So. This is awkward. I admit it. I wrote that the Celtics were over the hill, but some events have transpired — i.e. the Celtics won — that, as of late, have forced me to re-evaluate my entire life. Or, at the very least, they forced me to reevaluate my view of the NBA Playoffs. Usually I use this column to thrust onto my loyal readers (which at this point could just be my immediate family) my opinion on all things sports. Even though it is simply an opinion, and not fact, I can still stand to be corrected. And in this case, I deserve some serious revision.
Yes, the Celtics won. And please don’t be sitting there saying “I told you so!” I don’t buy it because we were all thinking the same thing. That is, KG and company were going to look mighty fine in their fishing garb come late April, or maybe, if they were lucky, early May.
Somehow, these old-timers have clotheslined Father Time on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they took Game One on the Magic’s home court. These are the Celtics that, two weeks ago, I thought didn’t have a chance in hell to dethrone Prince James and the wandering buffoons he calls teammates. And let it be known, I have no problem demoting the King to Prince. And I have absolutely no qualms with demoting him to Joker James if he strings together the same sort of pathetic performances next season that he put together for four of the six games of the SECOND ROUND of the playoffs. But I digress.
The Celtics have made Boston believe again. Heck, they made the baby boomers believe that even though the clock is always ticking, you always have time left. The Celtics, instead of copping out and blaming ailing knees, bruised joints or, in Ray Allen’s case, an exhausted jaw (really, as a notorious gum addict myself, the guy needs to stop chewing so hard, and so often; it looks odd and gives him a perpetual scowl that will surely lead to frown lines), they have zoned in even more so on their improbable goal of reaching the NBA Finals.
Sure, they have had a fair share of old man, scratch-your-head moments, like squandering away the big lead in game one, or playing with the same intensity and heart as crash dummies in game three. However, the Celtics, through it all, put together some insane performances over their last series. I mean, two monumental blowouts, as well as two solidly-crafted close-out games, are efforts you could relate to the 2008 Champion Celtics of old, not these old Celtics. Note that when I say old, I’m not necessarily referring to age, although their core three are 99 years old combined. I’m really just alluding to their “look,” or the reputation that precedes them. I already wrote once that Paul Pierce looks like he needs to take a nap (for, like, ever), and I will defend my opinion to my grave. As for the other two, KG walks on two hobbled knees, and Ray Allen has been playing since the turn of the century it seems. Like I said, they shout old.
However, General Manager Danny Ainge has surrounded them with youth, nullifying the old-timer factor. That little punk Rondo has proved his invaluable worth to the team, as well as the other young’n’, Perkins. On yet another side note, I am happy to report the Big Baby has not been too beneficial this series, except for missing shots at the charity stripe and pushing over little kids in the Celtics’ hallway.
I tremendously underestimated the Celtics’ youth leading into the playoffs. The only one yet to be stably revitalized is Pierce, but he seemed to have some semblance of a break-out game in game five of the East Coast Semi’s and had a pretty strong outing two nights ago as well. Still, only time will tell if he chooses to ride the high or push the snooze button on his internal clock. The Celtics’ success in the postseason can be attributed to their blend of maturity levels on the roster. On paper, the 100 years between their “superstars” is not all that attractive, but when infused with the energy of emerging powerhouses like Rondo, it works.
Who knows if they will pull out this series with the Magic? If they do, good job and more power to them. They have done more than anyone has expected of them. However, if they falter after taking the all-important Game One of the Eastern Conference finals, I will be waiting in the wings, ready to come around next year asking what their retirement plans will be with the Golden Girls in Boca.
Daily Nexus sports columnist Julia Speace will feel really awkward if Ray Allen breaks a hip playing Bingo in Florida.