Since the early stages of this year's Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, history has constantly been on the cusp of being made.

From the once very real possibility of things ending in a sweep which, conjoined with the Lakers' four-game exit against the Nuggets, would have made it the first time in which both conference finals finished in such a fashion, to Miami's potential to become just the second eighth seed to reach the NBA Finals, round three of the 2023 NBA Playoffs has been adrenaline filled from the jump.

Now, things find themselves reaching an even higher level of excitement, as Boston has gone on to work their way back from an 0-3 hole to force Monday's Game 7, and, should they win, they'd become the first team in NBA history to accomplish such a remarkable feat.

Now, though heading into the contest the Celtics find themselves viewed as favorites to punch their ticket to the championship round and square off against Denver, many things still have to go their way and many players need to step up in this winner-take-all elimination game.

While the usual suspects of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are expected to put their best foot forward and produce as the All-NBA stars that they are, in order for the Celtics to pull out what would be a storied victory in Game 7, Joe Mazzulla is going to need three contributors, in particular, to step up big for the club.

Boston Celtics player No. 3) Al Horford

Al Horford may no longer be the All-Star and All-NBA selectee that he once was during his prime, but his leadership has seemingly never been more impactful for his respective clubs than it has been since returning to the Celtics last season. This has only continued to shine through amid adversity during this year's playoff run.

Even with his admittedly regressed on-court efficiency and counting-stat production, from his energy and hustle on the floor to holding his teammates accountable on the sidelines, the 36-year-old's sheer presence on this roster has been captivating, and they'll need his guidance and influence to keep the C's sights set on their goals and to not have their focus shift.

Deemed by Jayson Tatum as being someone who “is so important to what we are trying to accomplish as a team,” be it in the form of knocking down key jumpers, providing crucial defensive contributions, or serving as a vocal leader, in Monday's affair, Al Horford will be needed in one way or another for Boston to have a chance at advancing.

Boston Celtics player No. 2) Marcus Smart

Throughout his nine-year tenure with the Boston Celtics, Marcus Smart has managed to establish himself as the most polarizing figure in recent franchise history. To some fans, he's a beloved and cherished member of the organization. To others, he's an inconsistent headache whose bark is bigger than his bite.

However, regardless of how one views the defensive-minded veteran, in Game 7 Smart will prove to be a vital part of the affair's ultimate outcome.

Playing the game's most important position, the 29-year-old holds the keys to Boston's offense as their starting point guard. In such a role, his impact while leading the charge throughout this year's playoff run has been evident, both from a positive and negative perspective.

In this series alone, the difference in his efficiency and productivity in wins and losses has been eye-opening.

During the first few games that saw the Celtics fall 0-3, Marcus Smart was sporting highly underwhelming averages of 9.3 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 35.0% from the floor and 30.0% from deep while sporting a plus-minus rating of -24.

However, over their last three outings where they've managed to stave off elimination and, in turn, ended up evening the series at 3-3, he's been incredibly efficient, as he's dropped averages of 18.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.3 steals while shooting 47.4% from the field and 42.3% from deep and registered a plus-minus of +25.

During their Game 5 showing when they last played on their home floor, right from the jump Smart was seemingly on a mission to help guide his team to a win, as he collected the first of his five steals on the opening tip that led to a Jayson Tatum fastbreak score and, in turn, set the tone early in favor of the Celtics.

With history on the line, expect the club's floor general to yet again come storming right out of the gates.

Boston Celtics player No. 1) Derrick White

As was the case last season following his trade-deadline arrival in Beantown, Derrick White has once again proven to be a pivotal member of the main rotation for the Celtics. Outside of his heroics in Boston's magical Game 6 triumph, the veteran has been willing to do just about anything throughout this year's postseason in an effort to help his team win.

Now, with Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon's continued health issues, White will be needed to pick up the backcourt slack on both ends of the floor in a major way.

In wins during the postseason, the veteran guard has easily been one of the club's main contributors, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, as he's sporting impressive averages of 15.1 points on 52.3% shooting from the field and 48.5% shooting from distance.

In games where he's posting 15 or more points, the Celtics are 6-1. In Games where he's dropped 12 or fewer points, the team has gone just 4-7.

Now, with Brogdon still hobbled and, thus, lacking any real offensive difference-making abilities, the Celtics are going to need yet another high-scoring affair from the likes of Derrick White to have their best chance of advancing to their second straight NBA Finals.