Man, are these Celtics fun to watch or WHAT?
Team Green completed their recent back-to-back road challenge with wins against the Philadelphia 76'ers and the Indiana Pacers, but may have come away with more than just the W's.
At this point in the season, it's becoming trendy among NBA talking heads and blogsites galore to refer to the Boston Celtics as "The Team Nobody Wants To Face In The Playoffs."
Beginning on that fateful day back in late January against the Miami Heat when the Celtics learned that All-Star point guard and team engine Rajon Rondo would be down for the season, and extending through the season-ending injuries to rookie phenom Jared Sullinger and bench sparkplug Leandro Barbosa, the Celtics put down the potential excuses and picked up their play. Contrary to almost every basketball brain and hoops herald, the Celtics refused to roll over and wallow in the unfairness of it all, instead adapting, excelling and announcing to the league that they would be anything but an easy out come playoff time.
Celtics vs. Pacers Tale Of The Tape to about the 2:09 mark, you'll see what I mean about the bench and how they've been rooting for the team for this entire run.
Even the guys who aren't seeing a lot of playing time seem to be as ecstatic for their teammates as they would be for themselves had they been the ones making the winning plays. In fact, Terrence Williams -- whose signing I happen to believe was an absolute hijacking by the Celtics over the rest of the League -- who has seen less playing time than Jordan Crawford (another steal, I promise you), has been among the most vocal and supportive from the bench, often out of his seat cheering with the joy of a fan in front of his television. Watching how he and the other recent bench additions have been marveling at the exploits of the Hall-bound Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce up close makes me believe that whatever problems some of them were alleged to have had on past teams will be kept to the shadows, at least in the short-term.
If the Shamrockers can keep-on keeping-on the way that they have been, the C's can move past just making the playoffs and start thinking about home court advantage (hey, don't laugh...the Celtics are just a GAME AND A HALF out of 4th place in the Eastern Conference!), and Doc can pull out the the 'ol whiteboard once again.
Don't get me wrong...I'm neither giddy enough to be oblivious to the possible pitfalls awaiting the C's as they race to the end of the regular season and I'm not so much of a homer that I don't believe that there may be great trials that lie ahead in the Playoffs for a team without a true playmaker (and the League's best one at that!).
But, just as there are people who believe that the most important things these Celtics are missing are Rondo, Sully, the Brazillian Blur and a true center, I believe that the most important things they lack are fear and the desire to quit, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.