“They’re not just going to pack for [Game 7],” Rivers said of his team. “They’re going to bring suits for Tuesday and they’re going to bring suits for Thursday. And that’s the way we’re going to plan to do it.”
Rivers, of course, was referencing the trip to Oklahoma City that would await the Celtics if they win Saturday night. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is a quick turnaround, Tuesday night on the Thunder’s home floor. Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday.
Leading the 2006 NBA Finals 3-2, Riley famously packed “one suit, one shirt, one tie” for his trip to Dallas for Game 6, believing his Heat would need just one game to close out the Mavericks. The Heat won Game 6, 95-92, securing a title and proving their coach prescient.
A message on the Celtics’ dry erase board reminded players of an afternoon flight with the note, “Pack for a week,” scrawled below it.
“We’re packing for a week — it’s self-explanatory,” said Keyon Dooling. “That’s how we feel about it. It’s not like we lost confidence or we’re scared to go in Miami. We’re going to be in Miami, we’re going to be ready to play.”
Slick move by Doc Rivers. Let’s hope it penetrates the psyche of his team.
The Celtics players tried to talk themselves into a Game 7 mentality last night, but it didn’t work. I’m not sure what the excuses are. Not desperate enough. Too jacked up. All I know is, they played sloppy and missed makeable shots.
Keyon Dooling is spot on. This team is not scared of playing Game 7 in Miami. They thrive in those situations.
On Page 2, Doc and the players acknowledge the Garden crowd’s send-off.
Asked specifically about the chant, Garnett added: “It was crazy. It was f—ing crazy.”
Allow Ray Allen to elaborate.
“Kevin was sitting next to me, and I said — I know I’m biased — but they are the best fans I’ve ever played in front of or ever seen in my life,” he said. “They understand the situation that is before us, and we understand it. And that was basically them sending us off (to Miami), letting us know, ‘Hey, this is still well and alive. We need you guys to go down there and get a win for us.’ We all felt it on the bench.
“I know the game was going on. It seemed like that three minutes lasted forever. It was special. I’ll talk about that forever, just knowing that, being down 20, and these people are still standing up, cheering us on, because they know we just have to win one game.”
“Did you hear our crowd the last three minutes of the game? What other crowd in the NBA does that?” asked Rivers. “It’s a terrific place to play. The fans were unbelievable. They did their part tonight; we just didn’t do ours.”
To answer Doc’s question… No other crowd does that.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Heat force Game 7 | Celtics are taking the hard way again | WEEI – KG: C’s were probably too jacked | James: I won’t regret Game 7 vs Celtics | Pierce: C’s been about adversity all year | No easy way out for Celtics | Herald – No Garden party here | Lebron James puts on a show | Celtics snooze, lose | Game 7 only salve for Pierce after rout | CSNNE – Celtics Pierce struggles mightily | Heat look forward to Game 7 in Miami | ESPN Boston – Vapid Reaction: C’s can’t cool Lebron | Pierce not so clutch | Boston wilts in face of Heat