Stephen A. Smith says Miami Heat need to win Game 6: ‘You’re not beating Boston in a Game 7’'
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ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes the Miami Heat need to win Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics if they want to win the series.

After holding a 3-0 series lead, the Heat have lost back-to-back games by double digits to the Celtics. Since the Celtics are the higher seed in the series, Game 7 would be played in Boston.

“Miami’s in a world of trouble,” Smith said. “They gotta win Game 6. You don’t win Game 6, you’ve lost this series. You’re not beating Boston in a Game 7 at TD Bank. I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it, not with them brothers. I just don’t see it happening. If you’re the Miami Heat, you’ve gotta win Game 6 tomorrow night.”

It’s hard to argue with Smith’s take, especially since the Heat were beaten badly in Games 4 and 5. Miami was pretty much out of Game 5 from the jump, falling behind 20-5 in the first quarter and struggling to keep the game within double digits at many points.

The No. 8-seeded Heat have made an amazing run in these playoffs, but they have seen some of their role players struggle as of late.

Max Strus has shot just 8-for-23 over his last three games, and Kyle Lowry has really fallen off in this series. Lowry nearly has as many turnovers as he has points scored in his last four games.

No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit, but Boston has the momentum in this series after winning so easily in Game 5.

Miami has thrived all postseason playing behind Jimmy Butler, but with Gabe Vincent missing Game 5 due to an ankle injury, the Heat didn’t have a ton of options to pick up the slack with Butler scoring just 14 points.

The Celtics have been in this position before, as they were trailing 3-2 to the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the playoffs with Game 6 in Philly.

Boston went on to win that game before blowing out the Sixers in Game 7 at TD Garden.

This is a slightly different scenario since Boston is being asked to win four straight games, but Smith is right that the Heat can’t afford to give Boston another confidence boost before playing a winner-take-all Game 7 to advance to the NBA Finals.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.