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Monday, May 18th, 2009 at 10:56 am  |  14 responses

Celtics/Magic Game 7 Recap

All good things come to an end.

by Sammy Newman-Beck

Pregame

Game 7s are supposed to be won and played here in Boston as evidenced in my last Game 7 (Bulls vs. Magic) post, however today my excitement is lacking. Can’t tell whether it’s the sickness I am trying to fight off or my lack of confidence about the C’s will to win.

The Scene

– Outside of the TD Banknorth Garden it is the usual scene. People are excited. The rowdy Irish men are in the pub’s “pre-gaming,” swarms of different ethnicities leave the local t-stations (as they’re only called in Boston), and you can feel the excitement on the outside. The inside, however, is quite different.

– It is awfully quiet in the TD Banknorth Garden. In comparison to the previous series, or even last year’s Playoffs, today seems like a (gulp) normal game. The press room is somewhat empty, the halls are quiet, Rajon Rondo arrived at the same time I did (only an hour before gametime). Doc Rivers press conference seemed either extremely serious, or as if he was disappointed. Everything seemed quiet and unfortunately by now you know, quiet is how the Celtics went.

Notes and Quotes

“We’ve only played one more actual game than them,” states Doc when asked about the extra day off and fatigue of his guys.

“If the first Game 7 (meaning vs. Chicago) is any indication I like what were looking like,” Doc says in regards to his bench players in Game 7s.

The Celtics jumbotron shows a quote from Patrick Ewing—“Even though I’m not playing I’m guaranteeing a win”.

“There are Game 7s. Then there are Game 7s in Boston,” Paul Pierce via Jumbotron.

An NBA exec on the future of the Celtics—“Give it one more year with KG then blow up the Big Three for draft picks and money. Start over with Rondo and Baby.”

Game Notes

Whether it was the lack of Garnett, a missing Powe, or more likely a better team in Orlando, the Celtics possible hopes at a return to the Eastern Conference Championship vanished last night. With the loss comes the off-season. But more importantly with the loss comes fear. It was only a short time ago when losing was ever so familiar in Boston. Fear is what makes Boston fans strive. When teams win in Boston days are sunny, but when a loss occurs fear swarms through the New England fans (Red Sox and Patriots included).

The Celtics could be the next Spurs (a great team that due to age slowly goes downhill). Questions will loom. Why has Paul Pierce had a sub-par postseason? What happened to the Truth that gave LeBron 41 last year? How long can Ray’s ankles hold up?

Let’s give Orlando some credit—actually rephrase—let’s give the players some credit. Stan Van Gundy is a good coach. Does he panic? Yes, but not even he can mess up a 20-point lead. As a Celtics fan I am going to sulk now. I will listen to the postgame press conference, wonder what could have been had KG made a surprise appearance a la Willis Reed and remember the early 90s when the feeling I have now was the norm. Boston is no longer invincible. KG seems like a thing of the past. For now I will just have to settle for watching a 6-8, 270-pound monster known as LeBron.

**I concurrently emailed my father from the garden and asked him for his post-game sentiments.

All good things must end. A heroic effort but eventually you miss Kevin Garnett. A 6-11 mean defensive rebounding machine. No lucky leprechauns tonight. Just a lot of what ifs for a championship team that gets older each day. Danny Ainge and the front office have a lot of hard work to do to plug some holes for next year’s version. The Celtics don’t lose many seventh games at home (just the fourth in 25 times). And now that they have, they start to feel less invincible and a little bit more like they have moved back to the rest of the pack. Of course we can’t forget that with KG healthy they were No. 1 or 2 all year. But if you don’t improve in today’s NBA (especially if you play in the East with LeBron), you become just another Playoff team. Lots if work to do in Celtic land…

Can KG come back healthy? How many miles does Ray Allen have left in the tank. Same for Paul Pierce, who looked surprisingly ordinary in a big game. What about Steph—do they re-sign him? With Leon Powe hurt, and KG out you can see how much they need another serviceable big man (Big Baby does not have the length to compete full time with big time centers.) Lots of 2nd Round picks on the bench (Pruitt, Giddens, Walker). How do the Celtics get younger and get better? And what about Rajon Rondo—a star in the making—but wildly inconsistent down the stretch? Lots of questions for a team with a lot of heart and character and who now has four-and-a-half months to think about how they regroup.

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  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    The C’s have nothing to be ashamed of – au contraire – they put up a valiant effort with what they had. It was a good run, too bad Chitown couldn’t get one more win, would have made for an interesting conf finals race.

  • thegfunk

    I think Orlando outplayed boston in every department game 7, pierce and allen just didn’t show up. Michael jordan of turkey baby!

  • Diesel

    The Celtics are done. KG, Allen, and Pierce are all on the decline. Maybe they have one more year left in them, but I’d put my money on blown out knees and ankles next year. With the exception of Rondo, the rest of the team are a supporting cast with no stars to support. Boston will be in trouble very soon because it looks like all 3 stars will be shipping out at the same time.

  • Diesel

    Also – I hate the Celtics and I’m glad to see them lose. If I’m Dwight, I bark in Perkin’s fat face after the win and start swearing at boston fans. Maybe push some grade schoolers too.

  • http://vnsny.org Spaceship Jay

    I don’t hate the Celtics… However, I am extremely happy to see karma come back and bite them in the behind. Humble yourself.

  • doyouwantmore

    Boston sure talked a good game.

  • vic21

    haha it’s so stupid to see a person actually hate a god damn sports team I mean what the f*ck? you don’t like green or something?

  • aotearaw

    I was really pleased for the Celts (and in particular KG) to win it last year, but this season their arrogance and general demeanour have really got to me…and for that reason I was backing the Magic all the way.

    You’re not above the game guys, welcome back to earth. Oh and KG, what you saying now? Sit the f*ck down bro.

    Oh, and LOL@ ‘The Brotherhood’

  • Big L

    You can’t be serious about comparing this Celtics team to the Spurs. 4 titles to 1 in the last 10 years. Ainge went for the Grand Slam and nailed it the first year (and rightfully so). But since the 90s Bulls, the Spurs have been the franchise everyone is aiming to be.

    I’m just glad KG can shut up. They say to make them shut up, you have to beat ‘em. Something tells me he won’t stop next year either tho. Where is Anthony Peeler when you need him…

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    who do? HEDO!!!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    KG tucks his tail between his legs

  • http://www.mynameinorange.blogspot.com Hisham

    Paul Pierce gave up. Too tired. Or that’s how it looked, anyway. The Magic just gunning down every comeback attempt was great to see. Coldblooded!

  • Caleb

    “The Celtics could be the next Spurs.” It would take A LOT more winning by the C’s for that to be an appropriate comparison.

  • abbey

    I love the celtics they just so happen to be my favorite team. and im still proud they got that far without garnett && I believe next year they will improve && be awesome once again.

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