Who saw this coming? I mean beating the Cavs was awesome, and I certainly believed that the match-up with Orlando was much more favorable for the Celtics, but to win the first two games on the road is insane. That’s the first time in the C’s storied history that they have ever won the first two games of a playoff series away from Boston. Ever.
Paul Pierce has been the catalyst in this series. You think maybe he enjoys not having to check LeBron James any more? He was on fire last night to start the game. Orlando was slow rolling to him on defense and he just knocked down jumper after jumper. It’s always fun when The Truth is on his game because he plays with so much desire. It’s hard to believe that just three years ago he was mulling over the possibility of moving on from Boston and now he’s hoping to lead them to their second Finals in three seasons.
Someone on TV brought up a very interesting point last night. Since the emergence of Big Three 2.0 no team has ever beaten them in a playoff series when they were healthy. Remember last year the Celtics were without KG for the playoffs, and they still made life miserable for Orlando, after winning that grueling series with the Bulls.
This year’s team is different from the 2008 one, though. Pierce, Garnett and Allen are still big players, but the break-out season Rondo is having has made life so much easier for them. Did you notice that No. 9 hit a couple of mid-range jumpers last night? He’s more than a dish-and-drive guy now, he’s added to his game and is a force to be reckoned with.
Like that 2008 team, the bench has been huge for this team. It’s hard for me to admit, but Rasheed Wallace has been a big part of the Celtics successes over the past few weeks. I still think he tends to take more than his share of bad shots, but he’s finally playing down low, rebounding and making an honest effort.
Big Baby Davis and Tony Allen are stepping it up too. Davis did a great job of finishing plays in Game 2, something he’s not been particularly strong at in the NBA, but he’s been good for 8 to 10 points a night during the playoffs and he brings a ton of energy for such a wide body.
Two more wins and it’s a trip to the Finals, and most likely another match-up with the Lakers. Who would have speculated that that was a legitimate possibility a month ago? Not me, for sure, but I’m sold on this team now.
I never believed that a team could really just hit the switch and turn it on for the playoffs. These guys have. They meandered down the stretch, but they got healthy and now they look like world beaters. Six more wins and that’s exactly what they’ll be, and the naysayers — a bandwagon I’m glad to have vacated — will be wronged. I believe in this team again, and you should too.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.