Detroit came into the Garden, and put up a resolute game that saw them running out winners 103-97.
But you know what? I think that the Boston Celtics have a lot to be happy about.
Okay, okay… pipe down! Stop laughing – yes, Boston have a reason to still hold their chins high, despite choking this one down.
Boston… remember Boston? Not the team that’s struggled on the road against Atlanta and Cleveland (ok, honestly? They have flat-out sucked anywhere outside of Massachusetts), but the Celtics team that played to a grand total of 66 wins this season. The same team that was the best team on the road in the NBA this season.
The Boston Celtics have been pretty damn good all season – you have to figure the road woes were the anomaly. If Ray Allen has comes back from the dead a la (oh, dare I say it) Jesus-resurrected, then I’d rate them a pretty good chance to win in the Palace…
Detroit were always going to come to play in game 2.
They have a nasty habit of taking nights off, and literally need a slap in the face to wake up. Game one was a nasty backhander, and consider the Pistons out of bed. But despite the finishing score-line, something happened that can give Boston a glimmer of hope, despite having their backs literally to the wall.
Ray Allen stopped doing a pretty passable impersonation of Claude Rains.
In the series versus Atlanta, Ray Allen was fading.
He had 18 points (on 6-from-14 shooting), 15 (6-13), 12 (5-14), 21 (8-14), 19 (6-14), 20 (8-19)… and in game seven started to disappear – 7 points off 3-12 shooting.
Against Cleveland Allen vanished. Games of ZERO (0-4), 16 points (4-10), 10 (4-12), 15 (4-10), 11 (4-11), 9 (3-9), and 4 (1-6)…
This was not what Boston paid for – and certainly not what they got during the regular season.
No matter… Boston had too many pieces to be overcome by either Atlanta or Cleveland, despite Ray Allen’s shooting woes. Game one against Detroit? More of the same: a woeful 9 points off 3 from 10 shooting.
Boston need Ray Allen to be all he can be. In a three-way interview with Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, they were asked “Who takes the final shot in a close game?”. Allen answered “Whoever’s open.”, but both Pierce and Garnett said “Ray.”… and Ray is clutch.
Garnett isn’t, despite being a Hall of Fame player.
Pierce is becoming so.
But Ray is.
And Boston need Ray to be. Because Doc Rivers couldn’t coach this team to fight their way out of a wet paper bag.
It’s not a given, but if I were a Boston fan, I wouldn’t be feeling as gutted about the game 2 loss as I could be.
Because Ray’s back.
And Boston can now win in Motor-city…
Yes… win in green uniforms.