Celtics Look to Close Out Lakers, in L.A.

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

In about 15 hours, a new champion will be crowned. That, or we’ll be getting ready for a seventh and decisive game in these here NBA Finals.

The Boston Celtics need to win one of the next two games on the Lakers’ home floor to reclaim the title, and they know it will not be easy.

The Boston Herald caught up with Ray Allen, and discussed the task at hand for the C’s:

The Celtics are 1-7 in close-out road games in the playoffs over the last three seasons, and have lost two such games this season, in Miami and Orlando. In fact, the last time their starting five finished a road playoff series came in the 2008 Eastern Conference finals against Detroit. Last season perhaps stung the worst. The Celtics led Orlando three games to two in the Eastern Conference finals but lost a possible road-clinching game and eventually lost the series.

“Whatever happened last year, I thought we had a great season, we got beat by Orlando,” Allen said. “It’s a new year and it’s definitely been a blessing, but this year has definitely been a lot tougher, and I think the tougher it is, the more you want it.” Their playoff road has certainly been tough. The Celtics have faced Miami (Dwyane Wade), Cleveland (LeBron James), Orlando (Dwight Howard) and now the Lakers (Kobe Bryant). And for a team that finished fourth in their division after a 27-27 close to the season and was considered over the hill, the run seems remarkable.

“I think along the way, people forgot, forgot who we were and what we were capable of,” Allen said. “We got back to that mentality, but it didn’t shake us at all. We didn’t worry about what people said, what they thought. People were saying that we were a team that was old, but here we are. We’re capable, that’s the most important thing and we all knew it.”

Legacies and futures on both sides of the coin will begin to get sorted out tonight, or perhaps even on Thursday night.

For now, we have a few basketball matters left to settle; an entire season and the championship are on the line.

May the best team win.