Dear Celtic Fan

Dear celtic fan,

Some of you have been trying to give me a little heat because I refuse to say that you have the better team. Get used to it, I am not going to change my tune. Yes, you are up 3-2. You have won one more game than we have. But that doesn’t make you the better team.

You are still the underdog here. Still the team that has made fewer mistakes and that translates into victory. The NBA has what, 30 teams that are in the league. Virtually all of them make the playoffs. In fact, if your team didn’t make the playoffs it is probably because they died in a plane crash or are lying comatose somewhere.

Not nice, but true. Everyone makes the playoffs. Your homer Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy had all sorts of things to say about you.

I thought the Celtics played their fans this season. Don’t rope us in with “ubuntu” for two years then turn your back on it like it was a kabbalah fad or something. Don’t tell us to embrace “The New Big Three,” then shop Ray Allen for eight months like he was a used car. Don’t tell us our best forward’s knee is fine when we see him limping. Don’t blame the effort of your players after a loss when you played all 12 of them like they were Little Leaguers, or when you keep playing the one guy who exhibits no effort whatsoever without calling him out once. Don’t sign a second center for big bucks, then act surprised when the incumbent center bristles about his playing time. So on and so on. It was an empty season filled with excuses, half-truths and false promises. Just because they won two years ago doesn’t mean fans had to blindly condone it.

Or what about this gym dandy one:

“Sheed’s Celtics are 25-24 since Christmas. The 2008 world champs killed themselves every night. A depleted 2008-09 Celtics team exhibited remarkable pride and heart. Now they’re bored and sluggish? Now they’re searching for ways to get fired up? Now they’re blowing home games left and right? Now they’re on pace to break the unofficial record for “most players-only meetings and clear-the-air dinners” by a contender in one season? A team led by three future Hall of Famers who ALWAYS tried in the past? It doesn’t add up.

Sheed may not have infected the Celtics as Character X did, but he did compromise the one thing that made them special: intensity. They care only when it suits them. The seven words that defined Sheed’s career. Both the team and Sheed think they have an on/off switch that can be flicked at any time. Not true. They are in denial. “Lost” has the Smoke Monster; the Celtics have the Smoke and Mirrors Monster. And it’s the entire team.” (emphasis mine)

So you’ll understand that I don’t give you much credit for losing your way into the play-offs. I don’t respect your play because it was half-assed. And it grates on my nerves to see the Lakers give away games that they could have easily won. Lackadaisical play and they are down to a team they could have swept.

I suppose that I’ll continue to take some lumps for this one. If the Lakers choke it away I’ll be abused. But I am ok with that because what choice do I have. I don’t have to like it, but I may have to accept it.

Still, the series isn’t over yet and if the boys show just a little bit of fire you will be toast. Enjoy the moment celtic fan because the other thing that I know is that you are old and unless Ainge pulls off a miracle you won’t be competitive for a while.

For now we’ll keep fighting against your inferior team. Time will tell.

The Lakers Crash and Burn

Well the freaking Celtics destroyed the Lakers. It reminds me a bit of ’84, but back then the boys in purple and gold did a better job than the current edition.

Funny thing, a few of the ’84 Celtics have made their way into positions as general managers. Why is that funny? Because they managed to execute some personnel moves that only benefited the Celtics and did nothing for the other team.

More specifically, former Celtic Kevin McHale just happens to be the G.M of the Timberwolves, you know the team that sent Kevin Garnett to the Celtics for nothing. Let’s take a look at the result of that trade.

Minnesota lost their best player and finished the year with a record of 22-60 as opposed to the Celtics who rolled to a record of 66-16.

Garnett made a huge difference to that team, as did the addition of Ray Allen. Remember that last season the Celtics had a record of 24-58.

Anyway, they played harder, they played with more desire and more consistency than the Lakers. Bottom line, they deserved it more. I have to give them credit.

For Laker fans the good news is that we got back to the championship sooner than we expected. It is a young team that is awaiting the return of Andrew Bynum. If all goes well he’ll come back healthy and we’ll see benefits from that and the experience gained from this year.

For now, it is over until November.

Live Blogging Game 5 Lakers-Celtics

Live blogging the first quarter of the Lakers-Celtics game. Once again the Lakers are dominating the game. Once again I shake my head and my fist and beg the purple and gold to give their fans 48 minutes of this energy/intensity.

I hate the celtics and can’t stand the idea of losing to them. It is one thing to lose to a superior team, but they are not. They simply are not better. But they have done a better job of maintaining intensity and playing with hunger and desire.

That combination puts them over the top. Truth is that I don’t dislike these guys with the same intensity as I did during the ’80s, but those players you loved to hate. These guys, not so much. Still that doesn’t mean that I want them to lose any less.

The hated ones haven’t won a championship in 22 years. There is a reason for that and let’s hope that they wait another 22 years.

Still, the chances of that are slim. The Lakers inconsistent behavior has placed them in a very tough position. If they come back and win the series that will help mitigate the sting of that last loss. Win the series and no one will talk about that loss, lose and you guys get to play goat for years to come.

A Great Comeback Falls Short

If you asked me to name my favorite sports teams I would tell you that they are The Lakers, The Dodgers and The Raiders. If you ask me to name an American League team I’ll pick The Angels, in part because of their coaching staff who are former Dodgers.

Remember, I am a dreamer who still believes in the magic of dreams. Happy endings don’t have to something that only happens in movies or cheap massage parlors. I know, in a number of posts I have written that I don’t always believe in happy endings. That is true, but at the same time my heart tells me that if you believe magic can happen.

Watched The Lakers play the hated ones and gritted my teeth. For most of the game they looked awful and out of sorts. I watched Academy Award nominee Paul Pierce and his fake knee injury run up and down the court. I watched and tried not to crawl out of my skin.

Most of the time I just brush it off. Sports aren’t that important. The players don’t lose any sleep over how I feel, why should I be bothered by by it. But the truth is that at this time of year it sometimes gets under my skin.

I get a lot of pleasure from watching the game. I am grounded in reality, so I don’t engage in silly fantasies that I can play like Magic or Jordan. But I enough of a dreamer to imagine that I could be a role player. Championships are won because of role players. They guys that do the little things, the dirty work that people forget about. That is my game. That is exactly my game. I play solid defense, I rebound, I hustle, I outwork the other guy.

So sometimes in my head I can hear Chick Hearn praising my accomplishments. I could be that guy.

Tonight as the game progressed I watched the boys falter. I saw them lose their edge and watched as some of them surrendered. I hate that. I hate it, I hate it. Maybe it is because somewhere inside this 39 year old is a little boy who wishes that he could play pro ball for a living. Maybe it is because every time I hear those bastards chanting “Beat LA” I get fired up.

I love sticking it in their faces. I love watching my boys take the crowd out of the game. For a while tonight I wondered if they had any fire at all in their bellies.

And then from 24 points down they came roaring back. The impossible became the improbable and went all the way from unlikely to maybe. Five three pointers were part of a 41 point fourth quarter push that came up short.

For the first time all night I saw fear in the eyes of the celtics. For the first time all night I saw the Lakers get up on the balls of their feet and take it to those guys and I loved it.

I loved it because it touched upon every bad cliche you can think of. It was the tired prize fighter refusing to be knocked out. It was the guy who gets knocked down over and over and still gets back up again.

Look, if The Lakers lose the series I am going to have to eat a lot of crow. I hate the taste of leather. I talked the boys up. I still believe the the NBA east is a subpar division that isn’t nearly as hard to get through as the West.

But that doesn’t matter. The winner of this will be the winner. So while The Lakers cames close to pulling off one of the great comebacks of all time, they still lost. Now the series comes back home and we’ll see what happens.