Boston Celtics

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat greets Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics after the Heat won 103-84 in Game 7 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

This Boston Celtics loss is going to sting for a long time. And that’s a statement we’re getting sick of making about Boston sports teams.

If you were planning on a trip to Spooky World or Witch’s Woods or Barrett’s Haunted Mansion around Halloween, no need. Just go to TD Garden. The building has become the place to be to witness a massacre. The Celtics’ ugly Game 7 letdown against the Miami Heat was only the latest bloodbath.

  • You can stretch back as far as 2013 for this modern era of Boston teams to have major disappointments in their own building. That’s when the Chicago Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup on the TD Garden ice after winning Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

    But the B’s weren’t the better or favored team in that series. In the decade since that loss to the Blackhawks, the Garden has only become home to worse and worse disappointments.

  • BOSTON, MA - JUNE 24: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks hoist the Stanley Cup Trophy after defeating the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 24, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

  • The 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals may not leave a lingering sting as much as other recent Boston playoff losses, but those who attended Game 3 of that series surely remember the shock of witnessing the Celtics lose to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving’s Cleveland Cavaliers by 44 points.

    For most fans, sticking out much more painfully would be the Bruins’ dismal 4-1 defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. That’s when the misery reached a new level in that building. The Bruins should have won that game, that series, but instead got embarrassed by an inferior team on their own ice.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 12: Ivan Barbashev #49 of the St. Louis Blues holds the Stanley Cup following the Blues victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on June 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

  • You could make the case that the Bruins have never really recovered from that loss to the Blues, as far as how they play at home in the playoffs. Skip ahead to 2021, after the bubble year, and they went 1-2 at the Garden in the second round of the 2021 playoffs, and ultimately lost in six games to the (again, inferior) New York Islanders. The Celtics, meanwhile, managed to win a home game before the Brooklyn Nets disposed of them in five games.

    The Bruins turned things around for a moment on home ice in 2022, but couldn’t figure things out on the road, so the Carolina Hurricanes eliminated them by simply winning all their home games. It was the Celtics’ turn to deliver the final blow of disappointment, when they fell in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, allowing Stephen Curry to celebrate his fourth NBA championship on the parquet.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 16: Stephen Curry #30 and Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Elsa/Getty Images

  • And THEN, we come to 2023. When the suffering reached unheard-of new depths. First came the 2022-23 Boston Bruins, who will go down as one of the biggest flame-outs in Boston sports history after following up the best-ever regular season with a first-round loss to the Florida Panthers, in which they went 1-3 at TD Garden and lost Game 7 at home in overtime. Oh, and they led by a goal with 59 seconds left before allowing the tying score.

    The Celtics couldn’t fare too much better. They went 5-6 at home in the 2023 playoffs, and capped that underachievement with a 1-3 record at the Garden in the conference finals against the – AGAIN!!! – inferior, lower-seeded Heat. Just miserable.

  • Apr 30, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) reacts on the winning goal during overtime in game seven of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

  • On one hand, Boston was the home of the “Fellowship of the Miserable” for decades, before Tom Brady and the 2004 Red Sox came along and changed the whole culture. The city isn’t exactly back to “Loserville” status. We ARE talking about a conference finals that just wrapped up. But fans most certainly have to be sick of watching their team lose in embarrassing fashion in their own building to end the season. It’s now going to be months of bitter tastes for both B’s and C’s fans.

    On some level, Boston revels in misery, because it was so ingrained in us as fans. But it’s not like we WANT that. We just cope with it fairly well. We find humor in the darkness. But at some point it’s just pure horror. That’s what TD Garden has become over the past several years, and it seems to keep getting worse.

  • Here’s an idea: let’s get those yellow seats back. Those black seats are cursed. Time to exorcise some demons. Make it stop.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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