Derrick White makes self-deprecating comment on Celtics’ Game 7 chances following Game 6 loss

Friday evening was supposed to be a coronation for the Celtics — an evening where they would advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years capped off with a ceremony that would see one of their own win the first-ever Larry Bird MVP trophy.

Instead, Boston is packing its bags to fly down to South Beach to play Miami in a win-or-go-home Game 7 on Sunday.

The Celtics fell to the Heat in Friday’s Game 6, 111-103, blowing the opportunity to win the Eastern Conference title at home.

They also blew what was arguably the best game they got from Derrick White. The backup guard, who arrived in Boston in February following a trade from San Antonio, scored 22 points (the most he’s ever scored since joining the Celtics) on 7-of-14 shooting, making 4-of-7 3-pointers, and tied for a team-high five assists.

White admitted there was some disappointment among the Celtics following the game.

“Just kind of overall frustrated, but get some rest, learn from it, get on this plane and go to Miami and get a win,” White said when asked about the mood of the locker room following the game.

With Friday’s loss, the Celtics will play in a Game 7 for a second consecutive series. And for the second straight series, it feels like the Celtics could have avoided ending up being in a win-or-go-home spot. White recognized that following the Game 6 loss.

“Yeah, I mean, we’re frustrated, but if it was easy, it wouldn’t be us,” White said. “We’re going to get on this plane, we’re going to go down to Miami and try to get the big win in Game 7. We’ve been here before, and we’ve got a lot of confidence in our group.”

The Game 6 loss might have been another chapter in the Celtics’ book on how they’ve made the playoffs harder on them than they should be. They committed 18 turnovers in the loss. Their star player, Jayson Tatum, accounted for seven of those, giving the Heat the ball four times in the final quarter.

Tatum did score 30 on an efficient 9-of-12 shooting in Game 6. But in addition to getting Tatum to turn the ball over, Miami’s defense also limited the number of shots Tatum put up in the fourth quarter. Tatum had just one shot, a driver floater he made with 1:08 left, in the fourth. He only went to the free-throw line twice, making all four of his free throws.

Even though Tatum was held in check at the end of Game 6, his confidence remains high that the Celtics can take Game 7.