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The 2010 Celtics Are Going To The NBA Finals

 

Honestly? I never expected this. I predicted the Cavaliers would eliminate Boston, 4-1, before the post-season started, and I repeated that prediction before the second round. 

I can take some solace in the fact that few people expected it. As you surely know by heart, all 10 of ESPN’s experts picked the Cavaliers over the Celtics, and, even after Boston dismantled the Cavs, eight of those 10 experts picked Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

That made some Boston fans mad. Not me. I had watched the Celtics play 82 games in the regular season, and I believe the regular season has a lot to tell us about the quality of a team. 

There were those who said all along that the Celtics would be a different team in the post-season. They mentioned, on almost a daily basis, the 1969 Celtics team that squeaked into the playoffs as the 4th (and, at that time, last) seed in the Eastern Conference before winning the final title of the Russell era. 

And I dismissed those arguments every time. In a mid-February roundtable discussion at Red’s Army about the C’s struggles, I was the writer who said over and over that the most likely reason for Boston’s funk was that the team just wasn’t that good anymore. I pointed out all the differences between the 1969 Celtics (and the 1969 NBA) and the current team (and the current league). In Mid-March, I asked whether it was time to scale back our hopes for this team—and almost every commenter agreed that it was. Seriously—go back and read the comments on that post. We were, with very few exceptions (hello, DRJ1), a beaten fan base. 

And we were all wrong.

I am still processing what has happened over the last two weeks or so. I am still going over in my head what, if anything, this Celtics run means for the NBA and its fans. Was the regular season just an exercise in getting into shape (hi, Sheed) and staying healthy? Is the only difference between the May 2010 Celtics and the February 2010 Celtics the fact that May version is trying harder? 

Were you a total sucker if you bought a ticket to a regular-season Celtics game this year? 

The easy answer is that, yes, you were, and that, no, the regular season doesn’t mean anything. Or that if there was any value in its 82-game length, it was that, by pure coincidence for these Boston Celtics, the November through April slog was long enough for Kevin Garnett to find his base again and for Rasheed Wallace to work off the rolls of fat that hung over his waistline in the fall; for Glen Davis to rediscover his game after punching his friend in the head and breaking his hand before the season started; and for Paul Pierce to get injured, recover, get injured again, and recover again in time for the playoffs and a monstrous Game 6 performance last night. (Seriously: What do all the Celtics fans who hate Pierce have to say today?) 

That stuff alone does not give the regular season value. Those are coincidences of timing that happened to benefit Boston. 

As a fan of the game, you hope there is deeper value to the journey, and it is easy to imagine where that value may lie. Perhaps the veterans on this team needed to hear those boos in February and March to realize how much they cared about their legacy. Maybe it took losing to the Nets for the proud old guard to realize this had to be Rajon Rondo’s team. 

And maybe Rajon Rondo needed to play a full season as the team’s best player in order to be ready to be the team’s best player in May and June. Doc Rivers needed time to figure out his rotation, Tony Allen needed time to rebuild his confidence and Ray Allen needed time to work the early-season kinks out of his shot. (Remember when we were all worried about Ray Allen’s shot?)

Or maybe the team discovered how good it could be when it opened the season 23-5 and decided right then and there to coast the rest of the way. After all, Rajon Rondo’s playoff usage rate is down from last season and barely up from what it was during the ’08 playoffs. In other words, this team isn’t that much different, both in terms of numbers and style, than it was from almost the moment KG and Ray Allen got to Boston. 

So which is it: Did the Celtics need an 82-game journey to find themselves? Or is this run that seemed so improbable just two weeks ago the product of effort and nothing more? 

I know what most casual fans think. They think the regular season is an overlong farce, that there is no reason to watch the NBA (unless you love it) until the playoffs start. 

I desperately want those people to be wrong. 

Either way, though, I know this: The 2010 Boston Celtics are going to the NBA Finals. Be cynical about if it you want. Just don’t try and pretend you saw this coming. 

Unless you did.

  • klr

    Boston may be happy, but honestly to me, i have lost respect for boston winning the way they did. all i saw was bad acting on the part of pierce, and allen, and kg acting like immature punk. very sad to see a team make to the finals by bullying and acting their way to the finals.

    if your that good a team…u don’t need to act and beat up on other teams to get passed that round. I hope Lakers bring the pain to Boston.

    All i saw last night was KG hitting howard and allen and pierce putting on their oscar performances for the refs to call fouls…how sad.

  • EEEEE

    saw it and loving it!!!!!

    Go C’s

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @KLR: Did you also see Pierce working his ass off to grab more rebounds than ANY OTHER PLAYER IN THE GAME? Or Rondo taking hard hit after hard hit and getting up? Or Ray Allen hitting monster shots all game long?

    The KG play was bush league. I’ll give you that. But if “all you saw” was the Big Three doing what you say they did, I don’t think you actually watched, you know, the game.

  • EEEEE

    C’s play physical D as much as Dwight plays physical offense. It had to be that way to contain barely and compete against howards strenght.

    Lakers are good but if gasol really hasnt toughened up C’s D to physical to lose in a 7 game series. kpbe will still get his points. comes down to gasol/byum to make difference.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    i wanted danny to blow it up by trading ray at the deadline. this team was not looking good (kg’s knee especially). i felt ripped off for all the time and money i spent on the regular season up and down apathy. BUT….

    the last 10 games of the regular season changed my mind. they weren’t winning or playing a team game, but individually, every player was showing signs of their A-game. i thought they would beat the cavs because of team play and better coaching….the last regular season game against the cavs they were clearly sending a jedi mind trick (and lebron lost the game by shooting an ego 3 pointer when he had a clear path to tie).

    thought the conference finals would be the toughest challenge (hawks/magic) but momentum and fate led to a 3-0 start…..and the rest as they say is history. the lakers definitely will have their hands full…..without bynum at 100%….they
    can not beat the Cs.

    BEAT LA!! BEAT LA!! BEAT LA!!

  • Jay P

    You might want them to be wrong. But well… they’re not. I’m sorry to say it, and I will definitely be watching the regular season next year anyway. But well, this seasons proved the regular season really does mean nothing.

    But, just for the sake of argument here, I’m going to throw something out I was thinking about a lot on this subject: Maybe they really didn’t just “cruise control” it. Maybe there really was some factors which contributed to it, you mentioned most of them:

    1) the Big 3 able to swallow their pride and concede that this is Rondo’s team. This comes down to team chemistry, something that maybe they really just didn’t figure out until the postseason.

    2) Injuries, Injuries, Injuries. I mean really, how many different line ups did we see this year? It’s hard to gather any momentum with that going on. And TA/Baby were shells of themselves all year until the playoffs.

    3) Keeping it in first gear all year. Let me explain, don’t you think it’s hypothetically possible that when KG went down with the knee hyper extension he said to himself “Oh shit, not this again I better take it down a notch unless I wanna be on crutches in the playoffs.” Can anyone blame him if he did? Maybe Paul did the same, do we blame him?

    Who knows, but I don’t think (other than Sheed) any of these guys consciously said “I’m not going to try anymore, I don’t care about regular season games.”

  • Jay P

    @dont-drink

    Without Bynum at 100%, it’ll be much harder to beat the Cs.

    Don’t think they can’t. Odom is still a tough match up for any of the Cs power forwards.

  • Gump

    I’m actually not surprised the C’s have come this far. Not because I had any kind of special insight, and not because I’m a die hard fan, but because I barely paid attention to the NBA regular season at all. Sue me. When I saw the C’s were in the playoffs and KG was back healthy, out of sheer gullibility (gullible in hindsight after reading about how the regular season played out for the Cs), I assumed they would be championship contenders just like they were in ’08.

    So I guess I banked in that three pointer without calling glass. Lucky me!

  • DeVelaine

    @Jay P: Yeah… I hate admitting it, but Odom is quick, strong, and basketball smart. Our only advantage is that he looks lost on the court more often than the C’s offense in the fourth lately. He’s a tough cover for KG and Perk, but I think they can still get the job done.

    Not that I saw this coming… I didn’t expect to get past Cleveland either after the regular season ended.

  • slam

    I predicted it! I am taking money from a Celtics fan at work in every playoff series because he is betting against his team! My exact predictions? 4-1, 4-2, 4-2. Yes, I am 3 for 3. I have my friend’s prediction and the ESPN “analysts” predictions printed and pinned to my wall at work, along with mine at the bottom of the page. Time to make one for the Finals when I get back to work on Tuesday, and my friend has already committed to betting against the Celtics again.

    My finals prediction? 4-2 Celtics.

  • sacbobv

    After 82 “who knows what you’re going to see” games, I mostly put away my doubts for the postseason. Once the playoffs began, I kept as positive a mindset as possible. And in the Finals, I think we’ll be okay and beat whoever turns out to be the best from the West.

  • klr

    to zach…yeah i saw the entire game..but what i don’t understand is…if your that good…then why all the faking and over acting to get fouls…it’s kind of sad that they have to do that…why does pierce(if such a great player)act and fall and play this role of an injured player when in reality you all know it’s fake.

    i don’t know…i know the C’s are a great team, and i know orlando played very physical…but damn..it looked pathetic coming from Boston to use those methods to win games. I’m tired of lookin at pierce act his way through these games. it’s getting old, really. You cannot be proud of that. you cannot say that you would be proud that in a way…your cheating to win or get fouls. c’mon…at least admit that boston is over doing the acting role. i know many teams do it, but with boston it getting out of hand.

  • Paolo

    I think what really struck me was that KG said at one point the postseason that they had chemistry issues in the locker room. That is enough to account for a lot of the losses that we had during the tough stretch. The performance from the bench also means a lot since they only started playing really well in the postseason. I am confident that if KG is yet to get better on his knee, PP will not suffer a decline in production, and our bench becomes more consistent, there is hope for a better regular season record next year. (I’m not worried about Ray unless he signs elsewhere which I doubt)

  • steve

    you probably should’ve read this piece by adrian wojnarowski before making this post:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AgnCdMmhMjzLnUGBlCwZct68vLYF?slug=aw-celticsfinals052910

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @steve: Except I wrote this before that Woj’s piece came out.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    Plus, that meeting Woj refers to is old news—was covered heavily at the time.

  • Jason

    Get over it klr. Redick, Nelson and Carter all do sell jobs on the fouls, too. And when BBD got called for an offensive foul, all Lewis did was lay down on his own accord.

    What sell job did Pierce do? When Howard took two hands/arms/elbows to his head, threw him to the ground and knocked off his headband? Yeah, real faker Pierce is.

  • James

    The regular season has meaning. I think you can view this years celtics team as the exception that proves the rule rather than anything else. If you we wern’t wrong every once in a while, what would be the fun of having playoffs?

  • sacbobv

    @Steve- Good post. Wonder how many fans willing to toss Rivers under the bus are glad it didn’t happen?

    Sure wish there was a troll patrol, They are quite annoying with the after the fact chirping.

  • CeltsBeliever

    As excited as I am that we are going to the finals, I am still incredibly ashamed by celtics fans this year — especially, by fans like you Zach.
    I was a believer. I watched 77 regular season games, attended 17. I watched us get pounded by Phoenix, lose by 20+ to Washington, watch the entire fourth quarter of our lose to New Jersey. Why? Because I believed this team could win.
    Zach, you try to make it about whether or not the regular season matters – as if you were somehow tricked. It’s just not that simple. We were an old team with a lot of injuries and incredible heart. We needed everyone of those ugly loses.

    On March 3rd I bought options for Celtics finals tickets on a recently formed website. At the time I am not sure I truly believed, but I felt enough to spend $800 on non-refundable tickets.

    Now I am going to games 4 and 5, loge seats, row 4 (retail at $1100 on stubhub) for $200 a seat.

    So, Zach, I love you blog and have read all year, but don’t give celtics fans a pass on the way they acted this year. Many were too quick to abandon their team, too quick to lambaste Sheed, to quick to write off Pierce — and for all of you that lost the idealism necessary to just say “We can do it” – you should be ashamed

  • steve

    After watching nearly every game this season I can’t say I gave up hope but I became frustrated. I think that’s what fans have been voicing. Knowing what this team could do and watching those ugly losses to the Nets and Wiz was very troubling. It felt bad to watch other teams beat a team that you knew was better than them. Having said that, and sometimes saying they should give 100% every game, it is a very long season. I can imagine it’s hard to get up for the Nets or whover on those back to back games in January and February. With that knowledge what mindset should a team have for the 82 games?
    Prediction Celts beat Lakers in 5 or beat the Suns in 6.

  • stephen

    The Celtics have just eliminated the 2 teams with the best records in the NBA. Out west the Lakers have had to deal with a bunch of marshmellow teams–As Usual !!!!! same story as 08, great defense beating great offense. Celtics in 6. C’s going in as underdogs, which is perfect!!!

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @CeltsBeliever: You’re right, I should be ashamed. I feel really awful about myself. I should just give up this blog. Would you like to take my place?

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    @CeltsBeliever – I don’t think you can blame the fans who “lost idealism.” It’s difficult to believe what you’re not seeing. It’s difficult to keep the faith when you’re so emotionally invested in a team, and yet time and time again, they break your heart. Nevertheless, in spite of the doubts that many C’s fans began to have, they hung around. They watched games. They read team blogs and religiously posted comments. They might have lost some faith, and they might not have felt good about the team’s chances, but they hung around.

  • rob

    I’m not saying they will but wow if the suns win that series it would have to be THE MOST embarrassing thing for all these lakers fans saying that they would kill us in the finals.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @rob: I have a feeling LA closes it out tonight. But I’m hoping for a 7th game, obviously.

  • Danno

    @klr – you’ve got to be kidding me. Faking being hurt? Look, if you took the spill that Rondo took, or if a seven foot monster like Douche Howard nearly took your head off with an “inadvertent” elbow, or slammed you to the floor with a no-look follow through after a foul – don’t you think you might spend a few moments in pain before you got up and calmly drained a few free throws?

    Anyway, neither Peeps, KG, nor Ray Allen complained about the contact in the media. We fans all did, fo sho, but none of the players did. In fact Pierce specifically said he didn’t mind the contact, and that it was all just playoff basketball.

    As for acting, what about the classic “I’m going to look the other way while I bring my elbows down on some poor sap” act that Howard does. And he’s supposed to be some big holy roller Christian, too. Whatever. Why can other successful centers play hard without swinging the elbows like that, but somehow D12 just can’t help it? It’s intentionally reckless, and frankly I’d be far more ashamed to be a fan of his now than a fan of our guys. See, I believe they were in pain after getting hacked, while I don’t believe Dwight doesn’t know those elbows he’s swinging are going to land somewhere.

  • Coolin

    Celtics fans who hate Paul Pierce are some of the dumbest fans in all of sports. You might not like his personality that’s fine, but his all around game is GRRREEEAATTT! He does what is needed to get the W (i.e. score, guard the other teams best player Wade, Lebron, soon to be Kobe and he plays within himself). All you nay sayers out there you truly are unintelligent.

  • SG

    I disagree with those who say that the regular season is meaningless. Let’s not forget that through Christmas the Celts had one of the best records in the league and looked every bit as dominant as they have lately. Sure, the team’s performance faltered down the stretch (and that might be an understatement, what with losing to NJ at home) but it’s not as if we never saw Boston’s potential to be an elite team during the regular season.

  • klr

    to danno…i never sed orlando was not physical…wut i’m saying is that certain players for boston are a little theatrical(faking) to get foul calls. there was an instant when reddick was covering allen by the sidelines, dude, allen acted like reddick pushed him into the ref.lol dude i thought it was hilarious how obvious that is. dude, they get paid to play basketball not act. that’s all i’m saying…now if orlando would have won i would have been complaining how howard was too physical and how the nba needs to address that issue since they were able to continue to the next phase. but since that is not the case i can only say that i am disappointed how these teams are getting by acting to get fouls and overacting on certain plays for dramamtic purposes.

    dude i have seen pierce get fouled on a play and the dude seems like he broke a spleen a leg and maybe some brain damage, then he comes back on the court and plays better than before. you are gonna tell me that isn’t obvious that he is over acting just a little(a lot). if you don’t see that, it’s cuz he sold it to you all too well, or maybe u buy into the drama and like to believe he was brutally beat on, then came back on to the court with a freakin cape scoring like mad. lol. i know it’s entertaining, but dammit i wanna see them play not act…if i wanna see acting i’ll see a movie but now i can say i can see pierce giving his oscar performances on the court consistently. lol. anyway…that’s how i see it…in any case, i hope i see more basketball than acting when they play the lakers. peace…..and good luck…cuz i know the C’s are gonna need it.

  • Zack

    @KLR
    Let an NBA player smack you in the face and see how you react. Paul Pierce has 11 reasons why no one should never question his toughness. He never missed a game after that in the 00 – 01 season. Here is the link for you to check.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/stats?playerId=662
    Paul Pierce gets hit and he lets you know it because sometimes the only things the refs aren’t blowing is the whistle. If you cut The Truth he bleeds just like you and I. Well, Paul and I bleed green.
    @Zach
    Suns force game 7. I’m 51% sure.

  • J-Bad

    I believed all year and you all know it. @ KLR- Keelp hatin!!!!!!

  • Scotty B

    you are a moron if you call Pierce an actor, jesus that dude has taken more punishment than any other celtic except Rondo…they arent flops, if you hit a moving screen, or get hit driving, or take an elbow in the face from Howard then there is going to be a reaction….stop calling the celts fakers and actors…you are just being a hater

  • Scotty B

    by the way klr, Reddick did push Allen out of bounds, how is that acting? he didnt yell and cry, he got pushed out of bounds dude, the only one crying out of the celtics and you is YOU!

  • Zack

    http://www.joewrite.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/haters-gonna-hate.gif
    @KLR
    Anti Tommy Point for being predictable. At least hate on something new, like Rondo nailing 3′s or the C’s bench coming through in the playoffs. : /

  • DeVelaine

    I sometimes wonder if Pierce lays on the floor thinking “Oh no they didn’t. They didn’t just decide to fire me up.”

  • J-Bad

    Keep hatin

  • rondo-is-love

    @klr

    Oh, yeah, as if NOBODY ELSE in the league feigns getting hit. It’s called being crafty, not being an actress. Yeah, a lot of people get annoyed by that, but really?

    Yes, these guys get paid to play ball… so what about Derek Fisher? What about one of the top candidates for sixth man of the year, Andersen Varejao? There are plenty of other teams on other teams who are far worse than any Celtic.

    The whole thing you mentioned about how Ray made it seem like Redick was pushing him real hard or whatever… Redick shouldn’t have been holding him like that anyway.

    I can understand getting annoyed when an opponent does all the crafty work, but you really need to stop acting like the Celtics are the only ones who do it.

  • Banner18?

    I saw this coming. Not to toot my own horn but I am in a bracket worth $500 and I chose the Celtics to win… 500 bucks richer with alot more pride! Go celts!

  • Hippocrates

    I’m not ‘surprised’ I am ‘pleased’. I think as a loyal fan for over 20 years you ride the high’s and suffer the lows but you NEVER stop believing when you see your team’s got what it takes to win a championship. I dont care who says what. I’m a Celtics fan FIRST and a basketball fan secondarily. It’s easy to look at the 2008 season as flawless but it wasn’t. People doubted that could pull together and actually play as a team and almost every analyst thought they’d lose to the Pistons, Atlanta, Cleveland and finally..the Lakers. But as they’ve done since 2008, they’ve proved the doubters wrong. I was disappointed in their play 27-27 to end the season but I never stopped believing b/c the season isn’t over until we’ve lost 4 in the playoffs.

    All of these ‘hey no one saw it’-posts and blogs are superfluous b/c analysts and writers are almost always wrong in some shape or form. Which means if people are justifying their picks they must feel insecure and regretful for not seeing the potential.We had EVERY reason to believe they would lose but we had every reason (as fans) to believe they had the heart of a champion. Period. Go C’s?

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    @klr – So if Orlando had won, you’d be complaining about Orlando players? Why would you selectively complain about the winner? I mean, regardless of whether the team wins or loses, the players did what they did. Even if Orlando lost, Dwight still did play physical. But why would you only complain about him being physical if Orlando had won?

  • mitch

    @ KLR…You’re just a sore loser who is complaining about something that is already done. Magic Lose..go cry into your mickey mouse shirt

  • DRJ1

    A long time ago, the NBA season was 60 games. It went to 82, complete with lots of back-to-backs (some on the road, which = extra brutal) because, obviously… they all make more money that way. From the pure sports perspective, 82 games is too many. 60 is about right. So at least 22 games of the reg season are a waste.

    And since they don’t give you any rings for the regular season, it’s easily arguable that the whole thing is essentially pointless. HCA is not worth all that effort (as the Cs have proven). But… we gotta have it: the players need it to tune up and get motivated, everybody needs it to pay salaries, and it’s a LOT of fun… so bottom line: yeah, we need the regular season. At least 60 games of it.

    As to the question of whether any of the C’s PLANNED to blow off parts of the regular season, I agree that that is very unlikely. Around mid-March, I finished the full theory of this season and how it came to happen… and part of that was that it all happened ORGANICALLY… slowly, subtly… the guys just absorbing the reality that — since they’re in the Atlantic division and clearly going to the playoffs — they could back off and save themselves for the playoffs. Apparently Doc actually made that conscious decision sometime in April, too. (That whole theory was written up here: http://www.celticsblog.com/2010/5/23/1483846/the-one-and-only-theory-of-the )

    It is clear that what the Cs have done this year CHALLENGES THE CURRENT STRUCTURE OF THE NBA. But… no other team except the Cs can be as sure as the Cs could be that they will make the playoffs (and when they GOT sure, they all took their feet off the pedals). And no other team needed the time to heal, and had the vets to handle it all, like the Cs. So I don’t think the capitalist mechanisms of the NBA are at risk. Things will probably continue as they have been. Until, of course, the new CBA comes along… then, all bets are off.

  • klr

    u guys are getting me wrong, i am not a fan of orlando magic…i am a fan of the nba/basketball,(and God bless your state for inventing the sport)…what i dont like is all the acting these guys do to get calls. being crafty. lol. i guess that is what you call it….what i did leave out in my other posts is that, i hate when any player does it. not just boston. but i do want to point out about this series in particular is the fact that pierce is an actor (i never sed actress, that was “rondo-is-love” lol. in any case i see you guys are very biast. so bringing these issues to light with Boston fans is a no win situation…but i do know this. crafty acting, or feigning injuries or lying about being hurt, is in a way CHEATING…that’s all i’m saying. and yes orlando cheats as well and so does every team in the nba, and if you win games in that fashion, how much respect can u get for winning when in reality u didn’t win fairly.

    in the end, i just wanna see a good game…i’m sure we will see one when we see Boston go against the lakers or suns…but you gotta call a spade a spade. if pierce becomes an actor after he retires, you heard it here first. Lol.

    I’m just playin with you guys…i wish success to Boston, i just wish they would leave overacting to the movies.

    and here comes the slew of responses against my comments. lol

    knock yourselves out…

  • Danno

    @klr – I agree that flopping – i.e., acting like you were fouled when you weren’t – is cheating, although I feel it is along the same lines as fouling and not getting caught, or getting the benefit of a call because of your “star” status. While these things are all bad, they’re also extremely common. Some teams/players do one more than the others, and some even make it into an art form. See Varajao (flopping) vs fouling and not getting called (Dwight) vs getting the superstar benefit of every call (Kobe, and I guess if you’re Phil Jackson, Durant).

    However, I don’t think acting like you were fouled when you actually were fouled is cheating at all, even to sell it to the officials (like the Ray Allen/JJ Redick play you talked about). Also, I don’t think experiencing and showing pain is cheating either. It’s not like you get an advantage for overcoming injuries, real or feigned. So flopping is cheating, but acting hurt – what advantage do you get? Sympathy? Who cares? You get the foul call and that’s it.

    You might think, hey, that didn’t hurt, because PP comes back from a painful looking shot and plays well, whereas I just think he plays well hurt. How can hitting the deck and getting cracked in the head not hurt? Maybe the same thing that illustrates to you that he’s a pussy shows me that he’s tough.

    Anyway, saying that you lost respect for the C’s is crazy. The teams they beat respect them, and you should too. They play hard, and there’s a good chance they’re going to be the last team standing.

    Enjoy the Finals, and peace out…

  • Anthony

    @krl… while i agree there are NBA problems of flopping, i think everybody in this site would prefer if you give better examples. Pierce has his fair share of flops but you cant question the guys’ toughness, as Zack pointed out. And how is it that in the whole series, you failed to see the biggest actress of them all…Vince Carter!! The guy is wincing in agonizing pain after every play. In game 2 i believe, he’s running down court, hits a wet spot, slips backwards, and breaks his fall with his right hand. However, he’s wincing in pain like he’s dying while holding his left wrist? His LEFT wrist!! I was dumbfounded. Was garnett flopping when barnes shoved him into vangundy? was big baby flopping with the superman elbow? Lastly, have you seen the officiating?? If they have to “act” a little more just to get a call so be it. Or maybe Perk was just acting when he got T’d up twice in a span of 5 minutes.

    @Zach…As always, great blog. While i was disappointed quite a bit the second half of the season, I tried to remain positive and Hope that the real Celts will show up. I made my share of excuse as to why they sucked but I remained hopeful. I cant I say I saw it coming but I was hopeful that it would. Although it’s not complete until we hang up #18. Who wouldve guess that one of the most important play, in my mind at least, was the Garnett elbow to Q-Rich. It seems to have woke the Celtics up from their regular season nap. Four more wins… That’s all I’m hoping for.

  • matthew

    sticks and stones… sticks and stones, my dears! We’re in the finalllsss! BEAT LA!

  • Rich

    I love the NBA. I’m an avid fan. However, Zach, this year has been pretty much the the last bit of proof one needs to come to the conclusion that yes, the regular season is a farce.

    Two years in a row the team with the best record didn’t even make the finals. This year, the teams wit the two best records didn’t make the finals. Go find how many times that happens in football or baseball.

    It saddens me, but it can’t be ignored. As a cavalier fan, how in god’s name can I get excited about the regular season ever again? I can’t.

  • Rich

    Oh, and KLR made a fairly poor post, but to those of oyu saying Pierce isn’t an actor? There is no way you actually believe that is there?

  • Rich

    Anyway, they need to shorten the regular season, lessen the amount of playoff teams, and increase the home court ratio for teams with better records.

    They never will. All of those would mean the NBA loses money. So, instead, they’ll keep having regular seasons they become more and more pointless as the years go by. I used to be a believer, impossible for me to be now. Why not just rest your superstars every other game, barely make the playoffs, then go full speed? Who cares if the fans get screwed over buying the tickets, right?

  • http://espn.com travis zen

    @klr so there’s a laker fan in here…i bet ur too scared to get whooped anew by the celtics..LOL

  • Ersatz

    The whole Celtics-tanked-the-regular-season argument is wrong. Let’s look at the evidence. The team started 23-5 and were the best team for the first third of the year. You dont’ get that kind of record if you are not trying. And the circumstances under which they did it were even more amazing and indicate there was no tanking: KG was playing on one leg, Ray was playing terrible basketball, Baby was out, Sheed and House were awful. Daniels was okay, and Perkins and Rondo were very good. Pierce was amazing. So basically the team had like 3.5 players and won a lot of games and played great, inspired basketball. Further proof, by the way, of the Truth’s greatness: he made an old, injured roster with a nonexistent bench the best team in the league.

    After that, the injuries piled up: Daniels, Pierce, KG. Ray didn’t end his slump until after the all-star break. Davis eventually came back. And when Pierce came back after missing just 8 games, he was still very injured. I think he played at about 40% health. So for the two months after Christmas, we were a .500 team with Rondo and Perkins as our best players. Not inspired basketball, but surely not tanking.

    Then there was the much-discussed meeting about minutes and practice. You could say that it was then that the team began tanking, but that was only the last dozen or so games, and a couple of them–the Easter game–they certainly were trying to win. Before that the team was not trying to lose. And the regular season certainly did matter, for all the reasons Zach outlined. It may not have been pretty basketball all the time, but it certainly mattered.

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  • http://www.ergebniswette.com/ Emil Zuberbuhler

    U betting on any games this weekend?

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