The Boston Celtics fell to the Miami Heat on Friday night in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. With the 111-103 loss, the Celtics will now be forced to travel back down to Miami to play in a Game 7 with their season on the line.
After Boston won Game 5 in Miami on Wednesday night, a lot of people were confident in their ability to close things out. This included Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green, who made a bold statement on Thursday after the Warriors’ Game 5 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Green said that Golden State is “going to play Boston” in the Finals. But after Miami’s win on Sunday, that doesn’t seem as certain. When asked about Green’s statement after Game 6, Heat forward PJ Tucker said that the Heat “thought it was funny.”
“It’s funny, we laughed. I thought it was funny,” Tucker explained. “Because he knows better than anybody that we still gotta play a game. We gotta play. There are no guarantees for anybody in this league. On a night-in, night-out basis, these games have been crazy. They’ve been unpredictable all series. Beating each other in each other’s homes, and we’re both great home teams. It’s just been crazy, so it was kind of weird to be a player and pick another team.”
Tucker also made sure to thank Green for the motivation, as did fellow Heat forward Udonis Haslem.
Tucker and Haslem Send Message to Green
During an interview with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt after the game, Tucker said to “tell Draymond I said I appreciate it,” referencing Green’s remarks about Boston heading to the NBA Finals. Evidently, the Heat used his comments as motivation to win Game 6.
This theory was backed up even further by veteran Haslem, who made a similar statement to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson after Miami’s Game 6 win. He said “tell Draymond thank you,” and went on to expand upon his thoughts in an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
Haslem: ‘Draymond Broke the Code’
The long-time Heat veteran was not happy with Green’s statements. He said that the Warriors star “broke the code” and had no right to predict Boston as the ultimate winners of the series.
“Draymond broke the code,” Haslem told Haynes. “You ain’t supposed to say some s*** like that. That’s disrespectful. He know better than that.”
Haslem continued on, stating that Shaquille O’Neal pressured Green into making the statement.
“He let Shaq peer pressure him into saying some s*** he ain’t got no business saying,” Haslem said. “I didn’t sleep much after he said that. That was some bulls***.”
Tucker and Haslem noted that the comment gave Miami motivation to win Game 6, which prompted Twitter users to question why the Heat needed extra motivation in the first place.
Green’s comments aside, this series has now come down to a winner-take-all Game 7. Both teams will be fighting for their seasons on Sunday night, as well as a chance to take on the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Game 7 tips off on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time and can be streamed on ESPN.