Is it too early to start geeking out with excitement over Wednesday night's Celts-Pistons matchup? It is, you say? Well then, find another Celtics blog. I, for one, am nearly beside myself with anticipatory glee. I've seriously been looking forward to this game since the season began, or at least since the C's started humiliating every Eastern Conference minor league franchise in sight. This is a huge game for Celtics fans, and arguably the biggest game of the young NBA season, period. Think about it: not even Danny Ainge and all the Latter-Day Saints combined could have predicted that the Celtics would start off the season this well, winning over 90% of their games with a downright disturbing point differential of +14.2. The Pistons, meanwhile, are decidedly unimpressed, going 17-8 (3rd best W-L in the League behind the C's and San Antone) while cranking out their own none-too-shabby point differential of +8.5, runner-up to the C's. The knock on the Celts is that they've played lousy competition--I've tried to convince myself this isn't the case, by the way, but it's impossible; if anything our opening schedule has been even more laughably easy than it looked at the beginning of the year--and now the 19th of December is nearly upon us, the day the Pistons stroll into the Garden and, well, that's why we watch sports.
I'm no prognosticator, although I direct your attention to the Orlando Magic's 17-8 record if you're looking for evidence to the contrary. But I've got a good feeling about this one. Make no mistake, the Pistons are good, damn good, possibly better than any of us realize, and what's more, they WILL show up to play. They're consummate professionals and they want this win badly. But I can't help but think the C's might want it even more. Knowing what we know about Kevin Garnett, don't you think he's been circling this game in his mind every single time he hears some talking head prattling on about how his team hasn't faced elite competition? Particularly since that tough loss in Orlando? And, knowing what we know about KG, don't you think he's been making sure that nobody on the goddamn team forgets any of this, even for a second? It's almost humbling just to think about it.
Maybe I'm wrong; maybe the emperor has no clothes, or at least way shittier ones than we all think. But I don't think so. If Ray Allen plays and is effective, the C's win by 12. Even if he's not, they win by 5. And whatever happens, one thing is for sure: the rest of the season starts Wednesday.