An Epic Celtics Comeback Is the Only Thing That Can Make Bill Belichick Smile

The TD Garden crowd went wild when a giddy Belichick was shown on the jumbotron during the Celtics' comeback win over the Miami Heat.

It’s hard to catch Bill Belichick with a smile on his face. That is, unless he’s enjoying an epic Celtics comeback.

Belichick was in attendance Wednesday night as the Celtics came roaring back from a 26-point deficit to defeat the Miami Heat, 98-88. The Garden crowd went wild as the C’s completed the biggest comeback of the NBA season, and then exploded when the Hoodie was shown on the jumbotron late in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Belichick, members from three decades’ worth of Celtics championship teams were in the building. Isaiah Thomas, who led all scorers with 21 points, said he made it a point to seek out Bill Russell after the final buzzer sounded.

“I just said, ‘It’s an honor to play in front of you,’ ” Thomas said, via ESPN. “I know he lives in the Seattle area, so we’ve got that little connection there. It was just an honor to play in front of all those guys. Like I said, they paved the way for us to play, and what Celtics basketball really means. It was good to get a win in front of the legends.”

The Celtics buried the Heat in the third quarter, outscoring them 25-5. Head coach Brad Stevens said his team was embarrassed by their performance in the first half in front of many of the franchise’s legends, and they certainly played like it over the final 24 minutes.

With the win, the Celtics finished up the regular season at 48-34, earning them the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Boston will take on the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, which is a tough matchup for them. The Celtics are 1-3 against the Hawks this season.

Ironically, if the Celtics had lost, they would’ve landed a more favorable playoff matchup against the Heat, who they’ve beaten three times this year. But given that the C’s lost their previous two games heading into Wednesday—including an embarrassing 14-point defeat to the Charlotte Hornets Monday—it may have been more important for them to finish on a high note.

It’s been an enjoyable season for the upstart Celtics, but in order for this run to be considered a success, they’ll have to win a playoff series for the first time in four years. It would be a sin to let a rare Belichick smile go to waste.