Why won’t you go away?
Have you ever had something that didn’t go away? A rash? A stray cat? An ex-girlfriend/boyfriend? We’ve all had things that we didn’t want around stick around. The Celtics have been turning into the team that is long overdue. That won’t die. Everyone wants to know: why won’t you die? Why won’t you go away?
The rest of the post is speaking like a proud parent, so be fair warned…
In this stage of the playoffs, I love the Celtics’ personality– we are the team that won’t die or go away. We keep fighting. And keep fighting. It’s not pretty, but they are winning.
The Celtics have no business being in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. If the Bulls had taken Game 7 in the first round, people in Boston would have been upset, frustrated, and wishing they could play Back to the Future: can we unhurt KG? Heck, can we just unhurt Powe for some additional front-court help and some offensive punch from the bench? But, people would have understood why Chicago beat us: they are younger, more athletic, and much healthier (even though they were down Deng, KG’s shoes are bigger to fill– it’s like saying Deng wears a size 3 and KG wears a size 33). Chicago really should have beat us. All of those OT games, all of those games that were decided by 3 points or less… they could have gone either way.
We have no business winning and no business being where we are: up 3-2 in the Eastern semis. But, we are winning… and winning with the team that we have.
LOOK AT OUR TEAM! With our front-court absolutely decimated, we are counting on Scal and second year Baby to step up and fill the shoes of veteran players. it is an absolute joy to see the Celts steal, literally STEAL, games away from opponents. This is thievery at its best.
We are making the best of what we have, and 4 things really stood out last night to make the comeback complete:
- DOC – Doc! He out-coached STANVANGUNDY for the last 2 nights. Steph was inserted at the right time and kept in for the right amount of time. By the time Rondo came back to help the team close out the game, Rondo had the energy to be a lock down defender and see the game to make better decisions. His players didn’t have it for 3.5 quarters, but managed to keep it close enough. Reggie Miller made a great point last night to contrast the coaches: Doc was able to get the ball into the hands of Ray Allen when the foul-fest began, while SVG couldn’t draw up anything effective enough and had to settle with Dwight Howard getting the ball. I’d like to add to this point: Doc prepped his team beforehand in a previous timeout, while SVG had a timeout and still couldn’t make it happen. And SVG ran out of timeouts.
STEPH – He punched in 12 points in like 7 minutes. For everyone that said Steph would win us a game in the playoffs and stuck by it… Kudos to you. Steph scored when no one else could score and help the Celts trade buckets before our defense could resemble an actual defense.
- BABY – Baby’s growing up. Very quickly. Right before our eyes. 22 points (8-16), 7 rebounds, and stayed out of foul trouble. Oh yeah, he had a +16 +/- rating last night. His defense on Dwight when Perk was out was incredible– finally started playing with his size and it was great to see. Baby baby!
- FREE THROWS – 21-21. 100%. Clutch.
This is a memorable team who has shown that statistics and pundits don’t understand the importance the fight and attitude of a team, especially a championship team. Chicago had more talent than us. Orlando has more talent than us. But we have veteran guys who can play under playoff pressure. They are battle-tested. We have grit, and we have attitude. We have a coach that might not be perfect, but is better than most in the league. Most of all, we have a team. We have a team that plays together and wants to win together. We have a team that just won’t go away.
Everyone counted us out after Game 1 of the CHI series. Everyone counted us out after Game 3 of the ORL series. Everyone is already counting us out if we make it to the Eastern Conference Finals to see Lebron and his crew. I like being the underdogs. I like when our backs are against the wall.
This is when the ’08-’09 Celts respond.
People can keep telling us that we won’t win, but know that we won’t go away.
Endnote • Dwight has publically denounced the coaching staff- not a good sign. The players are pissed. SVGundy is pissed. Everyone is pissed. But the reality is that they are all to blame. Dwight is over-rated and being shutdown by Perk and Baby. SVGundy only read the Cliff Notes version of “NBA coaching for dummies and fatties.” No one on the Magic can be trusted to take over in the 4th quarter. Look at their last 3 possessions of last night’s game… This team is self-imploding, but I still give them game 6 in Orlando and the Celts come home to finish it off in 7.