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Wanted: Celtics, Preferably With Swagger

April 14, 2011

Will the real Gang of Three (or Four) please show up for the playoffs? (photo credit: cinemafanatic.wordpress.com)

When Joyce and I were discussing topics for this week’s blogs, it went something like this:

me: maybe we should write something about, “celtics v. heat: who would bulls rather see in third round?”

Joyce: it’d be pretty short, right?

‘celtics.’

lulz.

If you haven’t followed the NBA lately, a few marquee teams are slumping.  The Lakers, Spurs, and Celtics represent the savvy, veteran teams whose collective experience is supposed to carry them far into the playoffs.  Yet all three are limping into the playoffs at less than 100%, with more of the problem mental than physical.  The Lakers had a five game losing streak that was reminiscent of the Smush Parker days (who’s that, you ask?  Exactly.); the Spurs finally had a few injuries throw them into an extended losing streak and the Celtics are battling some sort of mental dispiritedness that seems different than their ennui of last year (whether it is tied to the mid-season Kendrick Perkins trade is up for debate – if the Thunder make it far into the playoffs, Boston fandom will be crushed).

Monday night’s Wizards v. Celtics game was a nice way to end what has been a slightly grinding season for Wizards’ fans.  The Wizards opened their home schedule with an OT win over the 76ers and concluded it with an OT win over the Celtics.  Granted, Monday night was the spearmint green version of the Celtics (I bring you the starting lineup of…..Glen Davis, Jeff Green, Jermaine O’Neal, Delonte West, and Von Wafer.  Not exactly an all-star lineup) but one has to wonder if Doc is “resting his starters” out of sheer inability to find any other any other motivational tool that might help revive the seemingly broken Celtics.

As an ardent Bulls fan, would the Celtics please find their swag and bring it to the playoffs?  Kthxbye.

From a rational, efficient perspective, it makes total sense to want to play the Celtics.  The Celtics are slumping while the Heat are surging and of course, who wouldn’t want to beat the MoHeatos after they spurned the Bulls in last year’s free agent extravaganza?  On top of that, the Heat and the Bulls were built in diametrically opposite ways – the Heat made their team top heavy and filled in the roster with veteran players while the Bulls were built with a lot of young pieces (minus Big Sexy, of course) who seem to fit really well around D.Rose.

Yet….

There’s a not-so-insignificant part of me that wants to the Celtics to freakin’ wake up so that we can face them in the conference finals.  I want to knock off the former world champions who have veteran hall-of-famers whom the Bulls took to 7 games and five million overtimes in 2009.  I want Thibs to match up against his former boss in a battle of brilliant tacticians.  I want to see another chapter in the ongoing debate about the point guard studs in the NBA.  I want a series epic enough to instantly qualify for ESPNClassic.

I don’t want to play this shadow of a team.

If we do end up squaring up against the Celtics, I might get my wish.  In order for the Bulls to play the Celtics, they’ll need to knock off both Sixers and the MoHeatos and I think we can safely say that if they’re able to do that, then their championship-caliber defense will likely be back and Rondo will have found his recently scarce playmaking ability.

All this is to say that I hope Doc knows what he’s doing.  Resting his all-stars Monday night was undoubtedly a disappointment for all the Boston fans in the crowd (the fans in green were generally annoying – I thought the Bulls fans could be a pain but I can’t even imagine what the Scalabrine chants were like when the Celtics still had him on their team) but it’ll be a bigger disappointment if it doesn’t pay dividends.  As we roll to the postseason, no team, in the East or West, seems invincible but for the sake of some good basketball, will the real Celtics please stand up?

-Jocelyn

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. gchunt permalink
    April 14, 2011 10:38 pm

    Wow bringing up Smush. That’s a low blow. Not quite as low as referencing back to the Marcus Fizer days for you, but still

    • jyin4 permalink*
      April 19, 2011 2:16 pm

      I think Smush was doomed when his name was printed on his birth certificate – “smush” is what Kobe does to someone’s playoff hopes, not the name of a teammate that he’ll pass the ball to late in the game.

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