Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Boston TeaM Party


The reaction of KG said it all. Oblivious to the delirious crowd and his team mates in wild frenzy of celebration, he rushed to the center of the parquet floor, knelt down, kissed the leprechaun and collapsed. He had finally answered his own demons, he could stand up to him for once and forever here on. He wanted to savor this moment. He couldn't hold his breath when someone put a mic in front of him. He finally let his emotions flow, unrestrained, he nearly collapsed on shoulders of Posey. There came the biggest moment when Bill Russell walked over to him and hugged him and then he could once in his life say those proud words "I've got my own". Yes, he got his own. He quickly got approval from Bill when he asked 'Hope we made you proud'. For all those years in Minnesotta, he was alone. In Boston he finally found his home, he found a place where he belongs. The city that has seen it all in 16 NBA titles, was long waiting for it's 17th, so long that they could have even quit on basketball. With KG in off-season trade, they got their hope back, they got the reason to believe in the C's. They worshiped him all season. They knew the 17th banner was in the making.
In Boston, like in war, there is no prize for the runner up. Their legacy is so rich, anything short of a title is flat ordinary. KG knew it, Paul Pierce knew it well through the last decade and Ray Allen knew it too. They gave the city the reward for every single moment of faith it has shown in their revived green team.
When the scoreline says 131-92, no ones need a telling it was a no contest. But it came against the best offensive team in the league. They could have won game 5 in LA on Sunday and made their fans and fathers proud. But it was a close contest, and more importantly, KG had a 'garbage' game in his own words. KG was the most consistent player on either side of the board throughout playoffs for Boston. He, most of all, was not going to let this chance slip. But he didn't have a great series against Lakers and game 5 was his worst. But come game 6 and it was a totally new KG, rather the same KG we knew before, the KG on a mission. He was aggressive than ever and with clinical precision of not giving away fouls in aggression. He was there to take shots and to get boards on defense. Celtics' celebrated defense is built around him and he showed why, once again.

Ray Allen shot with a magical touch, anything and everything sliding out from his fingers would find the basket. He is unarguably the unsung hero for C's. He had a crap first 2 rounds in playoffs. Nothing would work for him, and media and fans doubted him but he never changed anything. He believed in himself. Doc Rivers, KG and Paul did too. He came alive against Pistons, he was the biggest factor in that win. He was the most consistent player against Lakers. Game 6 was no different.
Pierce was charging into paint, and he had Kobe silenced and perplexed. He's sacrificed his offense to guard Kobe. He did that against a more physical Lebron of Cavaliers. He could have easily scored 50 more points in the playoffs, but it wasn't individual honors for Boston. Paul, Ray, KG have seen it all - all sorts of awards and all-star selections. What they didn't have was the ring. Their own rafter, their ultimate prize, the Larry O'Brien trophy.

The best thing to see was Rajon Rondo in action. I have nothing against him, he is too young, and to be a point guard for a such a high profile team, is a big weight on those young shoulders. He & Perkins give the opposition a chance to flank the floor and use free safety on their shooters. He would miss free throws, and often his extra energy would give away a turnover. But that didn't matter. Doc always had faith in him. He accepted Rondo is not getting few things right, but he never criticized him. He missed shots and FTs here again but he gave them all important 6 steals. That put them in dictating terms. Even notorious Phil Jackson admitted it was Rondo, who took it away from Lakers. It was a big moment for him, at the biggest stage of his budding career with the cloud of doubts hovering over his head and he came out the winner. Perkins though sloppy on the offense, gets crucial blocks and forces turnovers. He's still to go a long way, and he sure will. One should never undermine the contributions from Eddie House and James Posey. Doc turned to them in game 4 when C's were ailing under a huge deficit. House and Posey played a monumental role in bringing them to life again and to take it all the way. Powe got them game 2. PJ Brown and Sam Cassell had their share of contributions. NBA commercials say "There can only be one" but in Boston, it was the TEAM, it never was individual glory. It is with that in mind, they got Garnett, Pierce and also Posey, Brown and Cassell.

The playoffs didn't start well for C's and it was more of being themselves on the court than any opposition for them. They struggled against Hawks and people thoughts Cavs would get the better of them. They survived Cavs and people would mock the seasoned Pistons would burry them dead. All thru the playoffs in the post-game conference the C's would say only one thing - All we think of is the Championship. Nothing less. Nothing else. I am sure it sounded like daydreaming to some. But they believed in the dream, they walked the dream. The extra games gave them a chance to trust each other to complement each other, to get their bench in action and build the on court chemistry. They didn't have a superstar like Kobe or Jordan or Magic, they proved they don't need one. When Paul left injured in Game 1, Doc quickly gathered the team and announced that they were a better team, and reminded them that they were going to win this, even if Paul won't return. Now that was game 1 and everyone was predicting a Lakers triumph. But the sentiment on Celtics bench was they were better, from the very beginning. They never let media or Laker fans get between their belief in themselves and the prized Championship trophy. Before game 6, in the dressing room, Doc again reminded them 'no one in this team wants this championship more than anybody else'. They were a team, with identical hunger for that ring.

This win, at the Garden in Boston, in front of their vociferous fans with the Celtics Legends Russell and Havlicek in the stands, over their old nemesis by 39 points - their biggest win in Championship finals, at the greatest stage in basketball when all of their big 3 shined, when everything fell in place like a scripted drama, was the best culmination to a dream season which goes as the biggest single season turn around in NBA history. It was the most the city of Boston could have asked from their team for their faith and support and the best Ray, Paul and KG and Posey, Perkins, Rondo, House, Davis, Cassell, Tony Allen, and Doc Rivers as a coach could deliver. With this the big 3 finally got their chance to get immortalized.

Weighed down by the pressure of those 16 banners hanging from rafters all season, they now have one of their own. They are right up there, with the Celtics Legends, as the Celtics Legends.
(all images from http://sports.yahoo.com)

3 comments:

Keshi said...

v000nie is that u? WOW Im so glad u came bak to my blog cos I thought u dun blog anymore :( HUGZ I missed ya!

Ur in Vanuatu now? closer to me ha? ;-)

How hv ya been? Hows life? Hoes ur love life hehehe...u know, Im still single!


Keshi.

Invincible said...

I really don't blog anymore. But i do read few blogs and one of them is urs.

Vanuatu - lol no. It's been Vanuatu all along in my profile :)

Keshi said...

lol oh ok :)

ty for the warm wishes bro HUGZ!


Keshi.