Boston Celtics 85, Philadelphia 76ers 75 (Boston wins series, 4-3)
It would be too easy to write the Boston Celtics off — or write the Boston Celtics up — as the ultimate lockout season outfit, right? The Celtics, who hung on to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night to move on to another trip to the Eastern conference finals (their fourth in the last decade), have at times looked worthy of that third-round honor this season or worthy of a spot in the lottery. This seven-game series showcased both versions of that outfit, which has us wondering if this is the team that personifies this nutty lockout season more than any other.
It's an easy tag, but we're enjoying it. This is a team that made its move only once its longtime star got back into shape, following the extended labor impasse. It features a burgeoning star at point guard that nobody seems to know what to make of, and a longtime power forward that finally moved to center 17 years into his career because his team and his game had no choice. Boston features a scoring forward in Brandon Bass who is only on the team because of a rash move by a since-fired GM who was attempting to placate a star on another team; a star whose insidious destruction of his own team happened only last month, even if it feels like ages ago. The team's shooting guard can barely walk. The team's former starting shooting guard just went under the knife for the just-about unprecedented double-shoulder surgery. A couple of times a game, even in close contests, Ryan Hollins and Greg Steimsma get to play.Read More »from Behind the Box Score, where the Boston Celtics are moving on to the conference finals