The Celtics find an even better way to lose than just getting swept

The Celtics find an even better way to lose than just getting swept


Remember the “Minneapolis Miracle?” You might, but if you don’t it’s when the Minnesota Vikings pulled out a last-second win in the divisional round over the Saints when the entire New Orleans secondary decided to reenact a Three Stooges routine. However, it doesn’t really get the play that, say, the Immaculate Reception or Tuck Rule might, because the Vikings went on to get utterly popped the following week in the NFC Championship game. It still means a lot to Vikings fans, but for the rest of us, it requires a little excavation in the memory files to call up. It’s a quirk, an outlier to the familiar story of the Vikings eating shit in January, a story we all know much better.

The Boston Celtics have one of those now.

Derrick White pulling the entire Celtics season, and some serious navel gazing this summer through the entire organization, out of the darkness at the very last possible moment in Game 6 is supposed to be the kind of foundational wonder that they write songs about for decades. There should be an oral history of it in five, 10 years. Maybe a mural somewhere in downtown Boston. Now, just a footnote, a (glaring) detail in the story of when this era of the Celtics changed. Maybe for the better in the long run, more likely for the worse. But it no longer really stands alone. If it does, it does so merely as an example of what the Celtics wasted.

No one’s going to feel sorry for C’s fans of course, who swaggered into the Eastern Conference Finals thinking they got a break seeing the 7th-turned-8th-seeded Heat, which should have taken place in the first round had the Heat not taken the night off against the Atlanta Hawks way back in the play-in. Then they watched the Green cough up two home games and quit in Game 3, only to have their hopes defibrillated back along with that swagger before Game 7, and then…well, this:

An NBA team still hasn’t come back from a 3-0 deficit

There’s a reason that a 3-0 comeback in the NBA hasn’t happened, because in a playoff basketball series what got you into that hole is real. It’s not a flash, it’s not a series of rolled sevens. In hockey, a goalie can catch fire or fall apart, and really only a few bounces have to go the trailing team’s way to get things to at least the “dicey” level. When the Philadelphia Flyers did it in 2010, an accomplishment that TNT forgot to mention to only further Flyers fans’ summer of discontent, they won three one-goal games. It’s only happened once in baseball, when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees so ravaged each other’s pitching staffs that just about anything could happen.

In the NBA, Game 7s should look familiar, and this one did, aside from Jayson Tatum’s injury in the opening 15 seconds. It changed things, but only accentuated everything wrong with the Celtics in the first three games. They couldn’t make a three, they had too many braindead possessions, their coach went into vapor lock when adjustments were needed. Perhaps finding a way his team could not treat a zone defense like it was an alien life form or spending two to three quarters playing a drop coverage on screens that gave all of the Heat’s supporting cast all the time in the world to bury from the outside. Tatum’s lack of explosion severely limited his game, and Jaylen Brown apparently took this as a signal that only hero-ball from him would save the team, which turned his handling of the ball to be soundtracked with a whoopee cushion and his shot selection to look like a Pollock painting. It’s a lot of what they looked like in Game 6, but they got away with it once. They didn’t far more than they did though in this series, which is why they’ll be packing up today.

Boston Bruins, Celtics both lose Game 7s to No. 8 seeds

While it’ll never be enough to shut them up, Boston now becomes the first city to have teams lose Game 7s at home to an 8-seed in two different sports in the same spring (though again, the Heat are really the 7th seed but it’s better to consider them the 8 for this reason alone). And they did it in about as excruciating fashion as you can, as if losing a Game 7 at home wasn’t enough. The Bruins blew a 3-1 lead. The Celtics did just enough to get their fans believing twice, and wasted a truly epic, never-to-be-repeated moment. And it’s quite possible that this loss will break the Celtics’ brain. Certainly Brown gave them enough ammo to justify getting a little loopy with his eight turnovers when his team needed him to drive the bus.

Somebody check on Bill Simmons

Anyway, one more time:

Jerry Reinsdorf spends money on network, not his teams

Funny how the White Sox couldn’t afford the extra arm they needed in the rotation or the middle infielder with a bat as well as a right fielder, and yet…

The White Sox are 22-34, and haven’t won a series in the playoffs in 18 years.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Feslgate to tell him to stay out of White Sox business again.


Original source here

#Celtics #find #lose #swept

About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.