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March Madness in Ohio: Celts vs. Cavs

 

While the NCAA basketball landscape endures its annual bubble-popping Tournament for the next two weeks, it’s hard to think the Celtics won’t be experiencing that sort of pressure in terms of home court advantage in the playoffs.

The season-long quest could possibly end tonight.

Whether that’s a tribute to the predictability of the Associate, or the relatively less amount of parody than the college game: there’s no denying that NBA Titles are built in March — three months ahead of the actual time that confetti flies from the rafters.

For the Celtics, it’s D-Day. As in Do-or-Die-in-the-helms-of-an-opposing-arena-come-playoff-time Day.

At some points, doesn’t it feel like this whole home court stuff overtakes everything? The NBA has become so predictable that Opening Night felt like the beginning of a yearlong head-to-head battle against the Cavs.

At some points, it felt like the out-of-town scoreboard was more important in the Garden than the actual games.

And now, assuming that the NBA’s predictability continues through the last 20 games – and who has reason to believe otherwise? – it’s very possible that tonight’s game could determine much, much more than just a tally in the win or loss column.

A loss would virtually grant King James the right to Game 7 in Quicken Loans Arena, essentially burying the Celtics from any tiebreaker scenario at the end of the season for Playoff home court advantage.

Traditionally, the University of Dayton in Ohio has hosted the NCAA Tournament’s play-in game, better recognized as the kick-off to the Madness.

Tonight in Ohio, it’s more madness debut: Cavs vs. Celtics, the game that gets its own special pregame video intro.

Harsh shift in bodies

It’s like if a guy not only won a free plasma TV, but then sold it on eBay for double its value.

That’s how the Cavs feel by not only picking up Joe Smith in time for tonight’s game, but also facing a KG-less Celtics squad.

Garnett faces another week recovering from a strained right knee.

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