After an intense seven game series, the Miami Heat avoided being on the wrong side of history by being the first team in league history to blow a 3-0 lead in a playoff series. Credit to the Boston Celtics for not giving up in this series. It would have been easy for them to surrender after they had trailed three games. It certainly seemed like that would be the case after their blowout loss in Game 3.
That is exactly why the Celtics should be thanking the Heat.
Although Boston is justifiably upset for not winning the series, Miami brought something out of them that would only have happened after being punched in the mouth in the first three games.
In Games 4-6, the Celtics brought a new spirit. They felt like a different team in those games. They played much more connected as a defensive unit, and that reflected in them winning those three games.
No one likes losing. Sometimes, it takes defeat to make a team better. The Celtics did the same thing to the Heat last season when they defeated them in a close Game 7. The Heat came back this season with an added chip on their shoulder, and they achieved what they couldn’t last season.
The Celtics are going to think about this loss for a long time- how they were so close to making history. They are going to become a better team because of it. Although Heat fans probably hate to see the Celtics succeed, it is better for the rivalry when they are a good team.
The Celtics and the Heat are going to continue to play competitively against each other for the next few seasons. They might face each other in the playoffs again next postseason. If that is the case, then the Celtics will be even tougher to beat. They will have the Miami Heat to thank for that.