Potential is a dangerous word. We throw it around a lot in sports and many an athlete have become rich off it. The Celtics haven't played to their potential all season, but picked a good time to finally show it. Even TLC had a great game. There must be something in the water. It was certainly a sight to behold for Celtics Nation.
Let's not all get too excited about the win. Sure, we took away home court advantage from Cleveland in a dominant fashion. However, the Celtics struggles at home have been well documented, and the Cavs will be very determined to come back and prove themselves at the Garden this weekend. However, the fact remains that the Cavs are not as good a team as the Celtics when both teams are at their best.
This series resembles the Celtics-Lakers finals two years ago. You have this so called unbeatable team with the MVP of the league that is supposed to walk all over the old Celtics. The Celtics had battled their way through tough series after tough series the entire playoffs during that championship run, and were given little chance outside of Boston to win. This year they battled through an injury riddled and disappointing season and no one believed they could win another title. The fact remains that the Celtics were the better team both times.
The problem with these Celtics all year hasn't been lack of talent or even age. It's been a lack of effort and desire to win. They have by far the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. They have one of the best shooters of all time in Ray Allen. They have a Finals MVP in Paul Pierce, and they have a 14 time All Star in Kevin Garnett. Sure, they aren't the players they once were, but they're still very good.
What do the Cavs have again? They have Lebron and a bunch of inconsistent 3rd scorers with a couple hardnosed roll players mixed in. Antawn Jamison (as much as I like the guy) isn't a proven playoff scorer. Mo Williams is terrible when he's not hitting his shots, which is basically every other game. Shaq is the Jermaine O' Neal of the Cavs. He should've retired years ago and now just helps the other team win. Please keep playing him Cleveland. Parker and Moon play well 1 quarter a game. Hickson is pretty good but thankfully doesn't play enough. Even Lebron bails out the defense too much with dumb fade away shots. Plus the fact that he can't shoot free throws. The Cavs being last in the league in free throw shooting is not talked about nearly enough.
The bottom line is that at their best, the Celtics can beat anyone. Yes, that includes the so called best team in the league. The problem is they are so inconsistent. Who knows what team will show up in Game 3? All I know for sure is watching the passion and energy they played with last night brought a huge smile to my face. They were having fun again and coming together as a team. At the end of the day it's the team that wins, not the individual. Let's hope the Celtics build on this one and come away with two wins at the Garden.