The Boston Celtics have played in the most Game 7s of any team in NBA history. Boston has appeared in 34 Game 7s and they are 25-9 in those situations.
The Celtics are also 11-1 in their last 12 games coming off a loss. The only loss in that stretch was a game Boston punted in Toronto. Their average margin of victory in these situations? 16.9 points.
Boston has been almost historically good on the road lately. They are 22-7 in their last 29 road games. They’ve won those games by a margin of 12.4 points per game.
The Celtics are also 6-2 on the road in the 2022 playoffs. They’ve already won two games at the Miami Heat in this series alone.
On the flip side, Boston is 0-5 in their last five chances to win a closeout game to go to the NBA Finals. The Celtics were up 3-2 on the Miami Heat in 2012. They lost at home in Game 6, then on the road in Game 7. In 2018, Boston was up 3-2 on the Cleveland Cavaliers. They lost on the road and then lost Game 7 at home.
But you know what? None of the above matters.
Take the good stats and take the bad stats, crumple them in a ball, count down “3,2,1” and shoot that buzzer-beater right into the trashcan.
It’s time for the 2022 Boston Celtics to put up or shut up.
None of the history matters. A lot of those Game 7s that Boston won were played before anyone on the current roster was born.
Even the 2012 team has no impact on this series. No one is left on the roster from 10 years ago. The only things that remain the same are the team in green and white and the team in black and red on the other side of the floor.
Heck, even the 2018 team has little bearing on this series four years later. Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis are the only Celtics on the roster now that were on the roster in 2018. And Horford and Theis have both left and come back to Boston.
But Brown, Smart and Tatum are different players now. Brown and Tatum were babies in 2018. Second-year and rookie-year players who didn’t really recognize the moment and still had everything in front of them. Even Marcus Smart, who was only in his fourth year, was a role player and not the Defensive Player of the Year.
But again, it doesn’t matter.
All that matters is today. If the Celtics want there to be a tomorrow for this group, then they best remember: “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”
Today is a good day for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to both be stars. For a full 48 minutes.
Today is a good day for to get Al Horford to that first NBA Finals of his 15-year career. And to help Horford play through some recent personal heartbreak after the passing of his grandfather.
Today is a good day for Marcus Smart to do what he does and shake off a bad game by playing a great one. He’s playing through that ankle injury, but you know Smart will dig down and find something.
Today is a good day for Rob Williams to block shots, finish impossible lobs and to impact the game in ways only he can.
Today is a good day for Derrick White to keep that new dad energy flowing into another big game.
Today is a good day for Grant Williams to find that Game 7 magic he had against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Today is a good day for Payton Pritchard to remind everyone of what he does and to hit some big shots.
Today is a good day for the bench to have those vibes turned up to 11.
Mostly, today is a good day for a good day.
There’s a passage from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne that goes:
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day,” said Pooh
Today should be the Celtics favorite day too.
Nothing that came before matters. Tomorrow doesn’t matter yet. It’s all about today.
It’s time for the Boston Celtics to lock in and focus on today only. It’s all about today.
We’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
Today is a good day to have a good day. Actually, it’s a great day to have a great day.
Game 7. NBA Finals trip on the line.
It’s time. Seize the day Celtics.