Ok, the predictions are out and the Celtics have converted 2 of the guys from ESPN to become believers. That's two more than the last series where every one of them picked the Cavs. I feel pretty smart picking the Celtics in 6. I'm picking them in 6 against the Magic as well.
It's pretty sad that almost every article I have read about the Cavs/Celtics series talks about how the Cavs lost rather than the fact that the Celtics won. There are theories out there from LeBron's elbow to Delonte sleeping with his mom as reasons for the Cavs demise. The only one saying that the reason the Cavs lost is because the Celtics played so well is Stan Van Gundy who is not under estimating the Celtics in the least.
I'm still sticking with my parallels with this team and the 1969 champs. That 1969 team was considered too old and came into the playoffs without home court in any of their series. They were counted out by just about everyone. But, that team was also finally healthy in the playoffs and went on to win the championship. This team is also finally healthy and surprising a lot of people.
It cracked me up how everyone was saying the Celtics were too old to beat the Cavs, when the Cavs may have actually been the older team. The
three oldest starters for the Cavs are Jamison who is 33, Parker who is 34 and and Shaq, who is 38. On the other hand, Pierce is 32, Garnett is 33 and Allen is 34.
And our best player, Rondo (24) is younger than their best player (Lebron is 25). The Celtics are truly the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA.
Cleveland and the state of Ohio are pulling out all the stops to get LeBron to stay. Witness this video that is, in my opinion, just plain sad. The whole state is grovelling at his feet. Can you picture Boston doing that for ANYBODY? I would hope that they would have too much pride to embarrass themselves this way.
I like our chances against the Magic. Nelson has been coming up big for the Magic, but hasn't really faced any tough competition. I give Rondo the edge in that matchup. With KG healthy and playing like KG again, I say Lewis has a much tougher time. Perk has always had success against Howard. He is one of the very few in the league who can guard him one on one. That leaves the Carter/Ray and the Barnes/Pierce matchups. The Captain is due for a big series. They are going to start Barnes on Ray and Carter on Pierce. That's like giving Pierce a green light. The benches are going to be key for both players. Sheed vs Gortat, Tony vs Pietrus or Redick, Big Baby vs Anderson. I'd like to see Finley come up with some big games in this series also. Hopefully the Celtics' bench continues to come up big for them.
We knew going into the series against the Cavs that they would be getting preferential treatment from the refs. Stern wants a Kobe/Lebron puppet finals so bad he can taste it. And, in the first 4 games, the Cavs did get a lot of the calls going their way. But I have to say, in games 5 and 6, the refs were pretty much fair, even giving some of the questionable calls to the Celtics. Now with the Golden child out of the playoffs, Stern's best bet is to hope for another Celtics/Lakers finals. The Magic/Lakers finals last year were pretty ho-hum. So, maybe, just maybe we get some love from the refs this game. At least, if Stern was smart we would.
I say Celtics steal one of the first 2 games in Orlando and then win the 3 on their home court to end the series in 6. Orlando has had 2 easy opponents and have been sitting around alot. The Celtics hit this series in stride after dispatching 2 tough opponents that everyone picked to beat them. I like our chances.