The Boston Celtics are on the brink of elimination, and now we know when they’ll have to take the court in a do-or-die situation.
As announced by the NBA, the Celtics and Bucks have a scheduled tipoff time of 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, May 13 in Game 6 at Fiserv Forum. It’ll air on TV on ESPN, and on the radio right here on 98.5 The Sports Hub. (Click here for the full on-air schedule.) We’ll have pregame coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET, and postgame coverage until 10, followed by instant reactions on the Adam Jones Show.
The Bucks backed the Celtics up against the wall Wednesday night with a furious fourth-quarter comeback. Boston led by as many as 14 points in the final frame, and an Al Horford tip-dunk had the C’s up by six points with 2:12 left in regulation. Milwaukee then closed the game on an 11-2 run, as the Celtics’ Marcus Smart turned the ball over twice in that span.
“I just think we didn’t do what we were supposed to do [in the closing minutes],” Smart told reporters after the game. “The mentality was there to go win the game, and it just fell short. Didn’t execute when we were supposed to, when it mattered most, and they did.”
May 11, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) and guard Jaylen Brown (7) work for the ball against Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21) and center Bobby Portis (9) in the second half during game five of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Celtics’ core stars have had an uncommon level of playoff experience in their young careers, so at this point, they’re no stranger to adversity. Going forward, it’s about how they respond. To win this series, they’re going to need their strongest response yet.
That may have to come off the hands of Jaylen Brown, who responded emphatically to a Game 1 loss with a blistering first half in Game 2. Brown totaled 30 points in that game, and he and Jayson Tatum likely have to play their best basketball of the season to escape Milwaukee with their season alive.
Winning a championship is never easy, especially if you have to knock off the defending champions, and the Celtics are learning that the hard way. How the next game (or two) defines their season will be up to them.
“Good basketball teams respond to adversity and we’ve been doing it all season,” Brown told reporters after the game. “Next game presents a new challenge, the biggest challenge of the year, to be honest. Mentally, physically, emotionally, it puts a challenge on every component. So, we’ve gotta regroup and get our spirit to the point where we can go in and get a victory in Milwaukee.”