How many rest days will the winner of the Celtics vs Heat have before the NBA Finals?
The Eastern Conference Finals will go to Game 7, while the Denver Nuggets stormed past the LA Lakers to reach the NBA Finals.
The Boston Celtics could still make NBA history after Saturday’s dramatic Game 6 in their thrilling series against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Derrick White’s tip-in right on the buzzer won the game in Miami for the Cs, who have come back from 0-3 ahead of Monday’s decisive game 7 at TP Garden.
Boston Celtics on the verge of NBA history
The Celtics are looking to go where no NBA team has ever gone before. While there are three previous instances of teams making up a 0-3 deficit, neither the New York Knicks in 1951, nor the Denver Nuggets in 1994, nor the Portland Trail Blazers in 2003 were able to go on to win the series.
After three wins in a row against the Heat, the momentum is very much in the Celtics’ favour, while they will also have home advantage in Game 7, which none of the three aforementioned teams were afforded in their failed comeback attempts. Does that increase Boston’s chances of completing the turnaround? Considering they lost the first two games in the series at TP Garden, perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into it.
The Celtics and the Heats gruelling schedule
While any neutral loves a comeback, fans of the two teams will already have incredibly short fingernails before Monday’s decider tips off in Massachusetts (8:30 p.m. ET, in case you were wondering). And the gruelling seven-game schedule is unlikely to help whoever comes out on top, especially when we look across to their opponents in the NBA Finals.
The Nuggets prevailed in the Western Conference Finals with the minimum of fuss, dispatching the Los Angeles Lakers 4-0. All four matches were relatively tight affairs, but they reality is that Nikola Jokić and his teammates have been up to put their feet up and look on as the Celtics and the Heat slog it out for the remaining final berth.
Nuggets fresh for NBA Finals
The Nuggets’ fourth and final win in the series came on Monday 22 May, 10 days before the NBA Finals are due to get underway on Thursday 1 June. By contrast, the deciding Eastern Conference game is scheduled for Monday 29 May, with the first game of the Finals tipping off just 72 hours later. The Celtics or the Heat will have only two full rest days compared to the Nuggets’ nine.
The alternative point of view is that this coming Monday’s winners will still be in the zone having never left fight mode. What’s better? Time will tell.