The Miami Heat will be remembered forever no matter what happens in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on Monday. How they will take their place in NBA history is the dramatic question.
Gabe Vincent: “We’re making history in any which way. Which side of history do we want to be on?”
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) May 29, 2023
Gabe Vincent certainly wants to be on the winning side of history, with the Heat trying to get a victory to avoid becoming the first NBA team to lose a best-of-seven series after taking a 3-0 lead.
To do that, Miami will have to rebound from one of the most devastating defeats in recent memory, a 104-103 loss in Game 6 on Saturday. Playing at home, the Heat rallied in the fourth quarter to take a one-point lead on three free throws by Jimmy Butler with just seconds remaining.
After the Celtics called a timeout and advanced the ball, Marcus Smart missed a long jump shot, but Derrick White, who threw the inbounds pass, was able to get to the basket for a buzzer-beating putback.
Boston became only the fourth NBA team to force a Game 7 after losing the first three games of a best-of-seven series. The other three teams to do so lost Game 7, but none of those teams played that game at home, like the Celtics will do on Monday.
The Heat certainly don’t want to be on the losing side or have to deal with what that might mean for their legacy. NBA analyst Eddie Johnson said Heat culture will be “eviscerated” if they fail to clinch the series.
Vincent missed Game 5 with an ankle injury but was able to play in Game 6. He also contributed afterward, trying to bring life to a devastated Heat locker room by stepping up to play some inspirational music.
The guard is questionable for Game 7 but surely does not want to miss such a historic game. He has been excellent in the playoffs so far, averaging 13.3 points and 3.9 assists per game in the 16 games he has played.
A stellar performance leading to a victory on Monday could have him remembered in history as well.