Celtics/Magic Game 4 Recap
The “What If” factor.
by Sammy Newman-Beck and Andrew Beck
1986—The Boston Celtics win their 16th championship going away, dominating the Ralph Sampson led Houston Rockets. It’s June and the weather in Boston is beautiful.
Life is good.
The Bird Era is set to continue the run of the NBA’s champion of all champions—Red sitting smoking his stogie and the Celts have the 2nd pick in the Draft due to a trade of Gerald Henderson (the father, not the son). Waiting in the wings is Len Bias, a 6-8 Michael Jordan, a ferocious man with a jumper and elevation that can’t be created only imagined. What would that look like? Bird, McHale, Parrish, DJ, Danny and Len Bias. Oh my, another five or six championships added to the rafters. Good night NBA.
A day later, a dollar short. Len Bias is dead. Cocaine intoxication; tragedy strikes. A nightmare on Causeway street. Go back to sleep Celtics. Bird gets hurt, McHale breaks his foot. Days drift into years. Rick Pitino comes to save the day. Larry bird ain’t walking through that door. Maybe Tim Duncan will. Celts have two of the top six picks in 1996?
Visions of dunce starting the championship engine drift into Boston, but the nightmare won’t end. Tim Duncan in green? Not in this lifetime—green as in dollars maybe, but not in Celtics. More “what ifs.” More losses. Twenty year’s worth.
Until KG, PP and Ray Ray. One can’t help but wonder…
This is a game of “What Ifs.” What If Shaq stayed in Orlando? What If Doc Rivers never left Orlando as a coach? What If Len Bias never passed? We wouldn’t be sitting here watching the Celtics with the Big 3 (and I don’t mean Pierce, Ray and Rondo). The Celtics would have won in the 90s. Rick Pitino would still be coaching in the NBA.
– What If the Celtics had Tim Duncan and not “The Truth”?
– What If KG won in Minnesota?
– What If Pierce went out last year in the Playoffs when he hurt his knee?
– What If Jameer Nelson wasn’t injured. What if KG was healthy?
– What if Rajon Rondo never developed?
– What if my last post about Game 7 Celtics vs. Bulls was about a C’s loss?
– What if Big Baby didn’t hit that jumper last night?
What If the Celtics lost last night? The NBA Playoffs wouldn’t be quite as exciting for sure. The Celtics with a loss last night would be done, season over, nada mas. On a night where every Boston-bread sports team took home a victory. “Nothing Is Impossible” was last year.
This year: “What If.”
Motto Of The Night (quoted by Doc Rivers): “Trust The Pass.”
SIDEBAR: How bad were the refs last night? And I still believe Joe Crawford has major ego problems.