Right along with the rest of the NBA world, many of the Atlanta Hawks players were in awe at the ending of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 27.
The Boston Celtics became the first team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after falling into a 3-0 hole in the Conference Finals. They will host the Heat in Boston on Monday, May 29 for the winner-take-all affair.
Boston – the 2022 NBA Finals runners-up – came into the series as the higher seed after going six games with the Hawks in the first round and then overcoming a 3-2 deficit versus the Philadelphia 76ers in the East Semis. They even came into the game with many touting their standing as the team with the best chance to overcome the 3-0 hole.
After their series against the Hawks, Celtics star Jaylen Brown offered up a backhanded compliment, saying the Hawks would have been a higher seed if they played the entire season as they did in the series.
The Hawks also beat the Heat in the first round of the Play-In Tournament to advance to the playoffs.
That doesn’t mean the Atlanta players didn’t appreciate what they saw.
Hawks star Dejounte Murray and Celtics Game 7 hero Derrick White were teammates on the San Antonio Spurs for four seasons from 2018 to 2022. White inbounded the ball with three seconds to go, got loose from his defender, and found himself in position to put up the game-winning shot as time expired.
“DWHITE!!!!!!!!,” Murray tweeted “Wowowowwoow.”
Even Hawks big man Clint Capela took a moment to marvel at the historic game which almost went into overtime.
There are no moral victories in professional sports.
But the Hawks can take some solace in the fact they beat one of these two teams to get to the postseason and pushed another one further than expected after a regular season rife with inconsistency and that even featured a coaching change.
They have plenty of work to do. But, perhaps, the dramatic changes some anticipate aren’t as necessary as fine-tuning a team that was in the Eastern Conference Finals just two years ago.
Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young teases new shoes
Young has been a vocal supporter of these playoffs, sharing his thoughts on most if not every series so far. But he also utilized the time ahead of Game 6 to do a little marketing, plugging the third iteration of his self-titled signature shoe from Adidas.
According to Pat Benson of Sports Illustrated, Young’s first signature shoe was the best-selling shoe on the Adidas website up to at least March of 2022.