Confidence and resilience have been the staples of the Miami Heat for the past few years, but especially during the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Those traits will need to be on full display against the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals Saturday in South Beach. Otherwise, they risk squandering all of the accolades that have been bestowed upon them.

Bam Adebayo insists that the Heat are not rattled following consecutive blowout losses that have turned a foregone conclusion into a suspenseful 3-2 series.

“Why would we lose confidence?,” Adebayo said after the 110-97 defeat, via ClutchPoints. “When we started this journey, nobody believed in us. Now we’re here 1 game away [from going to the Finals]. For us, we’ve always had confidence and that’s not gonna go away.”

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It is only natural some pressure will creep in, as Miami is in danger of becoming the first team to blow a 3-0 lead. The postseason Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra have put together should be legacy enhancers, but if they cannot close out Boston and book their ticket to the NBA Finals, they will both be part of a punchline that will forever be etched in history.

That is not necessarily fair, either. Gabe Vincent missed Game 5 with a sprained ankle. Butler has played through his own pain. Tyler Herro has yet to return from a broken hand he suffered in the first game of the playoffs. And Victor Oladipo might have played his final game with the Heat after tearing his patellar tendon. Their herculean efforts in the face of all of that adversity should not be overshadowed by the Celtics’ resurgence.

The only way to guarantee those accomplishments earn proper acknowledgement, though, is by surviving this series. Adebayo must play up to his ceiling. He had a solid game Thursday with 16 points, eight rebounds and two steals, but he needs to do more. Although he has been a key part of all three Miami wins, the 25-year-old has only really unleashed himself on the Celtics frontcourt in Game 2.

If the high confidence meets high production Saturday, then Bam Adebayo could ensure that the only fairy tale worth remembering from this year is the Heat’s.