I didn't think the Celtics-Bulls series could get any more dramatic but last night took the cake. I can't say I've enjoyed this series, because as a Celtics fan I've probably had three mild heart attacks during the course of these crazy games. The triple overtime win for the Bulls last night, though devastating for me, was one of the best games I can remember seeing in recent history. The fact that it came on the heels of probably the best series ever, definitely the best first round series ever, made it even more amazing. Just when you thought one team had the game in hand the other would come back.
My initial reaction after the game was to point fingers at things the Celtics could have done to win the game. The fact that Paul Pierce passed up a good shot to pass to Brian Scalabrini, resulting in the game winning Joakim Noah three point play would be one. Or the simple fact that Pierce did not look for Ray Allen in the closing minutes of regulation and overtime. Sometimes I think Pierce, as much as I love him, doesn't look for teammates enough on last second plays. Even that last shot by Rondo which was blocked by Rose, was very questionable. Why is Rondo shooting fade away jump shots! However, the fact is none of us really know what was going on in that game. It is really easy to criticize from the safety of your couch. The one thing I will say that is absolutely unforgivable is putting Tony Allen in the game. The guy has to be one of the worst players in the league. Every time he is in the game I know something bad is going to happen.
Let's look at the positive. Rose played extremely well, though he continues to turn the ball over way too much. Ray Allen had one of the best shooting performances I can remember in playoff history, scoring 51 points. Pierce, though making some bonehead plays late, hit some very clutch shots for the Celtics. Brad Miller hit four crucial free throws and a had a huge three and driving lay up to bring the Bulls back in regulation. John Salmons is earning himself a lot of money the way he is playing this series. I didn't even really know who he was before the series began. The one guy I hope gets some recognition is Glen "Big Baby" Davis. This guy has improved more than any player I've seen and has actually probably been an improvement offensively over Garnett. He gets every loose ball, finishes better than most big men, and has a deadly mid range jumper. I really think the Celtics could've beaten the Cavs with a healthy Garnett and Powe(sigh). Whether or not they win or lose in this series, the Celtics have three young guys to build their team around after Pierce, Allen, and Garnett leave.
So what is going to happen in game 7? I really don't know, but I hope it is a Celtics blowout. All these other games, while nerve wracking were nothing compared to what I'd feel during a game 7. The thing that makes this series different than last year though, is that the Celtics don't really have a chance to win it all this season, so really they are playing for the conference finals. Last year I would have literally cried myself to sleep for a month if they had lost to the Hawks. But this year I'd be down about it for a day, then would move on. I think I will appreciate this series a lot more when it is over and I've had some time to reflect on it.
Like a lot of sports writers have been saying, I wish this series could go longer. The great thing about basketball, the thing that separates it from other sports, is the fact that no lead is safe. In basketball a ten point lead with four minutes remaining is nothing. After the playoffs are over I am going to dedicate a whole blog on my love for basketball. Anyway, thanks again for reading and happy Friday!