Saturday, June 14, 2008

How Sweet It Is

More than 24 hours later, it's still awfully damn sweet isn't it? The Celtics staged one of the greatest comebacks in NBA Finals history Thursday night, storming back from 24 down to beat the Lakers and take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Not to go all sappy on you, but this game epitomized why we watch sports in the first place. The odds were stacked ridiculously against our team most of the night, and yet when it was all over, they didn't give up and they stole a game that we'll be talking about until we're six feet under, and well after that.

I mean, think about it. You had a sore-ankled Rajon Rondo, whose game revolves around his Ellsbury-like speed. (Like to see those two in a footrace.) You had Kendrick Perkins walking off the floor seemingly holding his shoulder together. You had Lamar Odom (Lamar Odom!) finishing off baskets and wagging his tongue at everyone. You're on the road, which hasn't been kind in these playoffs. The best player on the planet is on the other team. And, to top it all off, it seemed like somebody had nailed a piece of plywood over the C's rim in the first half. Honestly, this one deteriorated so quickly that I was watching U.S. Open golf highlights during the first half, and how many people do you know that went to bed? My college roommate tucked in early, and said his 8-year old son told him Friday morning that "they won." "Who won? The Red Sox?" "No, the Celtics." "What?!? No way..." That conversation was probably pretty common.

Personally, I stuck with it even though I had bricks on my eyelids. I started nodding off a little at the start of the fourth, but somebody up above must have given me a good nudge for the ending. Sitting alone in my family room, I honestly can't remember the last time the Celtics gave me such a thrill.Even better, they do it in front of hater Spike Lee and all the fake Hollywood celebs. C's completed this improbable comeback in front of haters like Jack Nicholson and Spike Lee. (Editor's aside: Lee recently questioned why Clint Eastwood hadn't portrayed any black soldiers in his movie about Iwo Jima. Dirty Harry's response: "Tell Spike Lee to shut his face." Love Clint.)

This game once again showed why this current C's team is just that -- a team. Beginning with the Atlanta series (seems like eons ago), then through Cleveland, Detroit, and now LA, think about how many bench guys have come up big at certain crucial times. James "Pocketful of" Posey. Eddie House. P.J. Brown. Hell, I can even remember Sam Cassell connecting on some important shots. As I've been saying all along, one through twelve the Celtics were/are clearly the better team.

And now? Well now we've got another potential t-shirt and hat game coming up tomorrow - on Father's Day no less. I've debated back and forth with some pals on whether we want the C's to win it all out in LA, or if we'd be okay if they lost Game 5 and won it at home in Game 6. As much as I'd love to see a championship victory on our home turf (that's the only thing missing from this incredible run), I'm also fully aware that you have to kill Kobe and those guys while they're down. That's an easy one. Get the Duck Boats gassed up.

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