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The shot heard round the city/state/region/country/continent/world.

April 21, 2009

I’ve been thinking all day about what to possibly include in this post. Where to start? What to end on? What to focus on? What to celebrate?
After touch-and-go brainstorming throughout a day full of reminiscing about last night’s game, I really had nothing. I was back at square one, but, as it turns out, that is quite alright.
All I can do right now is bask in last night’s victory, and I am enjoying the taste of it. After leaving the Garden last night, I texted Sean (of Boston-Homer) and asked, “Did that really happen?” He simply answered back, “Yes. It was awesome.”

I was thinking of just naming this post, “The shot heard round the world,” but I thought that was too much… but was it? I like to think that folks from all over the world last night watched the game live via NBA International (or whatever it is called) and celebrated with me and 19,000 other fans at the Garden. I like to think that hundreds upon thousands, many many thousands, held their breath while the ball rolled off Ray’s finger tips and cleared Joakim’s fingers…



And went through the net…



And we were all shocked, especially Super Ugly Joakim…



But then we realized what happened, and celebrated.



And all those fans from all over the world screamed like we screamed. Jumped like we jumped. Celebrated like we celebrated.

Ray Ray: muchas gracias, senor Ray Ray. Thank you for hitting a 26 footer to put the Celts up by 2 with 25 seconds left. Thank you for hitting a 25 footer to give the Celts a 3 point win with 2 seconds left.

How do you recover from witnessing that game winner?
I am not sure, so I’ll start with Rondo. You know I pretty much worship the ground that this guy walks on, but can we talk about how his performances the last two nights have single-handedly kept us in both games? While we can look at his lines and see the contributions he is giving (game 1 –  29 points, 12-21, 7 assists, 9 boards, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover; game 2 – 19 points, 16 assists, 12 rebounds, 5 steals), but it’s really what the box score can’t show: Rondo keeps the offense moving and this team running. I can make the blanket statement that everyone in Celtics nation feels better when he is bringing the ball up the court. The Celtics will go as far as Rondo takes them.

Back to Recovery 2.0 from last night.

How do you recover from witnessing that game winner?
I still don’t know, but I am getting sick of hearing from the haters. What are haters saying right now? Haters are saying something like this, “Boston is the #2 seed and the Bulls are the #7 seed. Why are you so happy about barely beating a team that you should be sweeping? Why are you so happy about evening out the series at 1-1? This is not the Celtics of the regular season.”

The haters are right: I shouldn’t be happy about the Celtics winning a game by 3 points and losing another by 2. I shouldn’t be happy because this is obviously not the Celtics of the regular season. But you know what? This Bulls team has been pretty hot since acquiring Brad Miller and John Salmons at the February trade deadline… This Bulls team was the sleeper pick for many. Plus, this is the playoffs. In any sport, in any round, anything can happen in the playoffs.

I am freakin’ jazzed about this series being 1-1… because it could have easily be 0-2 and going back to Chicago.

But it’s not.

Could we be playing better defense? Of course. There is no way the Celts should be giving up 115 points a game. But unfortunately, this is what we are dealing with: we have so many injured big men that Perk and Big Baby are playing outlandish minutes and if they can’t slide over quick enough or rotate to collapse on Chicago’s swingmen when they enter the paint or make it back to play transition defense on every fast break… it’s unreasonable for us to think that it’s possible. We have to suck it up and realize that our bigs are playing big minutes for guys that aren’t great at always running. The Bulls big? They can run. Brad Miller can run. Joakim Noah can run. Perk? Not so much. We will just have to deal with the fact we will give up points that we normally wouldn’t because we are already asking so much from our bigs. And last night, Perk and Big Baby came through.

Could we be seeing more from Paul Pierce? Of course. After only 2 games, he looks drained. At last night’s game, he got blocked a few times because he had no legs– he couldn’t get any lift from his tired legs. On a few spin moves into the point that usually lead to a bucket or at least a foul, the ball was stripped before the ball got above his waist. It was tough watching him on some offensive possessions, wanting him to step up and do more.

Could we be seeing more from our bench? Of course. Our bench last night gave us 9 points (13 points from the first game, giving us a grand total of 22 points out of 221 points in 2 games: about 10% for those of you keeping track at home): 2 from Leon, 2 from Steph, 2 from M&M, and 3 from Eddi3. Geesh. They were a combined -44 in the plus/minus category. When will we see production from them? Perhaps not until later in the playoffs (note: I say later because I know we will advance).

Could we being doing more to shutdown the Bulls backcourt? Of course. First it was Derrick Rose that lit us up in game 1 and then it was Ben Freakin’ Gordon in game 2 (42 points, 14-24 FG). Here is the thing: as long as both don’t have those kind of nights… then we are ok. If we can shut down one and force the other to make everything happen, then the Celts should survive. We are not going to be able to physically shut down their entire offense like everyone thinks.

But, I got to say, despite all of these, “Could we be _________” questions, I don’t care.
Last night’s game was freakin’ amazing, and even though there is a list of things the Celts could fix to close the door on these pesky Bulls, nothing can take me off cloud nine from last night’s game.

What. A. Win.
I know that I am caught up in the moment, but this is the best professional sporting event I’ve ever been to.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. kaliphornya permalink
    April 22, 2009 4:36 am

    It, was a good shot, by a great shooter, yet I don’t think fans from all around the world were celebrating. Everyone likes the underdog. On that note, I still think that Fishers shot against San Antonio or Horry’s shot against Sacramento was slightly bigger…On that note, go Bulls…..

    • April 23, 2009 1:24 pm

      The attention here is on Ray’s shot, not quite comparing to an aging Fischer’s shot or a retired Horry shot. If we are playing this game… neither compare to John Stockton’s shot in 1997 over Barkley to take the Jazz to the NBA finals for the first time.
      Should we even go down the list of buzzer beaters from MJ? When Shaq hits a game winning 3 to seal another title, then I’ll concede…

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