In the 150 times teams in the NBA have been down 0-3 in a series, no one has been able to win the next four games to steal the series victory, ever.
But the Boston Celtics have scored back-to-back blowout wins and a cliffhanger off Derrick White's buzzer-beating tip-in. They have seized the momentum and forced a winner-take-all seventh game right at their home court.
Are the Celtics poised to go against all odds and be the first to do the impossible?
By winning Game 6, the Celtics became only the fourth team in the history of the NBA to force a Game 7 after dropping the first three games. More importantly, that just put them into a position to go further and be the first team ever to overcome the 0-3 deficit.
Here are five reasons why Boston Celtics will make it 1-150:
#1. The pressure is on the Miami Heat
When the Miami Heat surprisingly won the first three games of the series, almost everybody had written the Boston Celtics off and started figuring out what went wrong.
A few speculations suddenly circulated after the shocking Game 3 Celtics loss including the possible firing of Joe Mazzulla, the break up of Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown, and the Boston Celtics being labeled as quitters.
But the most devastating for Boston is NBA history, which gave them zero chance of winning the series as the latest tally stands at 150-0 including the most recent Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Denver Nuggets.
As a result, the pressure was off the backs of Jayson Tatum and the Celtics as for the first time in the series, the odds were understandably shifted in favor of Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.
Playing pressure-free despite facing elimination, the Celtics went on to win three straight to force a game seven and put additional pressure on the Heat who now face a tough task of winning on the road.
#2. The Boston Celtics have started to look like a second-seed team
When everybody counted them out in the series after three straight losses, Boston suddenly started to turn their fortunes around.
Playing with a sense of urgency for the first time in the series, the Celtics finally found their groove in Game 4 and started pounding the Heat right on their home floor.
Tatum provided the spark with his game-high 33 points to lead Boston in their breakthrough 116-99 win in the one-sided Eastern Conference finals.
The Boston Celtics looked every inch like the second-seeded team from that point on. They were able to win three straight games to force a game seven with their offense finally humming and their defense limiting Miami key players, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
#3. Miami started to look like an eight-seed team
The Celtics' victory didn’t seem to worry Miami one bit as their leader Jimmy Butler said in the post-match interview:
“We're gonna drink some beers ... we're gonna go get one on the road."
However, in Game 5, Miami Heat had another bad game and for the second straight time, Boston came away with another blow-out win, 110-97, to gain momentum and trim the series deficit to 2-3.
The usually reliable Jimmy Butler was limited to only 14 points and no Heat player scored at least 20 points in the game.
Butler was still tentative and listless in the first three-quarters of Game 6, but recovered in time to almost lead Miami to the finals. But fate had other plans and Celtics retook the game with White's late heroics.
Miami’s lackadaisical performance in their three straight losses not only showed their vulnerability in the absence of key players Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo but also made them look like every bit of an eight-seed team.
#4. "Game 7" Jayson Tatum
Prior to Game 4, Jayson Tatum has been shooting blanks in the fourth quarter, a far cry from his 51-point performance in the conference finals-clinching game seven against the Philadelphia 76ers.
In Boston’s three losses, Jayson Tatum was limited to 3.7 points, 1.0 assists and 0.3 rebounds in the pay-off period. Ironically, Jimmy Butler has been scorching hot in the clutch leading Heat to three “upset” wins.
But came Game 4 where everybody’s attention turned to the Miami Heat expectedly clinching the second finals berth (after the Denver Nuggets masterfully took the first). Jayson Tatum fueled the Celtics into fiery runs that led to a much-needed first victory in the series.
In Game 5, Tatum picked up from where he left off and once again towed Boston into another domination of the suddenly cold Miami Heat.
Although disappearing in the third quarter of Game 6, Jayson Tatum's explosive first half helped set the tone for the Celtics and provided enough cushion for an expected Miami fightback in the deciding quarter.
If the Boston Celtics will steal the second finals berth from the Miami Heat, Tatum must duplicate if not approximate his game-seven performance against the Philadelphia 76ers.
#5. Refueled Celtics vs Gassed Heat
The Boston Celtics' three straight wins against the Miami Heat made them almost a shoo-in to clinch history.
Fueled by their strong desire to keep their hopes alive, Boston forced a deciding Game 7, the Celtics are expected to play like there’s no tomorrow to complete the greatest comeback of all time.
On the other hand, the Miami Heat looked like a team that lacked energy in the last three games of the series. The fatigue factor may have finally set in for Jimmy Butler and company as they have been playing listless after high-energy first three games.
For the Miami Heat, is there any gas left in their tanks to fuel another victory that will finally clinch a finals date with the Denver Nuggets? For the Boston Celtics, is their newly rediscovered energy enough to move them past Miami and become the first team ever in NBA history to climb out of a 0-3 hole?