Cripes. If Wednesday’s game against the Nets was a bar fight, and Friday night’s game against the Heat was a pressure cooker, I don’t know what to call the Orlando game. The Celtics gamely battled back against one of the best looking teams in the league, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Kudos to Orlando. It was a fun game to watch.
Talking heads around the city are asking whether the Celtics can win 70 games. Bill Simmons recently revised his Eastern Conference predictions and bumped the C’s up from 49 wins to an incredible 62. Seems easy to get to 62 when you start 8-0, right? Only 54 more! Listen, people, I understand how special the PGA Tour / GAP Band / Boston Three Party / I Had a Threesome Last Weekend is, but it’s easy to drink too much of the Cuckoo Juice and stumble around trumpeting the arrival of the ’07-’08 edition as the heir to the ’85-’86 team’s throne.
Let’s be real. What happens when one of your stars (right now, Ray Allen) goes into a prolonged shooting slump? You’re going to lose a few games. What happens when guys get in foul trouble and we realize why Big Baby was the 35th pick, and why James Posey and Eddie House are journeymen?” You lose. What happens when Tony Allen blows an easy layup in a close game? That’s an L.
A lot of people are going to point the finger at Allen for the blown layup. In particular, I scratched my head when 2K1 Paul Pierce magically appeared on the last possession to hoist a stupid 25-footer. But the Magic won this game more than the Celtics lost it. Dwight Howard showed why he is the new Zo Mourning, posting 24 points and forcing KG to turn in a fairly pedestrian outing. Hedo Turkoglu has no conscience, and on some nights, that works.
So the Celtics are 8-1. Perfect time for a reality check, fans. As much as we salivate over Garnett, Pierce, and Allen, this is a TEAM that will need contributions from everyone to play their best basketball. And that didn’t happen tonight.