MIAMI As if the Boston Celtics need any added motivation heading into tonight's Game 7 against Miami, the C's got an unexpected assist from the NBA.
For a few hours on Friday, there was a link to the NBA.com store in which Oklahoma City Thunder t-shirts were being sold that had the words, 'Beat The Heat,' across the front.
Game 7 had yet to be played.
Celtics guard Keyon Dooling said that the team was well aware of the t-shirts.
"Extra motivation" was how he described their impact on the C's heading into tonight's game.
This wasn't the first time the Celtics have gone into a game with added incentive based on an assumption - a tangible assumption - that they had already lost a game they were about to play.
Dooling noted how this Celtics team in many ways is similar to the 1969 C's team that won an NBA title with a Game 7 win at Los Angeles.
"We heard about the great story in the (L.A.) Forum where they had balloons at the top and (Bill) Russell and those guys saw that and used it as motivation," Dooling noted.
Before tip-off of the 1969 Game 7, then-Lakers Jack Kent Cooke put flyers in all the seats indicating that balloons would drop, "when, not if, the Lakers win the title."
The C's got wind of the letter and circulated among themselves.
"I even heard Russell went as far as telling (Lakers great) Jerry West, "see those balloons over there? They're not coming down tonight, not on our watch."
Dooling added, "so we got a little extra motivation."