Celtics season comes to an end in game 6 loss to Heat

By Brendan Beauregard

Just past the nine-minute mark in the final quarter of game 6 last night, the Boston Celtics were up 96-90 against the Miami Heat. Boston was on their way to forcing a game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. If they could hunker down on defense and make shots to keep a steady lead, Boston would live for another chance at getting to the NBA Finals. But they’re not getting that chance.

The Heat snapped their fingers with the infinity gauntlet and the Celtics title hopes faded away as Miami rampaged to a 26-6 run in the fourth quarter and went on to win the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Boston 125-113 and move on to the NBA Finals.

A main theme of this game that sounds so dreadfully similar to Celtics fans, Boston saw a lead slip away while they missed shot after shot that led to Miami taking control. 

Boston shot 37% in the fourth compared to Miami’s 66%, along with going a terrible 14% from three. Talk about how you wanted to play in the final minutes of your season.

Additionally, the Celtics star quartet of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart each scored 20-plus points, but the four top Boston players went a combined 8 for 25 in the fourth quarter. Yikes.

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On the opposite side, Heat big man Bam Adebayo added a bachelor’s degree in clutch games to his resume with a monster performance. Adebayo had a game-high 32 points on 73% shooting, snagged 14 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists

“Bam is a star, man. And he played like it,” said Kemba Walker after the game. Miami witnessed a star being born while Boston was stuck in the shallow (Hey Siri pause this song, thank you).

Celtics coach Brad Stevens gave more praise to Adebayo and his team, saying Miami is the “Best team in the East and deserve to be representing the East the way they’ve played.” Right you are, Brad.

From this writer’s perspective, the Celtics were outplayed when it mattered even if they arguably had the advantage in talent. Miami ran a solid system of zone defense and saw plenty of their players step up in key series moments, and Boston had less of that. 

“We had our chances and we didn’t take advantage of them enough,” Coach Stevens said postgame. Right again, Coach.

But Boston kept its head up high, with Kemba Walker saying “It was a fun run….we fought hard, man,” and Jayson Tatum adding in that he believes in the Celtics core and that “it was fun this year.” 

As both Walker and Tatum said, Boston gave everything they had and had fun doing it. And for Celtics fans, it had to be a fun season too. 

Despite the sour end, if anything, this season reassured fans that Boston’s future is so bright you need to put on two pairs of Ray-Bans. Tatum and Brown became even bigger stars, Walker became an anchor of leadership and positivity in his first year wearing Celtic green, and Marcus Smart was still diving for every loose ball like he had to save the world.

This may be the end of the season for Boston, but this isn’t the end of this Celtics era’s run. Not even close.