This will be short tonight because we’re going to spend a lot of time between now and the draft looking back at the season that just ended. This also won’t involve any individual grades because they’re largely meaningless at this point. The Celtics played well as a team until, eventually, they couldn’t. There wasn’t anything left. That was the story of tonight the same way it was the story of game 7 of the 2010 Finals. The two games have a lot in common. And perhaps we’ll see all of the Big Four back here in 2012-13, the same way they all returned after that loss two years ago.
It should be emphasized one last time that the Celtics had no business even playing tonight. They were completely shattered by injuries and not just to the four guys who had already been lost for the season. You know the ledger by now: Paul Pierce’s knee, Ray Allen’s ankles, Greg Stiemsma’s foot. Grit, heart, balls, whatever you want to call it, this team had it.
Later on tonight, we’ll post Doc Rivers’ post-game press conference, which was deeply sad if you care at all about this team. It’ll also make you love this group of players and this coach even more. Even in a loss, or maybe because of it, the bond between team and player seems to grow. At least with this organization, as owned by Wyc Grousbeck and company, and run by Doc and Danny Ainge.
And there’s the upside. This team is in very good hands as it heads to this pivotal offseason. For the first time in five years, Ainge will have a lot of money to spend, multiple first round draft picks and a mandate to craft the next era of Celtics greatness.
And, of course, we’ll be here all summer, criticizing and lauding his moves and making jokes about all things Celtics-related.
So stick around. It’s a long time until training camp opens.
But there’s so much to talk about.