Wednesday, June 18, 2008

celtics Win 17th NBA Championship! Congratulations!

Celtics pride is back
Celtics pride is back

Watch numerous videos covering the series

First take a look at the levees failing on the Mississippi, this is getting Horrific!

Now: Celtics return to glory with championship effort by Mark Kriegel

The Boston Celtics' 17th championship was accorded the familiar rituals: the spray of confetti followed by a televised trophy presentation. Still, however loud it remained inside the TD Banknorth Garden, by then the festivities had already begun to take on an anti-climactic air.

As celebrations go, this one was particularly exhausting, having begun midway through the fourth quarter. Finally, with 4:01 remaining and the Celtics up by a mere 35, Doc Rivers removed his triumvirate of stars known as the Big Three.

"They came in as a group," Rivers said. "I thought we should take them out as a group."

They each thanked their coach, the most effusively grateful being Paul Pierce, now concluding his 10th season with the Celtics in a manner he could not have envisioned a year ago.

"He just kept saying, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking with me again,'" recalled Rivers.

This time last year, Pierce was a malcontent on a 24-win team — "the classic case of a great player on a bad team," as he famously described himself — waiting to be traded. "Rock bottom a year ago today," Pierce said.

Now he was the best player on the best team in basketball, a clear choice for the Finals MVP, an award widely forecast to be won by Kobe Bryant.

As it happened, in yet another example of just how strong this Boston team is, Pierce was outscored by three teammates: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and, of all people, Rajon Rondo. Rondo had 21 points to Pierce's 17. Pierce, who's bigger and tougher than anyone really knew, also had 10 assists, one fewer than all the Lakers starters combined.

"Paul was only viewed upon as a scorer," Rivers said. "Now I think people see him as a complete basketball player."

By now there has been plenty of talk about the Big Three doing together — late in their careers — what they could not do alone. "The guys dropping their egos for the good of the team," said Pierce, who grew up an ardent Lakers fan near the old Forum in Inglewood.

But the Celtics were more than their three stars. They were also an amalgam of bit players, castoffs thought to be too young, too old, too limited or perennially dissatisfied. "As important as it was that they trusted each other, I thought it was far more important that they trusted the other guys," Rivers said.

The other guys, in no particular order, included Eddie House, Sam Cassell, Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe, Glen Davis, James Posey and 38-year-old P.J. Brown, who was talked out of retirement. In trusting the other guys, the Big Three set an agenda and a level of expectation for the non-stars. The Celtics, as reconstituted in the off-season by Danny Ainge, would not suffer from foolishness or selfishness or lack of defense. They would rebound. They would fight for loose balls.

Theirs was a virtuous way to play basketball, and it showed in the way they beat the Lakers Tuesday night. The Celtics survived an assortment of maladies in this series, including Perkins' shoulder, Rondo's ankle and Pierce's knee. Still, the absurd final score, 131-92, turned out to be more lopsided than any elimination game in the history of the NBA championship.

But there are yet other ways to quantify the Celtics' glory, and by extension, the Lakers' ignominy:

  • Kobe Bryant scored his fourth field goal at 5:30 of the first quarter. He didn't score another until 7:09 of the third. In other words, Michael Jordan's rep is safe, even in Los Angeles, for another year.
  • The Lakers didn't record an offensive rebound until Sasha Vujacic grabbed the first at 11:11 of the fourth quarter. By then the score was 91-62.
  • The Celtics had 18 steals to the Lakers' four.
  • The Lakers didn't block a shot.

    Looking back on this game, you should recall a single possession in the second quarter that saw Boston grab three offensive rebounds before Posey sank a 3. That put the Celtics up by six, 35-29. But it also made you wonder about Los Angeles.

    The Lakers were about to break, and the arena was about to get loud. It was the kind of loud you just don't hear in L.A.

    ** I expected a blow it for a lot of reasons but you never know. I assumed the series was purposely brought to that point for the financial benefit and so the Celts could win it at home.
    The two steals by Kobe to seal game 5 that would never happen sealed the set up to me. At any rate bring on the parade tomorrow at 11:AM!

    PoliShifter said...

    Congratulations! Long time coming..

    an average patriot said...

    Thanks! They meshed quickly. They want from almost the worst to the best in one year. They deserve it! Tomorrow at 11 is the parade. Listening to the interviews was pretty cool they are definitely overwhelmed!

    Robert Rouse said...

    As an Indiana Pacers fan since they were the top team in the ABA, I have felt an affinity for the Celtics since the days of Bill Russell. Then again, that affinity quadrupled once Larry Bird became a Celtic. Congratulations to the Celtics!

    Minnesotablue said...

    Hey! Congratulations! Our lose is your gain. Garnett was the Timberwolves! The face and the spirit of the team. Drafted right out of highschool and was our only viable player all those years. He recieved a decent salary as far as I can remember but he wanted a championship ring and the wolves never gave him the opportunity to play on a contending team. I beleive at one time there was even some talk of him taking a salary cut if the wolves would have hired other players to make the team better. Now I am not a great proffessional basketball fan(prefer college level) but did attend games as my oldest daughter and son in law have season tickets. Let me tell you, Garnett is a class act and will spill his blood for his team. You are lucky to have him with you and he will continue to be a great asset to the Celtics!

    an average patriot said...

    Funny you say that! I keep wondering what is wrong with Bird. He is really ass holish towards the Celts. Made me think he is mad because they didn't pick him to coach or something.
    I have to laugh! I just commented on your post. That was good. Tell me if you get what I said and you may already use it!

    an average patriot said...

    I didn't know that about Garnett, thanks for the education! Pierce was alone for years and the Celts finally gave him some talent to mesh with and mesh they did. Last year they were the second worse. This year they won it all! Amazing and there should be a few more championships in there somewhere but we will see. Hope you are well!

    Karen said...

    Congratulations Celtics!

    Since my Pistons couldn't win, I was for the Celtics all the way!!

    an average patriot said...

    All right Karen!
    I keep listening to pierce and the rest of them. We're Champions1 They are like kids. I think it's cool Parade at 11 tomorrow ought to be cool!

    Larry said...

    Jim is happy today!

    Brother Tim said...

    Congrats, Jim. Everyone needs a championship sometime.

    an average patriot said...

    Larry and Brother
    Yeah it is pretty cool! I am a Celts fan of course but would be equally as happy for LA if they won and looked hungry and deserving!
    My big appreciated victory will be in making a difference in this still developing Bush mess and victory in the fall and the future for us. Bush is visiting the flooded areas today! I wish to hell someone would tell him to stay away and drop dead!

    HAPPY IN NEVADA said...

    I enjoy your blog because of the entries on our crappy politicians.

    Today it was a nice surprise to find your remarks about the Celtics.

    I'm from Michigan; my husband is from Boston.

    I hated to see my Pistons lose, but it couldn't be to a better team (the Celtics have always been 2nd in line for me; Chicago Bulls in 3rd).

    Anyway, we Michiganders got our Stanley Cup in Hockey this year, so we can 'share'....

    En route are shirts for the Red Wings and Celtics - my husband and I will sport them with pride.

    That last game was the most incredible game I've ever seen (including any Piston's game) - they were on fire; couldn't miss, and what a blitz!

    Regards, Diane

    an average patriot said...

    Happy in Nevada
    That was a hell of a game wasn't it? Regardless of who the tean was. Celt's built a hell of a team around Pierce. There is quite a story there. I am pretty pleased with our local teams but I would be a lot happier if we the people won one for our America.
    Glad you like mt opinion! Even if you didn't I would want your opinion. Funny I haver a couple nephews in Vegas and family around Arizona. How are things in Michigan? Better than the rest of the country I hope! Love your enthusiasm take care and stay in touch! Jim