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Remember... The Heart of the Celtics

So here we are, backs against the wall facing a 3-0 deficit against a team that has now become a rival. Since the arrival of Kevin Garnett to the Celtics in 2007, the Boston Celtics have never been down 3-0. They’ve also rarely been a home underdog in a deciding game. But after the abysmal performance and effort on Friday night (and several extra drinks by me) it got me thinking about the heart the Celtics used to show.

Forget 2008. We can talk about that another time. Besides, the Celtics never really faced adversity then. They didn’t have any major injuries, the Big 3 was younger and hungry, and there were only 2 or 3 other competitive teams. Let’s look at 2010, the teams 2nd finals appearance. Not only did they get to a game 7 against the defending champion Lakers, but they took down a heavily, heavily favored Cavaliers team in the Conference Semi-Finals that season. Remember that? It was LeBron’s last season in Cleveland. When he actually quit on the team in game 5 with the series tied 2-2. The Celtics came out and put a whooping on them even though they knew the talent level on their team wasn’t as high.

Jump ahead to last year. The Celtics came into the playoffs as a 5 seed. Beat a weak Hawks team in 6 games. Got taken to 7 against a pesky up and coming (or so we thought) 76ers team, and took the soon to be NBA champions to a game 7, where they were actually leading in the 4th quarter. They were far inferior to the Heat talent wise, but they wanted it. They wanted to be there. They wanted to win.

Fast Forward to now. With the exception of Kevin Garnett (who played his ass off in game 3 with 12 points and 17 rebounds) and maybe Paul Pierce, no one wants to be in the playoffs. Granted with the exception of Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley, no one was on the team last year. But the drive and desire that Celtics fans are used to from their team just isn’t there. And there is absolutely zero blame going on Doc Rivers here. He has done the best he can with what he’s been dealt. Losing Rondo, Sullinger, and Barbosa were huge hits to the team both talent and morale wise. But the fact that only Pierce, Garnett, and Terry are the only players that have won a championship should be motivation enough to get there. I haven’t seen a Celtics effort in the playoffs as bad as the one on Friday night since game 7 in the first round against Indiana in the 2005 NBA Playoffs.

Am I expecting the Celtics to come back and win this series in 7 games? Absolutely not. Of course I would love for it to happen. The odds of this series even getting to a game 6 are a long shot. If in fact this is Kevin Garnett’s last season, the man does not deserve to go out like this. No NBA team has ever won a 7 game series after being down 3 games to none. If this were any of the Celtics teams from 2008-2012 I would have the ultimate confidence that they’d be making history. Now I’m just hoping we don’t get swept today.


Sunday, April 28, 2013 

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