Remember that commercial? Where a bunch of workaday men and ladies talk about Philly and how there’s a lot, a lot of culture there? One of my favorites ever. It makes Philly seem almost appealing as that game just did.
If that’s how the first round is going to look, I’m having a hard time getting upset about a number-three seed. Especially if Jermaine O’Neal continues to find his legs. And the new Celtics continue to improve. And Shaq returns to contribute 15-20 strong minutes against an undersized team. And Rajon Rondo starts looking like the zippy hummingbird we knew from fall and winter.
Those are four very boring things to talk about at this point, but they’re actually all starting to look like they could come together. The Perkins tradees looked a lot less out of place tonight than they did three weeks ago: Jeff Green played like an actual power forward and pulled down a team-leading seven boards and three blocks, and Nenad Krstic defied Celtics tradition by appearing to seriously hurt his knee but then returning after only two games. And with the production the Celtics got out of the center position tonight (combined 17 points on 8-11 shooting with 9 boards in 31 minutes), it’s fun to imagine what they could do with their starter.
We got a glimpse of Doc’s trimmed rotation tonight, and all the guys who got minutes made a positive contribution. There are fixes to be made here and there (ball protection, Jermaine’s rebounding, Ray getting more than seven shots in 35 minutes) but the news is good. Come back in a while for more!