Friday, May 30, 2008

Finally Satisfaction

Oh my. The amazingness continues. There is a ton to say, but for now let's be brief and try to enjoy the moment. The Celtics made the Finals tonight by doing exactly as we would have hoped - by playing their way, and not backing down an inch. It was how they played the entire regular season, a terrific display of defense, toughness, and resolve. Now if we only knew what to make of it. Beating Detroit in six seems like a hell of an accomplishment. But if you read Simmons today you would think it's all for naught. And he's got a point. But everything is deeper than what Simmons wrote about, and it's impossible not to start thinking about what the Celtics are as we savor the afterglow of this wonderful victory.

What was so gratifying about tonight is that the Celtics shouldn't have won this game. The officiating in the third quarter was atrociously biased against Boston, so despite playing better than the Pistons they found themselves in a ten point hole. If they played how they usually did in the postseason they would have just faded away. But instead Boston battled back as only superior teams can. And therein lies the great paradox of this club - no team this year has more talent than the Celtics, including the Lakers. It's just we no longer have any idea how much of it will be on display.

It was all there tonight, however. And I truly believe that the Celtics are better than a Bynum-less Lakers. I know Gasol adds a whole new (and brilliant) dimension to LA, but the Celtics whooped the Lakers both times they played them, and seemed to match up very favorably to the purple and gold. Now, apparently, everything has changed - the Lakers have exceeded expectations, while the Celtics have struggled mightily. But the Finals don't start till Thursday. The Celtics will have more than one day off for the first time in over a month. In many ways they are actually more of a veteran team than the Lakers. And maybe, just maybe, things are only gonna get better for the Green.

7 comments:

Michael said...

blow the horns and ring the bells

Celtics will take the Lakers in 7 just to make it interesting (the refs will continue to pay their gambling debts as they tried this series). There will be fights. There will be tears.

9-2
And we'll do it again next year but after that it'll be handed over to younger blood.

wharper said...

I am so glad that last night's atrocious officiating has ended up being just a parenthetical statement amidst the big shift in perspective - out of this series and into the grandeur of the Finals - both the history and the present-day matchup.

To reflect on the Pistons for a moment, I can now bestow compliments on Stuckey and Maxiell as two excellent young talents who should keep Detroit in Eastern contention for years to come (unless they jump ship to another team - I wouldn't be opposed to seeing either in Green, honestly).

Posey was huge, Powe even got into the game briefly (solidly contributing, as always, immediately getting to the freethrow line twice, surprising no one who frequents this site).

This was all well-deserved, and frankly, unbelievable. As a born and raised Celts fan of the 80s, who spent the entire 90s mourning Len Bias and Reggie Lewis, only to eventually, depressingly became way too familiar with what could be summed up as " The Vitaly Potopenko Era", I'm just completely astonished by this past season, and am still somewhat in disbelief.

BEAT LA
BEAT LA
BEAT LA

Nathan said...

Complaining about the refs after a win? To me this epitomizes the difference between the Celtics and the Spurs, who were all class and even after losing refused to say anything about the officiating. Your guys have to be about the most obnoxious, preening, entitled, and just generally classless group of individuals ever to play the game. And that's not even to mention your crotch-grabbing, shot-jacking, ET-looking 40+ year old championship piggybackers. And as a Laker fan, I'm loving the chance to face a truly despicable opponent for the first time in these playoffs.

Lots of people seem to be picking the Lakers (although I don't believe for a second that Simmons' article is his honest take). But the Celtics won 66 freakin games and as you pointed out, match up well against the Lakers. It should be a great series.

Oh and one last thing: that was clearly an offensive foul on Pierce, and I was thrilled to see Bennett Salvatore actually call it. Pierce gets away with that kind of crap way too often.

wharper said...

Fine - to clarify as a response to the trolling: When I referred to the officiating as atrocious, I should have specified that it was atrociously inconsistent.

Also - I do agree that Pierce gets that call a lot, but not nearly so much as Chauncy Billups does - a call he actually got almost directly preceding Pierce's foul. Inconsistent. Just don't get me started on KG's third "foul", or the earlier lack of a Technical (again) on 'Sheed vs. Perk's T on KG's said foul.

Lastly - there is no shame in pausing from appreciating the accomplishment and what's ahead to actually break down the game itself. We are all fans of the sport itself, here, right? Not necessarily just rallying around favorite players while casting opponents in baseless villain-roles, are we?

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