Thompson. Legendary near-trade target for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes. The #2 free agent whom LeBron grabbed for his Superfriends 2.0 (v 1.0 in CLE), who became a scapegoat for all CLE’s problems.
MIA have a few players that Dub Nation has fantasized about getting for years:
Dewayne Dedmon, Omer Yurtseven, Kevin Love.
Dilly writes: I believe that Dewayne Dedmon had his own little meltdown on the Miami bench & threw something & was waived and/or traded & waived and was later picked up by Philly. I think.
Udonis Haslem. Raised a whole fuss about Draymond picking the Celtics to advance.
None really. They did have the annoying LeBron / Wade / Bosh Super Friends team, but that one horribly underperformed so much that it provided some entertainment. Dwyane Wade has been pretty cool in retirement, and they also got dumped by LeBron after he strip-mined the town, so it’s hard to hold a grudge. They also gave the Lakers a scare in the 2020 Disney Cup despite a rash of Heat injures, and also got within one shot of upsetting the Celtics in 2022.
When I polled you before Game 1, 89% of you wanted MIA to win.