Like many hardcore hoop fans, I tuned into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals Saturday night.
My family and I travelled up to Northern Michigan to visit my father in-law for the Memorial Day weekend.
He has a pretty cool house right off of Lake Huron.
It was going to be a great weekend.
That is until I learned there was only 1 TV in the house.
Thank heavens my wife and father in-law allowed me to reserve the set in the living for Sixers-Celtics.
Do you ever hear people who watch basketball say, “so and so is too old.”
It’s clear those people have never played the game.
Now look, I understand when players lose a step or two their performance suffers. They get beat on defense. Take bad shots or can’t finish on the break. They blame some nagging injury on their lack of quickness and oh yeah, they complain about their minutes. Some even think they should get more touches.
But there’s something else that we like to call “pride”.
And boy do the Boston Celtics possess a lot of it.
It’s one thing if you are aging and have zero courage, toughness and lack desire. But the C’s vets are fearless, do not back down to anyone and are juiced up for what many call their last run together.
I’m talking Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
These guys are warriors. You think they are going to fold like a cheap suit?
But let’s start with the guy people seem to forget about when talking Boston Celtics basketball.
Point guard Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double (18-10-10) on the night leading the way for Boston’s 85-75 victory. It was his second triple-double of the series. Rondo also turned the ball over 7 times. The former Kentucky Wildcat needs to cut down on the TO’s against Miami or LBJ and Co. be off to the races. Despite what Mike Lupica thinks, Rondo’s going to be the difference in the Eastern Conference finals.
“We feel we can beat Miami. Obviously we got to this point. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can, so we got to go down there and take care of business.” Said Rondo following the game.
Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen started the game 1-9 from the field but made a big three-point bucket with 5:51 to play in the game putting Boston up 69-61. Allen has been battling an ankle injury but he isn’t like some other guys; you will not hear him making excuses. He just plays!
KG was in rare form Saturday night. How can you not love this guy? 18 points and 13 rebounds on the night. I love to see KG shoot the mid-range turn-around jumper off the glass. For the series KG scored 19PPG and pulled down 11RPG. One thing you can never question about Garnett is his desire, energy and enthusiasm.
Despite fouling out in game 7 against Philly, Pierce has been battling a sprained knee but he’s got too much pride to just lay down and let Miami steamroll his team. He’ll scratch and claw for every rebound and loose ball.
All 5 Celtics starters scored in double figures for the game.
“I don’t look at them as the Big Three. I look at them as the championship four. My hat is off to them.” Doug Collins said following the game.
I’m not counting the Celtics out against the Heat. Matter of fact, I’m picking them to win in 7 games.
Two outstanding plays at the end of the game by both teams that caught my eye that most fans probably did not notice. Rondo held the ball out on purpose thus getting called for a shot clock violation. When the ball changed hands the Sixers dribbled out the clock to end the game. I love when guys do that. No need to score. Game is over.
With my wife and daughter upstairs in the main bedroom Saturday night watching movies on their i-pads, my father in-law decided to watch the game with me. He fell asleep at the end of the 3rd quarter, missing the entire 4th.