Going back to Milwaukee, the Celtics’ season was considered finished. They had blown their best chance at an NBA Championship since 2010. Then in Game 6, they dominated the Bucks for most of the day, but almost gave the game away again in the second half. That’s when Jayson Tatum strapped the team to his back, and they rolled right through the rest of that series.


Of course, the Bucks without Khris Middleton are significantly worse than the 2022-23 Sixers. However, that was still a defending NBA Champion fighting tooth and nail to stay alive. No one in the Sixers’ starting lineup has ever played in an NBA Finals game. Tuesday night’s win is the most impressive from that franchise since Allen Iverson won the MVP in 2001.

Outplayed by Philadelphia in Game 5

Game 5 is the only game in this series in which the Celtics were truly outplayed by the 76ers. Harden had to make the two biggest shots of his NBA career to get his team out of Games 1 and 4 with a victory. Tatum scored seven points in Game 2 and the Celtics still won by 34 points.


This season, the Celtics returned their eight leaders in minutes per game from last year’s postseason when they went to the NBA Finals and added Malcolm Brogdon — the 2022-23 Sixth Man of the Year.

Yes, the Celtics dug themselves into a hole. Mostly by not taking care of business when they had the opportunity, and their head coach might be in over his head. All they have to do though is win one more game. Same situation is last year, just push this series back to Boston for a deciding Game 7, and see if Embiid and Harden are ready for a win-or-go-home scenario on the road.


The Celtics have the better roster, and they are not in unfamiliar territory. All they have to do is play better basketball than they have for the last 55 minutes of game action.