For the Celtics and the Heat, this is a rivalry that just made history: this is the first time that the same teams will meet in Game 7 of the Conference Finals in back-to-back years since the Celtics 76ers did it in 1981 and 1982.
Boston has done something that has only been done four times in NBA history: tie the series 3-3 after being down 3-0. The only other three teams that have done this are the 2003 Portland Trail Blazers, the 1994 Denver Nuggets, and the 1951 New York Knicks. None of them, however, have actually won Game 7. After all, teams are 150-0 all time after taking a 3-0 lead.
But not only do they have a chance to make the first reverse sweep in NBA history, but this time, they actually have one advantage:
Historical note: While this is the 4th time that an NBA team down 3-0 forced Game 7, it’s the first time that team will play Game 7 at home.
— Jack M Silverstein (@readjack) May 28, 2023
That's right, the Celtics play at home in TD Garden this Monday after being down 3-0. This actually gives them the perfect opportunity to complete the 3-0 comeback.
It's a no-brainer why home-court advantage is something teams fight for in the playoffs. Being able to play in front of their fans creates an infectious atmosphere that uplifts the home team and can demoralize the visiting team if they're not prepared. According to statistics, teams with home-court advantage win about 70% of the time in the NBA Playoffs, though these Celtics did beat these Heat in Miami in last year's Game 7.
It's clear that the momentum is with the Celtics, but the Heat are hoping to avoid some brutal history and turn the tables after what happened last year and what has gone down in this series. Who will face the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals?