Celtics have unfortunate recent history of not seizing the moment in Game 6's
If last night's game felt like "déjà vu all over again" to quote the late Yogi Berra, it's not just because we've seen this movie of the Celtics before this year, it's because in recent Celtics history, this franchise has become notorious for not seizing the moment in Game 6's.
The most famous and the one that hurts the most is when the Celtics went up 3-2 to the Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals, only to not come out with the fire and energy needed to put the purple and egg yolk away in Game 6. Instead the Celtics let the Lakers have life, Kendrick Perkins then went down, and Rasheed Wallace wasn't in the shape necessary to play a whole game in Perk's spot for Game 7.
The previous year, the 2009 Celtics behind budding star Rajon Rondo should have made the Finals again, even without an injured Kevin Garnett, but they blew a 3-2 series lead to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic.
2011 was a wasted year, since the Perkins trade put Rondo and the team in a funk, Rajon eventually got hurt, and Shaq never made it back, but in 2012 the Celtics made it back to the Eastern Conference Finals led by Rondo and a rejuvenated Kevin Garnett. They had the Heat on the ropes up 3-2, but LeBron led Miami to victory in Game 6 and then finished the deal in game 7.
That was it for the KG/Pierce/Rondo/Ray Celtics, but Boston returned to the Eastern Conference Finals a handful of times under new coach Brad Stevens. In 2018, Boston went up 3-2 on LeBron James and the Cavs. Note this was just LeBron's team by then. Kyrie Irving was in street clothes on the Celtics and Kevin Love was hurt. Again, Boston didn't seal the deal.
The Celtics used to be known as the team that would come back from being down 3-2 to win series. Over the past thirteen years, the opposite has sadly been true.
What really hurts about yesterday's game, was that Boston was the heavy favorites to win this game at home. Butler and Lowry are playing hurt and Herro is out. The game was also in Boston. If the Celtics can win Game 7 in Miami, no one will care about Friday's loss. But if the Heat win this series, it will be yet another blown opportunity by the Celtics in recent history. And it will be embarrassing.