Boston Celtics: Is this the end of the road for the resilient C’s?

Boston Celtics Marcus Smart (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Celtics Marcus Smart (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

Heading into Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, it’s hard not to feel like this could be the end of the road for the Boston Celtics.

All season long, there was one way to categorize this year’s Boston Celtics. Resiliency. At nearly every turn, when it seemed like the end was upon them, the Celtics would strike back and rise to the occasion.

At the near midway point of the regular season (Jan 7), the Celtics were 18-21 and out of the top 8 in the Eastern Conference standings. From that point on, Boston went 33-10 the rest of the regular season to finish as the No. 2 seed in the conference heading into the playoffs.

Not only did the Celtics salvage their season but an argument could be made that they salvaged the blueprint.

They had to do it again, multiple times, in the playoffs.

Down 3-2 against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Celtics won back-to-back games, including a road Game 7, to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Then, in the ECF, after blowing a home Game 6 to close the series, the Celtics won a huge Game 7 on the road in Miami to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.

Heading into Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the Celtics find themselves in a similar position. Boston is down 3-2 and is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time since late March.

Their backs are against the wall on their home floor and will not only need to win Game 6 but will also need to win a Game 7 on the road to win a championship.

In short, the odds are not in Boston’s favor – even if they manage to win Game 6.

But, so many times this season, the odds haven’t been in the Celtics’ favor. And yet, they managed to come out on the other side so many times. Question is, have they pushed their luck too many times? They can’t possibly overcome again. Not against the mighty Warriors. Not in the NBA Finals.

This *feels* like the end for the Celtics, whether that’s in Game 6 or 7. Boston can’t seemingly continue to test fate and win. That doesn’t happen. When teams play with fire, they often get burned.

Then again, if this is truly a storybook ending for the Celtics, there’s really no other way it could be told better. Having to overcome one more unlikely scenario, for the championship, is exactly how script-writers would have it.

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Maybe this Celtics team is that special. Maybe there’s nothing that could test this team’s fate because they are fate. Time will tell. And it all starts with Game 6.