With his fateful swipe of second base in the ninth inning of the 2004 ALCS’ Game 4 between the Yankees and Red Sox, Dave Roberts forever etched his name in Boston sports lore. So it should come as no surprise that, ahead of Monday night’s pivotal Eastern Conference finals Game 7 between the Celtics and Heat, the current Dodgers manager has clear feelings about how the matchup will end up.
“I don’t think that Heat have a chance,” Roberts said before his team’s game against the Nationals, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. “I’ve lived in Boston, and when you’re down three zip … the momentum has completely shifted.”
Roberts enjoyed a 10-year playing career that saw stints with five different franchises. He logged just 45 career games with the Red Sox after arriving in Boston in a midseason trade from the Dodgers, but his clutch stolen base kept the team alive in the face of a 3–0 series deficit.
The Red Sox ultimately won both Games 4 and 5 in walk-off fashion before winning the final two games in New York to become the first MLB team to ever win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games. No NBA team has accomplished the same feat.
The No. 8 seed Heat won the first three games against the No. 2 seed Celtics. After double-digit wins in Games 4 and 5, Boston won a thriller in Game 6 on a buzzer-beating tip-in by Derrick White to secure a 104–103 victory and force Monday’s Game 7.