Celtics fans have been asking a lot of questions recently. Since when did the Garden have a curse on it? Why are we losing to bad teams at home so often? Since when was 32 "old?" HOLY LACTATING LUCIFER WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!
Well, there are two things I'd like to mention here. One is that your perception of the Celtics' status is very dependent on your expectations. Clearly, expectations were high this season, and rightly so. To be honest, I thought we would be winning the east, before this season started. Now here we sit in fourth place, and only a half-game behind Atlanta. I honestly believe this is where we will end up. I think we will continue this floundering, winning a few, losing a few till the season ends. There is no reason to believe otherwise, no one can seem to pinpoint the problems, everyone is just saying it's injury and old age, but this is all speculation. In the end, fourth place is not a bad place to end up. Ignore the recent play and think of it as if you haven't seen a single basketball game this season. If you woke up from a coma and your team was in 4th place heading into the play-offs, you'd be like, "not bad at all, we definitely have a chance." That is the first thing on my mind, on to point numero dos:
Unfortunately, the content of the above paragraph is the only way a fan like myself can stay positive about this team. You might say I'm delusional, (especially since I was AT the loss to the Nets) but I have one more hope that I hang on to, and it's the last thing I have before admitting, like so many fair-weather fans already have, that the Celtics aren't going to the Finals this year. That last thing is the first few play-off games the Celtics play. Given our playoffs experience, the rest before they start, the pride of some of our team members, and the fact that maybe some of the vets ARE just waiting for the regular season grind to end, that's all I need to say, "Prove it, big 3. Prove it Perk, show us, oh jolly green giants, that the playoffs mean so much to you."
If we see anything but a very strong effort in that first game or two, I will admit that there is something going on that won't be remedied. I'm not buying the injury story until the Celtics come out and say "we are still injured" because these guys wouldn't be playing. The playoffs are coming soon, and knowing Doc, if some of the guys need extended time off, this is when they'd be getting it.
I'm not even saying I need to see a win. If we go out there and play our asses off and hit a wall of bogut with jennings remembering how to score, or turk and bosh go apeshit, that's still good enough for me. I just need to see that old energy from former days. I need to see proof that we still have the physical and mental toughness necessary to win against good teams. Granted, that might not carry throughout the whole playoffs, but if it isn't there to begin with, well, we won't have to wait very long before we can say that this isn't the year.
In the meantime, lets focus on possibly grabbing third place back and enjoy looking down from our lofty perch as 6 7 and 8 battle it out (all three are 17 games back from 1st as i type this). Honestly, even though I said I expect a 4th place finish, if we get our offense back, we get confidence back, we get optimism, we get hope, we get intensity, we get increased defensive focus, and ultimately, that last domino is simply, wins. My message to the Celtics till then is this: Think like the '04 Red Sox down 3 games in the ALCS. And if this is nothing more than a multi-player slump, let it end soon, cause I am still trained to expect 2 points when I see pierce take a jumper from the elbow, and my brain doesn't compute when he misses and the scoreboard doesn't increment. Lately you could say I've been blue-screening a lot.
Sorry, it's late, I'm losing focus and sanity, goodnight. Three Toe 3/11/2010 10:47:00 PM Tweet Edit