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Celts/Bulls ’09 was like Seinfeld ’98.

May 3, 2009

The Truth of the series: the Celts were the better team.

The Truth of the series: the Celts were the better team.

All good stories have great endings. This one has a great ending for a two reasons:
1) the Celtics won
2) Joakim Noah will be ugly from home

Game 7 reminded me a lot of the Seinfeld series finale back in 1998. My friends and I were obsessed with the show, and there were plenty of debates about whether the writers/producers did a good or bad job of ending one of televisions best comedies.

Quick rundown of the episode:

  • NBC calls back Jerry and tells him they are going to pick up his show that he and George wrote many years before (that was eventually dropped)
  • NBC gives their private jet to Jerry/George/Elaine/Kramer for a trip to Paris before Jerry and George move out to LA
  • The plane makes an emergency landing in a small town in MA
  • They do nothing as a guy gets mugged and get tossed in jail under the town’s good samaritan law
  • To build a case against them, the lawyers bring back all of the old semi-regular characters (the low talker, Soup Nazi, Steinbrenner, Jackie Chiles is their lawyer, bubble boy, etc.) to testify about how mean and terrible these 4 people are
  • Jerry/George/Elaine/Kramer get put in jail (was this all done from memory? Yes, yes it was.)

There were two different schools of thought on this episode: it needed to be the best episode out of any to close it out OR just be good enough to to close out the show in a respectful way.

This Celts/Bulls series game 7 reminded me of the Seinfeld finale because something so great had to finish in someway, but in the ending, we were taken back and reminded why we gave this series unconditional love (both Seinfeld and Celts/Bulls ’09). Game didn’t need to be “the best” game out of the 7 game series like so many thought, but it just needed to have an ending that was fitting and appropriate for the tone of the series… just like the Seinfeld finale (my thoughts? school of thought #2: just be good enough to to close out the show in a respectful way).

Last night’s was the 2nd least exciting game of the series. There were no egregious amount of lead changes… overtimes… no game-tying shots… no game winning shots… but it was still a close game that could have gone either way in the final 2 minutes. We’ve been so spoiled and now even conditioned to expect 25 lead changes and an additional 5 to 10 to 15 minutes of play like we’ve seen before. If the game didn’t meet these expectations, then it wasn’t an exciting game like many wanted and expected. All over the internet, people were clamoring that this couldn’t go down as one of the best playoff series if game 7 didn’t look, act, feel like 5 of the other games in this series.

Are the Bulls and Rondo squared away now?

Are the Bulls and Rondo squared away now?

I’m sorry, but all of them were wrong. This game didn’t need to be that nail-biting / oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-vomit type of games to cap off one of the best playoff series in NBA history. First of all, 5 out of the 7 games were decided by 3 points or less. 11 points separated the winners and losers in those 5 games. 4 out of those 5 games went into OT. 2 of the 4 games that went into OTs when into multiple OTs– 1 of which went into 3 OTs. How can you argue that this wasn’t ONE of the best playoff series ever played even if game 7 wasn’t like the others?

Right before the most exciting defensive play of the game...

Right before the most exciting defensive play of the game...

We still had some memorable moments, most notably being Derrick Rose’s unbelievable block on Scal’s breakaway dunk. The reason this game had the best ending to one of the best playoff series ever played is because the better team prevailed. That’s the mark of why this game was the perfect ending. If the Bulls would have won, then many would argue it’s because they were the better team, when in fact they weren’t. I’m sorry, but in 2 games this series, the Celtics played defense, had bench help, and executed on offense like they’ve done all season long: games 3 (the Celts blowout victory) and 7 (where the Celts were in the driver’s seat for most of the game until they couldn’t hit their FTs in the 3rd quarter). The better team prevailed, which makes this an appropriate ending to a wonderful series.

Eddie was a game changer on BOTH ends of the floor, which means hell see some more PT against the Orlando Dwight Howards

Eddie was a game changer on BOTH ends of the floor, which means he'll see some more PT against the Orlando Dwight Howards

I’ve barely had time to catch my breath and already we are preparing for the Orlando Dwight Howards to come town tomorrow night.

I’m going to close with my favorite story about last night.
After the Celts won last night, they did the gentlemanly gesture of shaking hands with their formidable foes, they did their interviews, they did the press conference, they showered, and then they headed to their cars to go home. Somewhere in there, Doc and company held their post-game meeting where they had their one real chance to savor their victory and reflect on what happened in the last 2 weeks. When the Celtic players returned to their cars, there was homework for Sunday.

“The Celtics were confident enough going into Game 7 that the coaches slipped scouting reports on the Orlando Magic players into the players’ cars before tip-off.

“They have a chance to look at their books, study their books . . . when we come back we’ll have a game plan,” Rivers said. – Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe

As Pierce said after the game, “… But, hey, you know, we still are the champs until someone knocks us off.” Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Mission: accomplished.

Mission: accomplished.

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