Tim Legler: If Celtics Are ‘Real Deal,’ They’ll Win Game 3 vs. Heat

Somehow, someway, the Boston Celtics managed to lose to the Miami Heat without injured NBA star Jimmy Butler. Yes, in Boston.

Jaylen Brown and Al Horford of the Celtics battle for the ball, NBA playoffs
Charles Krupa/AP

The Heat had plenty to do with that. They just win, baby, at this time of year. But the Celtics may have had something to do with it, too.

And despite winning the Eastern Conference by 14 games, few considered them a dominant force. Perhaps this loss is why.

Either way, the first-round series is tied at 1-all, and former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst Tim Legler said if the Celtics are the “real deal,” they will win Game 3 in Miami.

Man, he’s right about that.

“You have a 14-game lead on the rest of the Eastern Conference. You’re playing an eight seed,” Legler said on Get Up. “If you’re the Boston Celtics — look, things like this can happen in a series. Particularly with a team and an organization with this kind of pride and a coach like Erik Spoelstra. But you’ve gotta turn it right back around and flip the script when you go into Miami.”

And if not?

“You go down 2-1, this thing could linger to a seven-game series, and I think a lot of doubt set in,” Legler said.

He’s right. Miami with hope is a very dangerous Miami team. But the Celtics know that losing to the Heat without Butler would be right up there among the most disastrous seasons in franchise lore.

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