Before White emerged as a starting lineup reliable guard for head coach Joe Mazzulla, things were dicey. White joined the Celtics in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs last season and fell apart in the finals against the Golden State Warriors. He couldn’t buy a basket, shooting 32.7%. Left wide-open on enough to assemble a multi-minute compilation, White didn’t do justice by Banner 18.
But… playoff time has been redemption time for White, just as it was for Wakefield back in 2003.
Wakfield allowed the game-winning home run to Aaron Boone in the 2003 ALCS that sent the Yankees to the World Series. A year later, right back in the same spot, Wakefield had his revenge, striking out Ruben Sierra in the 13th inning, positioning an Ortiz walk-off base hit in the 14th to send the series from 3-0 to 3-2 with the Yankees.
On Saturday night, White secured a Game 7 date for the Celtics, tipping in the game-winning basket with less than a second remaining the fourth quarter to tie the series up at 3-3, quickly flipping the script and playing hero, like Wakefield, within a year.
Marcus Smart – Jason Varitek
The unofficial team captain, Smart is Varitek for the Celtics.
They’re both blue-collared workhorses, not afraid to get vocal or even confrontational like when Vartiek had his iconic skirmish with Alex Rodriguez in ’04. Both capable fo setting the tone while not needing to be the No. 1, they’re both heavily leaned on for a little bit of everything. Leadership, production and effort until the very end.
Before the C’s took the floor for Game 4, Smart stepped up to deliver an optimistic message, very reminiscent of the ’04 Red Sox.
“Don’t let us get one,” Smart told reporters, according to Jay King of The Athletic.
The winner-take-all Game 7 is set for 8:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden, but before tunning in, you can watch ?Faith Rewarded: The 2004 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox,” which will be aired live on NESN starting at 6:30 p.m.