The Celtics victory over the Bulls last night finished off one of the greatest series in NBA playoff history. I half expected another overtime game, but was ecstatic the Celtics were able to win in regulation. Frankly I don't think my heart could take anymore overtime periods. I feel a mix of happiness and relief, and just hope the Celtics will have enough left in the tank to play the Magic tomorrow.
The Celtics won last night by getting back to their style of basketball. They hadn't played Celtics defense all series long, but played very well last night for the most part. Eddie House finally woke up and hit some big threes. His shooting had been notably absent the entire series and it is a good sign for Celtics fans that he seems to have woken up from his slumber. My red headed brother Brian Scalabrini(Jackie Moon) provided some much needed scoring off the bench. The Celtics bench had by far their best game of the series and I hope it continues. Big Baby Davis and Kendrick Perkins were once again beasts on the boards and did an outstanding job finishing around the basket. Pierce and Allen hit some big shots and even Mikey Moore provided a few solid minutes off the bench. Rondo has not been the same player the last two games. In the first five games of the series he was driving to the basket at will but seemed to be less aggressive in games 6 and 7. He still had one hell of a series though and I still believe he has the chance to be mentioned with the likes of Chris Paul and Derron Williams in the coming years.
A huge factor in the Celtics being able to build and hold on to a lead was simply that the Bulls were missing open shots. Heinrich and Salmons, who had killed the Celtics in the Bulls victories, were essentially non-factors. Ben Gordon, after a solid first half, was not a factor in the second half of the game. Having said that, this Bulls team is going to be really good in a couple years if they keep all these pieces together. It should be interesting to see whether they decide to sign Ben Gordon to a big deal this summer. As clutch as he was this series, I feel like he is way too selfish of a player for the Bulls to pay him anymore than what they offered before.
This series has to go down as the greatest first round series ever. You had multiple overtimes, game winning shots, amazing individual performances, and as much physical play as you will see in any NBA game. Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo gave us the first chapter in what I hope is to be a rivalry for years to come. Glen " Big Baby" Davis and John Salmons proved they are potential stars in the making. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce proved they are the best clutch shooting duo in the league, and Tony Allen proved once again he should not be in the NBA.
I think the Celtics may actually have an easier time with the Magic, though stopping Dwight Howard and the three point shooting of the Magic is going to be a difficult task. I think it could be another seven game series though. The home court advantage the Celtics earned by finishing as the two seed could come up huge. I will write my analysis of the series probably Tuesday after I have had a chance to recover from this last one.
Davis's outstanding performance reminded me of how good this Celtics team could have been with a healthy Garnett and Powe. I truly believe they would have been a better team than last years championship squad. Rondo, Perkins, and Davis are three times better than they were last year, and Allen is playing at a much higher level. I think next year the Celtics will have a reasonable chance to win banner 18. Not to say they can't win this year, but it is going to take a miracle to beat Lebron and the Cavs without Garnett.
Another great weekend in the books and another busy week at work ahead. Please let me know what you think of this blog, comments are always welcome. Have a great night!