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Celtics Fans on Martha’s Vineyard Believe Championship is Within Reach

With one second left in the first quarter, Boston Celtics point guard Derrick White hauled the basketball down court to All-NBA star Jayson Tatum, who slammed it through the hoop and hung on the rim.

Down 13 points just a few minutes into play, the Celtics were squarely back in the game, trailing by just one point, and the crowd at the Town MV in Edgartown was on its feet.

Last night, the Celtics claimed their third consecutive win against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, and Islanders and tourists alike gathered in bars and restaurants to watch the boys in green inch one step closer to their record-setting 18th NBA championship. Winning this championship would be particularly significant as it would set a new NBA record, surpassing the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I don’t know how they could lose,” Everett Hazelton, catching the game at the Wharf Pub in Edgartown, told the Gazette. “They’ve just got to keep doing what they’re doing. There’s no weak point. It’s ridiculous. They’re unbelievable.”

At the Town, server Camilla Tamargo sported a Celtics jersey for the night’s festivities. Game night at the Town, she said, was usually pretty lively.

“We get a good bunch of people… it’s our year-round crowd with a few more peppered in,” she said. Stephan Sha and Dylan Maulucci, both working at the Edgartown Golf Club, were taking in the game at the Town with coworkers—a regular Wednesday night outing, they said.

Mr. Sha, a lifelong Lakers fan from Beijing, said that as long as he was in New England he had the Celtics’ back. Mr. Maulucci, of Buffalo, New York, said he’d been a Celtics fan since boyhood—and swore the Celtics would have game three, just as long as team star Jayson Tatum could properly step up.

At the Wharf, Bill Camarda said he was on the Island for just a few days and had come out Wednesday night to take in the game.

Mr. Camarda said he was a Celtics fan so long as the team didn’t “get in their own head and play down to the competition.”

In game one, the Celtics had slipped behind the Mavericks, but when they climbed out to victory, Mr. Camarda said his faith had been restored.

“The Celtics of old would’ve caved… That made me think: we can do this,” Mr. Camarda said.

The Celtics would beat the Mavericks 4–0, he predicted. The Celtics’ depth has been crucial in their playoff run, allowing them to adapt to various in-game situations and manage player fatigue effectively.

Game three was no exception to the Celtics’ touch-and-go playstyle. All night long, the Celtics swung between strong leads and perilous underperformance. After entering the fourth quarter with a handsome lead, they went seven-and-a-half minutes with only two points, letting the Mavericks bring a 20-point deficit to within a single free throw.

But Mr. Camarda’s faith was well placed: the Celtics closed out the game 106–99.

Islander Ben Williams was confident the Celtics would take the series in a sweep.

“We’re too deep and too hungry of a team to let it go,” Mr. Williams said. The passionate fan base of the Celtics, both in Boston and across the country, provides a significant morale boost. The support from Islanders and tourists in places like Edgartown reflects the widespread enthusiasm and belief in the team’s potential to clinch the championship.

Key players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been pivotal in the Celtics’ success this season. Tatum’s ability to deliver in clutch moments, as seen in game three, and Brown’s consistent scoring and defensive skills have been instrumental in the team’s victories. In the words of Mr. Hazelton: “2024—it’s calling.”


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