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Only thing left in the series: organ failure.

May 1, 2009
You know it also rains a lot in Chicago?

You know it also rains a lot in Chicago?

I wish I could just watch this series as a basketball fan. Imagine not really caring who wins this game and just watching it each night? It would have all of the intensity and entertainment value you’d want in sports without any of the consequences.

But I’m on the other side of the fence.

This series is sucking the life out of me… emotionally and physically. During one of Ray Ray’s game tying shots yesterday, I think I suffered a level 2 strain in my left calf sustained during a repeated jumping celebratory act.

But I absolutely love every minute of it.
I’m so pumped with adrenaline and excitement over the fact that I am lucky enough to be able to watch this series at it unfolds, and also at the same time if my Celts have the testicular fortitude and grittiness to pull this one out.

As much as I am loving this series, there are consequences: a fist round exit after a banner year.

We all knew that the Celtics were going to have a tough time repeating this year… At the start of the playoffs, there were two reasons (that were pretty much in our faces) standing in the way of #18: injuries and Lebron James.

We knew the Bulls were going to be the toughest low seed in the East, but I can’t imagine ANYONE (I repeat, ANYONE) could have expected this. Of course no one wanted to play them (the team has been spot on since acquiring Brad Miller and John Salmons at the trade deadline from the Kings– the Bulls were one of the few teams wealthy enough to pick up their inflated contracts; by the way, both guys killed us last night and were clutch throughout all of the OTs). We can now add the entire Bulls team to the short list reasons making it all the more difficult to win #18.

Important interjection: I am not heading to the standard Boston sports fan default mode of pessimism. I can’t. I see too many reasons for the Celts to win and too many reasons for the Bulls to lose. I will give the Bulls as much credit as anyone– they have truly shined and surpassed any expectation laid upon them by their toughest critics (read: owner Jerry Reinsdorf) and shown 2 things: 1) how hungry this young team really is and 2) that the front office has assembled a team for the first time since 1998 that could potentially be a title team in the next few years (holding onto Ben Gordon this off-season is key for them).

But even with all of that, I am still 100% confident, hopeful, and faithful that the Celts win game 7. It’s a veteran team that doesn’t shrink when they have to close come up big. It’s a veteran team that knows how to close out game 7 series (did two of them last year). This team has been here before. The Celts just have to win. End of story.

Quick things from last night (in bullet points because there are so many things I’ve already talked about and more that I want to talk about):

  • Rondo showed signs of mortality last night– 8 points on 4-17 shooting, getting into a scuffle with Kirk Hinrich and risking an ejection (will Chicago fans place a reward on his head soon? Will Rondo wake up with a horse’s head beside him a la Godfather style?)… but then again, RR still managed to drop 19 assists and pull 9 rebounds last night.
  • Ray Allen was clutcher than clutch last night– 51 points on 18-32 shooting, and I can’t even count on one hand how many game tying or lead changing shots he had last night from the 4th quarter through the OTs: 1) makes a 28 footer with 9:14 to go to make it 81-89, 2) makes an runner from 8 feet with 8:32 to make it 84-91, 3) makes a 28 footer with 6:43 to go to tie it up at 91, 4) makes a 16 footer with 1:49 left in regulation to go up 101-96, 5) makes an 23’-8” jumper (when his toe was on the line and over Joakim for the second time this series) in the OT #2 to cut the lead from 115-116, 6) makes a 25 footer with 7 seconds left to tie it up at 1180 and send it into OT #3, 7) makes a 21 footer with 1:57 in OT #3 to make it 123-123.
Not the last shot I wanted.

Not the last shot I wanted.

Why the ball was not in his hands for the final shot is beyond me. If I could write a thesis for a PhD about why he should have had the ball on the last possession in OT #3, it would be like this: “Ray Allen should have had the ball on the last possession in OT #3 because he scored 51 points and an efficient 18-32 shooting.” That would be it. My entire final PhD Examining Committee would nod their heads in agreement, stand up and clap, and name a building after me once I delivered my one sentence doctorate paper.

I’m going to prepare for game 7 like Doc and the men in green will prepare for game 7: working under the assumption that we will have our starters and a bench as deep as 2.5 men– Scal (1 man), Eddie House (1 man), Tony Allen (1/4 of a man), and Steph (1/4 of a man). It’s the same thing for game 7 that it has been for the entire series: better help defense, picking up guys on the weak side, better transition defense, good ball movement when in half-court set to get a quality shot, not punching Brad Miller in the face, double Gordon on the perimeter, collapse on Rose in the paint, blah blah blah blah.

But how is game 7 going to affect them if the Celts advance to the EC-semis?? There will only be a few days of rest for them and plenty more or Orlando because they’ve closed out their series. Here are the total minutes for each of the important players (of course I am talking about the starters):

  • Rondo-  280 minutes in 6 games, average of 46 minutes per game
  • Ray Ray- 245 minutes in 6 games, average of 41 minutes per game (played 59 minutes in game 6)
  • Pierce- 269 minutes in 6 games, average of 45 minutes per game
  • Big Baby- 259 minutes in 6 games, average of 43 minutes per game
  • Perk- 235 minutes in 6 games, average of 39 minutes per game
  • KG- 0 minutes in 6 games, average of 0 minutes per game

Perhaps the last one (KG: 0 minutes) is the one that stands out the most to me.

What would happen to the psyche of the Bulls (and the Celts for that matter) if KG was suited up on Saturday. This is the only thing that can happen in this series that would make people feel something that they have not felt yet in this series: complete shock and surprise at a level that could literally cause multiple organ failure.
I’m not holding my breath about the KG thing, but what if…?

Whats the MOTHER F**KIN capital of Angola!??

If we all send "Get Well" cards from Hallmark, will that help? We miss our binky.

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