Pregame Post-Ups: Former Chelmsford Resident Will Coach vs. C’s

Wednesday, Dec. 4 - Heat at Celtics

Pregame – Former Chelmsford Resident Will Coach vs. C’s

BOSTON – When Miami Heat assistant coach Dan Craig woke up in his Boston hotel room this morning, he had no idea that he’d be manning the sideline against the NBA team he grew up watching and supporting. Shortly after getting out of bed, the former Chelmsford, Massachusetts resident received word that head coach Erik Spoelstra would be returning to South Florida for the birth of his second son.

It just so happens to be that Craig is next man up in a situation that calls for a Spoelstra fill-in. The timing of it, for him, was just icing on the cake.

“It worked out pretty funny,” Craig said ahead of tip-off. “I’m pretty excited.”

Craig spent the first 12 years of his life in upstate New York, before moving with his family to North Chelmsford. He developed into a star basketball player at Chelmsford High School, and then headed off to Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, where he would serve as a co-captain for the men's hoops team.

Naturally, he developed into a Celtics supporter during the decade he spent in New England, before landing a video coordinator job with the Heat right out of college.

“I grew up here and became a fan just locally,” he said. “But now I’m with the Heat, so for 17 years that’s my blood.”

As a former fan who attended games inside TD Garden, Craig is fully aware of how tough it is for an opposing team to come in and win in such a hostile environment. That’s one of the challenges he is most looking forward to tonight.

“They’re pretty intense,” he said of the Boston fans. “You get a lot of different environments on the road, but obviously this is a building where they come out for their team. Their fan base is great, and we understand what we’re up against in terms of being on their floor and the energy they play with in front of their home crowd.”

Although he no longer bleeds green, this night will surely be special for Craig, as he leads the red-hot Heat into his former hometown arena.

- Taylor Snow

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