The off-season begins tonight! Before that, there is a minor, basketball related formality whereby a champion will be crowned.
After a miserable Game 6 performance, one could ask whether the Celtics have anything left in the tank. The line on the game is Lakers -7, and I think that's pretty conservative.
The onus is on the Celtics tonight to turn things around, certainly, and here are five things that will need to happen if they are going to have a shot.
1) A big game from 'Sheed - He has had some success shutting down Pau Gasol, but with big minutes comes big responsibility. With Perkins out, Wallace will need to pressure Gasol on the offensive end as well, and will certainly need to improve on his 0-6 performance from downtown in game 6.
2) A prolific game from Derek Fisher - The Lakers have a few potent offensive weapons. Fisher isn't one of them. If he hits lots of clutch shots, there's not much you can do, but the Celtics have to give him that chance.
3) Something from outside from Ray Allen - Outside of his record-setting game 2, he's been a moist bag of turds. If he can't make the Lakers pay from deep, Boston doesn't have a shot.
4) A quick start - I'm not usually a big believer in momentum, but if the Celtics get down early, the crowd's going to go crazy, and the refs are going to start blowing their whistles accordingly. That'll mean technicals and the potential for meltdowns.
5) No techs - At all. Period. If the Celtics are going to win, it's almost certain to be very close. 2-3 free points are going to make the odds even longer.
If all that happens, Boston can probably survive a big game from Kobe.
Need reasons to get excited about tonight's game (aside from beer)? Our SBNation bro Andrew Sharp has you covered.
It's Always Sunny in Detroit has a nice rundown of the best Game 7s in sports history.
Of course, if you get bored, you can discuss the game here.
The NBA - Where unlikable teams battling for supremacy happens!!!