Danny Ainge truly believes "really special year" can have a special ending

When Danny Ainge is interviewed lately, he uses the word "fun" a lot. Can you blame him?

This Celtics team with all of the injuries was never supposed to get this far. The team had nothing to lose. Whatever they accomplished in the playoffs would be a success. That's not good enough for Danny.

He is proud of what his troops have accomplished, and he truly believes this group, with the right effort and a few breaks, can go all the way. According to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett Ainge felt Boston had a 50/50 shot against Milwaukee and were underdogs versus Philadelphia.

He definitely feels the underdog label holds for the remaining playoffs, but he likes what he has seen from his guys and stated "It’s been fun to see their development.” There's that word fun again.

I often look for obscure meanings in any Ainge interview. I see none in this one. He just seems positive, hopeful and almost exuberant. This is an example - where Ainge talks about this team, and this year, being really special (per Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett):

“I knew that we were going to be good,” he said. “I mean, I knew that we were going to have a special year. I don’t know what that meant. I don’t have any idea, because there are so many factors — obviously health being a huge factor, and your competition. You just never know going into a season, but, yeah, I felt this was going to be a really special year. And it has been. It has been a really special year in spite of all the adversity.”

“I think our guys believe they can do something special, and I hope they can.”

The Celtics take on the Cavaliers today and are once again underdogs in the eyes of many members of the media and public. In the comment section of my previous article on the Boston/Cleveland match-up, one of our readers, Zaj, gave a very good analysis on why the Cavaliers had such a hard time versus Indiana, both in the regular season (3-and-1 vs. Cleveland) and in the playoffs (tight 7-game series).

His analysis is worth reading and gives us more reason for optimism. The 5th-seeded Pacers gave the 4th-seeded Cavaliers everything they could handle. The Celtics, decimated by injuries, still have the cast to advance to the NBA Finals. This has been a really special year - and a lot of fun for so many of us.

Follow Tom at @TomLneHC

Photo via Matt Stone Boston Herald