It took less than a second after the final buzzer to realize Game 6 between the Celtics and Heat would become an instant classic. The Celtics entered the 4th quarter with a 7 point lead. They were in firm control throughout much of the game, and were up 10 points with around 3 minutes left. However, Jimmy Butler wasn’t going to go quietly into the Florida night. Although he had a poor shooting game, Butler scored 10 points in the final couple of minutes, including 3 clutch free throws with 3 seconds left. This game truly had it all. However, it’s the last play of the game that everyone will remember and talk about for years to come. With 3 seconds left, the Celtics inbounded the ball after a timeout. Marcus Smart hoisted up a 3-pointer. The shot missed, but point guard Derrick White followed up the shot and went towards the basket. As fate would have it, the ball bounced right to him. In one fluid motion, he calmly collected the ball and went back up with the last shot of the game. The ball clearly left his hands before the clock expired, and when the ball went through the hoop, the Celtics and White just made history.
This is the 4th time in NBA history that a team down 3-0 in a best of 7 series has forced a Game 7. The Celtics will be the first of those four teams to host Game 7. Derrick White also became the 2nd player ever to hit a game winning buzzer beater with his team trailing and facing elimination. The first? Michael Jordan in 1989. Now that is some good company to keep. Of course, while this shot and game will always be remembered and talked about, if the Celtics don’t finish the job and win this series, Game 6 will just be another great game. There’s really no excuses for the Celtics to lose Game 7. They have all the momentum, the home crowd, and are big favorites heading into the game. Of course, anything can happen, as we saw in Games 1 and 2. However, it’s hard to see a scenario where the Heat can put last night behind them, and summon the courage to play well enough to win on the road.
If Game 7 is anything like Game 6, we will be in for a major treat!