By the numbers: Celtics, Heat, lock horns one more time for NBA Eastern Conference crown

Rom Anzures, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2023 08:18 PM | Updated as of May 30 2023 11:15 AM

Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams and Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler wait for a rebound during Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. Rhona Wise, EPA-EFE
Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams and Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler wait for a rebound during Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. Rhona Wise, EPA-EFE

A step closer to destiny or a series away from defying history and solidifying a dynasty?

Ahead of the Game 7 face-off between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, let us look at some of the intriguing numbers that paint the story of the two remaining teams in the Eastern Conference.

0 - Zero is the number of teams that have came back from a 3-0 series deficit and won a seven-game series. 

The Celtics are not only gearing up for a return trip to the NBA Finals but are also trying to become the first team to do so after 150 failed tries by others.

.1 - the number of milliseconds left in Game 6 of this series when Derrick White scored the game-winner and season-saving bucket for Boston. 

Will there be another nail-biting finish in the series finale? Or will one of the two teams finally crack the code and dismantle their opponents early in the contest?

2 - Two is the number of times the Heat and the Celtics have faced each other in Game 7s, with both teams having a win against each other.

Boston beat Miami in Game 7 of the 2022 East Finals, 100-96, led by Jayson Tatum's 26 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. The Heat, on the other hand, broke through in 2012 after LeBron James finally beat the then-Big Three Celtics of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, 101-88. James scored 32 points and grabbed 12 boards.

3 - Three is the number of teams that have built a three-to-nothing lead over their opponents but still saw the series extend to a seventh game. However, all three teams have won their respective series even after reaching a decider. 

The '03 Mavericks defeated the Blazers in the first round, the '94 Jazz ousted the Nuggets in the second round, and the '51 Royals (Sacramento Kings), won over the Knicks in the finals.

The Heat are trying to become the fourth team to do so.

Both teams have already made history even before their playoff series ends, but only one of them will be able to advance to the finals no matter how deserving the two squads are. 

Will Miami prevail and become the first-ever play-In team in its young history to advance to the NBA Finals? Or will Boston solidify their dynasty and conquer Denver to reclaim the title of most NBA titles a team has with Banner No. 18?

Game 7 of the series is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Manila time, at the TD Garden in Boston.