I usually stay in the present when discussing the Celtics, but tonight is an exception. The boys just won #50, and honestly it had more of an impact on me than expected. The last time the C's won at least 50 games was 1992. Larry Legend was striding the parquet floors for the last time. It's been that long. And when you're talking about a franchise as storied as this one, that's an eternity. Every other team in the NBA has won 50 games since then except the Warriors, Nuggets, Clips, Wiz, Bobcats and Raptors (the last two are expansion clubs.) Talk about keeping good company. Any true Celtic fan can relate more to the aforementioned teams the last fifteen years than the Lakers or Bulls. This is our first encounter with quality in a great deal of time. The stark difference is something we are all still getting used to.
50 wins, mind you, ain't all that great. It just means you presented a good team, and often not much more. The fact that the Celtics were unable to do even that for fifteen years has been well documented; but the emotional bearing of such mediocrity is not so easily conveyed. For my entire adult life the Celtics have been thoroughly insignificant. Some years are better than others, but the results are pretty much the same, with the occasional exception. As Celtics fans we are used to the futility of not being regarded as anything, as not worth thinking about, except as maudlin nostalgics. Obviously this whole year has changed that, and makes you realize how utterly shitty a feeling it is to cheer for a team that is going nowhere, with no end in sight. It is almost better to be absolutely terrible (like last year), and have the hope that it could lead to much bigger things (like Oden and Durant.) Of course last year did lead to much bigger things, just not in the way any of us would have expected.
A few quick thoughts about tonight's win over the Sixers:
-I love Louis Williams and hate Donny Marshall, but the Horrible Husky made a good point about Williams' iso game disrupting the Sixers' flow. Louis is a good player, but he was no help for Philly this evening. The C's did a good job of getting the entire Sixer squad less pass-happy during the second half.
-Sam looked like someone who hasn't played in three weeks and hasn't practiced with the team - which is the case.
-KG was on fire offensively, and his defense was insanely good as usual. I wonder if Kevin will become a three point shooter as he reaches his autumnal years. It could maybe add something to his game if utilized properly. He went 37 for 116 back in 2001-02, career highs in makes and attempts.
-Perk has been beastly as of late. Beastly.
-Looking ahead I know no one wants to play LeBron (a pedestrian 24-11-10 tonight) in the playoffs, but the Celtics have a margin of victory that is over ten points a game. The Cavs, on the other hand, have been outscored by their opponents this season. That means something.