While riding home last night after watching game seven of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, I made the mistake of turning on the radio and listening to the sports talk radio. Of course I get the privilege of listening to an absolute moron call that pretty much showed me there are some that need a hard dose of reality. I listened to a jerk complain that the Boston Celtics had choked and lost this series to the Miami Heat and wanted to find out where this man lived, ring his door bell, and punch him as hard as I could in the face for making one of the stupidest comments ever uttered by a human being. The fact is good, bad, or otherwise this Boston Celtics team led by Rajon Rondo overachieved and despite a ridiculous amount of obstacles came within a few proper calls of going to their third NBA Finals. This team did not choke and people should be proud of their accomplishments.
The fact is Boston went into this series with a gun that was half loaded. The Boston Celtics are a team with an older core that needed support. It is no secret that the team played their best basketball after a young Avery Bradley came in and gave these guys some support. The Boston Celtics core just did not have that support all most of the year and had to over expend themselves to the point that they had nothing left to give in the fourth quarter after going toe to toe with Miami’s younger “Big Three” for six games and three and a half quarters of a seventh game.
Injuries are a part of the game, but how many teams can lose their best on the ball defender that turned into the guy that was their one athletic scorer as well in Avery Bradley, both the guys that were slated to start at center in Chris Wilcox (tell me Wilcox would not have looked better on the floor than Ryan Hollins?) and Jermaine O’Neal, and more importantly the guy that was going to be their six man off the bench that was going to take the scoring pressure off their aging starters in Jeff Green and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals? The fact that they even made it to the Eastern Conference Finals with guys like an injured Mickael Pietrus, an inconsistent Keyon Dooling, and a guy that hardly played in Marquis Daniels as their support should tell you just how great an effort Rondo and the “Big Three” put into this season. However, despite the lack of support Boston was still only a punch away from the Finals.
The “Big Three” were also banged up pretty good as well. Ray Allen was playing despite bone spurs in his ankle that clearly left him a shell of himself. Paul Pierce sprained an MCL that reduced him from a guy that was an absolute monster as he was able to score driving to the basket in the first round of the playoffs to a guy that was just a jump shooter. Even Kevin Garnett was bothered by a hip flexer the entire playoffs that caused him some discomfort going to the basket.
Despite the injuries these guys fought and gave everything they had to try to win one more time. Rajon Rondo would take his game to a new level with triple double and magical game after another. KG would will his body to the 08 form to carry Boston with strong play in the paint. Pierce would not have his driving game in his arsenal, but would continue to shoot and help this team. Ray Allen would find ways to score and defend more athletic guys like D-Wade with balky ankles. There was no quit in this team. In order to beat them, a deathblow would have to be dealt.
The bottom line is this team had obstacles that many teams could not have overcome. They made a more athletic and younger team literally have to drive the stake into their heart despite many people claiming sweep before this series began. These guys showed the heart of a champion with tremendous fighting spirit. If this era is indeed over I would personally like to thank them for reviving Celtics culture. They did not choke, but merely ran out of bullets. I just hope Danny Ainge can reload the gun quickly for Boston to again be in contention with hopefully the resigning of KG being the first bullet reloaded. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!!