I am totally on the hope train. Chicago can't monopolize it with our man Barack Obama, and his respect for basketball greatness led him to pick UNC. If he were to make a public NBA playoff bracket, he takes the Celts in five in the first round over his favorite team like a sane and sensible man without a second thought. Read CelticBalla32's accurate, thorough, and much appreciated series preview thread, any non-believer, and know that we have many edges over the Bulls, and all of the tools to correct our mistakes from Saint Pat's.
I have faith with the Magic. The Sixers would be a walk if their injury trouble leads Orlando to stumble. If they have to play a long series that would work too. But besides Rashard Lewis in KG's absence, no Orlando starter will have much of an advantage on the Celts, including Dwight Howard on our Ozark, TX man-child Perk. Rafer should be round two of Rondo's deflation of the young and old, all with big reputations as an impact on their team's chances. Rajon is focused on busting up Mo Williams on the All-Star avenging playoff tour, and is going to amaze us even more than he did on the way to 62 wins for Doc's perfectly coached stretch run. And Pierce always owns Turkoglu ...
After that it is Ray Allen against ... Courtney Lee? C'mon, in the playoffs? And their bench against ours? Marcin Gortat is their biggest asset with a melancholy J.J. Redick and our old friend Tony Battie next in line. That's like an even match-up through ten players if Mikki Moore and Gabe Pruitt were the best players on our bench,and we had Horace Grant when he was on his decline to really blow down the doors with an old veteran grudge or something ... The Magic will be next in Disney Land. The second unit will see to it if the first doesn't. I watched the games from Philly and against Washington twice each. Our bench has only Houston, Portland and the Lakers to look at as actual close pine rivals.
After that, it is still up to Ray and Rajon now. KG's loss on defense can be overcome by the gains in offense and the cohesion we have played with down the stretch without our soul in uniform. We lost on Christmas and Easter to those who would take our crown away, but there are no Christian holidays near Lake Eerie or Los Angeles coming in the summer ... and LeBron is just one animal, albeit a lion that Pierce will have to face to increase his legacy again. We can all deal with him when we get there. The rest of the Cleveland Zoo will need to rise up to keep champions away from a repeat when they smell it. Who remembers the Rockets of the mid-nineties? I know that 1986-87 is the year everyone wants to point to already, and set expectations comfortably on having a good series with the Magic, and we'll see ...
But we don't have to anticipate the outcome of the battles before they're fought. Thanks for these lines, Bruce Lee. Nature is going to take its course, and a team game will be won by the best team. L.A. is the one club that may have us beaten to a man, and they have the West to win. Go Blazers, right? Only half-serious ... because I will shut this passion back up to my private writings with this thought.
We are going to have the chance of a lifetime here. If we: 1)beat arguably, in deference to Saturday's guests, the three most threatening teams at the end of the regular season from the East in succession, and then: 2)somehow take out the mighty Lakers with the front line from heaven and the Marksman on the wings, with a new, improved chorus of angels on the bench, then we will 3) have completed the greatest underdog saga of modern sports memory for me. I know the Pats losing to the Giants is big up there in Mass, but that would be two series against a 66 and 65 win team with home court on their side, following news that interested the sporting world in a way I have not necessarily seen basketball news affect the mass consciousness. Bill Simmons was onto it as well ... Obama's Chicago, Tiger Woods' Magic, and the King's Cavs represent a trio of teams only a devil of a team could run over. Like Pruitt getting drunk when the soon to be important Starbury got his deal done, there can be some moments when we all weaken and think the worst. But like the hardworking and ever-improving Marbury, the Celtics as a whole have some prizes in store on their way to redemption. Especially Steph ... if he can help get Garnett another ring, his atonement will be complete. I can't wait to watch him try.
Under 35 and a half hours until gametime on 4/18 to start the run for number 18! Go C's!