Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 27: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat in the huddle prior to facing the Boston Celtics during the first quarter in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals at Kaseya Center on May 27, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

As the anticipation for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat builds, there’s little consensus as to what to expect. Truly, it seems like nobody knows what is going to happen Monday night at TD Garden.

Of course, both teams are likely confident going into the matchup. But the Heat’s confidence may have trickled out in a form of bulletin board material for the Celtics.

  • On Monday morning, about eight hours before Game 7, Miami sports radio host Andy Slater shared on Twitter that, “the Heat have a flight scheduled to Denver, not Miami, after the game tonight, per FAA records.”

    Why Denver? If the Heat were to win on Monday night, they’d play the Denver Nuggets in Denver in Game 1 of the NBA Final on Thursday. If the Celtics win they’d host the Nuggets for Game 1, giving them no need to book a flight.

    This isn’t just standard operating procedure for the Heat, either. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Knicks, the Heat were up 3-2 heading into Game 6 in Miami. Despite the chance there could gave been a Game 7 in New York three days later, they didn’t have a flight booked for the potential trip (they ended up winning Game 6).

    The Heat booking their flight early is reminiscent of two other stories from the Boston/New England championship era – both involving the Patriots. Prior to the 2001 AFC Championship Game, the Pittsburgh Steelers had already made travel arrangements for their trip to New Orleans, where Super Bowl XXXVI was being held. There’s also Bill Belichick’s famous speech before Super Bowl XXXIX, reading off the Philadelphia Eagles’ parade route.

  • Will the ‘Miami Heat flight to Denver’ join those two in Boston sports lore? We’ll find out Monday night. Coverage of Game 7 begins at 8 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Sports Hub BetMGM Celtics Radio Network.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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