Cleveland at Boston; Boston leads series, 3-2
What about the Celtics?
LeBron's elbow. LeBron's rappin' buddies. LeBron's potential homes. LeBron's swift dismissal of LeBron's coaches and/or teammates. LeBron's shoulders, are they squared? LeBron, LeBron, LeBron.
What about the C's?, they ask me. Where did they go, in all this? Beyond sparking themselves to heights unseen since December of 2009 and taking three of five games from the team with the most wins in the NBA, despite playing three of five away from home.
What about the C's?
Well, what about them?
The team that confounded, from January to April? The team that made no sense, all along? What about them? How brilliant have they been? How fantastic have the rotations been? How great have the bigs been, jumping out at LeBron while his defender goes under the screen?
What about those Celtics?
I have no idea. Do you?
Does this make up for it? Does this make up for January to April? Even considering the team's injuries, does this make up for that sense of the malaise? Can we expect anything, high or low, from these Celtics?
Put it this way: LeBron James(notes) scores 45, pulls in nine rebounds, dishes seven assists Thursday night. Dominates the game. Are we then supposed to assume that an approximation of his Game 6 effort will show up in Game 7, back home in Cleveland?
No, we shouldn't. Why? Because Game 5 taught us things about James that we didn't want to know. And that's one game.
The C's? They had half a season to make us wary.
They blew it time and time again, at home, against teams that didn't deserve to walk the parquet. They were injured, to be sure, but they also let us down.
Is that an excuse for ignoring the Celtics over the course of the three games in five that they've won in this series? Of course not.
Boston has been brilliant. Quick into its sets, quick into its reactions to Cleveland's defense of said sets, quick to score. Causing turnovers and havoc in the losses, keeping things simple defensively, and (more or less) keeping its best players on the court.
The Celtics have owned this series, and despite a blowout in Game 3 and a fourth quarter gone wrong in Game 1, they've looked like the team that knows what to do. That's not a line that sounds good and counts for nothing, that's the truth. Boston has played like a team with the blueprint, not a team without a clue, and the results are pretty pure. Three wins in five tries against the team with the most victories in the regular season.
Whatever happens from here credit the C's. Thank them and work them and applaud them for this run. They truly have flipped the switch at the absolute best time. The defense has been proper, the offense has come around, and the bench has come alive. If it sends an NBA MVP to a crappy team in the tri-state area this summer, so be it. Love that dirty water.
Hell of a game Thursday night. Your parents are watching. Your boss is watching. Your friends are flipping over. This is your chance to not only love the playoffs -- on what is probably a gorgeous mid-May day where you're at with all sorts of things still flying through the air, the smell of cut grass happily wrinkling your nose -- but a chance to appear the sage. This is why you scrolled through these posts in December. This is why you love.
Enjoy it. Pay attention. Talk to you Friday.