C's players watching pre-Game 7 messages from family members is pure


The Boston Celtics have played in 32 Game 7s, but none will be like Friday night.

That's because Boston's Eastern Conference semifinals finale against the Toronto Raptors will be played without fans in attendance, as players have been isolated from family and friends in the NBA's Orlando bubble.

Thanks to modern technology, however, their loved ones can still join them virtually. So, ahead of the Celtics' biggest game of their season to date, the team worked with players' family members to have them deliver video messages of encouragement before Friday's game.

Make sure you have a box of tissues on hand as you watch the result:

Boston's five starters -- Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis -- each were handed an iPad in their Disney World hotel rooms that played messages from close family, from Tatum and Walker's mothers to Theis' wife and kids to Brown's grandfather, who trained the 23-year-old during the NBA's hiatus.

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The players' ear-to-ear grins tell you all you need to know about how these messages were received.

As Brown admitted in the video, it's been difficult for players to be away from their loved ones for what's approaching two months.

These words of encouragement might help take the edge off, though, and serve as a reminder that the Celtics won't be alone when they hit the court Friday night.