Light up a cigar, for ol’ times’ sake

18 06 2008

Oh ye gods… That was a crushing.
I don’t think I’ve seen the Lakers so thoroughly beaten all season.
Definitely a worthy final game for the Celtics for this season.
Today, they crowned themselves. Today, they looked qualified to be NBA champions.

Boston Celtics, congratulations.
Boston fans, enjoy your victory. It was hard-earned, and a long time in the coming. Savor it’s sweetness, especially given that it comes with the defeat of an old, old enemy.

Simply put, the Boston that came out and defeated thrashed the LA Lakers 132-91 was the Boston that had played all season. All regular season.
Not the team that played tentatively against the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers… but the same team that ended up with a 66-16 record, the best in the NBA. Not the team that played in games 1 through 5 of the NBA Finals, but the best team in the NBA.
This was obliteration.

Boston finished the season the way they played the vast majority of it: with utter disdain for their opponent. Kevin Garnett was big, in every sense of the word. Plagued by a lack of offense ever since the first quarter of game 1, KG scored 26 points, sharing topline honors with Ray Allen – my pick for MVP.

Sure, Paul Pierce had a couple of games that were huge, but Ray Allen was the best player for the Celtics almost every game. Effective, efficient, and brought game at both ends of the floor.
Ray Allen was my Finals MVP… even if the emotional leader for this Finals is, and always will be, Paul Pierce. I guess on that alone I can understand Paul Pierce getting it.

Pierce has come a long way. On the verge of walking out of Boston, he stayed.
And he’s been vindicated. Hell, how he’s been vindicated.
Many Boston fans have declared Pierce to be a Hall of Famer, a player whose number should be lifted to the rafters in the TD Banknorth Garden, up with the greats. And in Beantown, there are many.
I’m not so sure… a guy who’s never even made an All-NBA Second Team as a Hall of Famer? But his performance throughout this finals has me waning on that… he was big.
In the emotional sense. He was big.
Even if Allen was the best player for the team, it was Pierce who was the group’s leader during these Finals… taking over a bit I guess from Kevin Garnett, who has clearly been ‘the man’ this season. It’s just testament to Garnett’s greatness that he both knew when it was time to step aside and let Pierce lead, and big enough to do so.

Speaking of vindication, the entire Celtics roster has been.
Vindicated.
All of those who had questions asked of them: Allen’s playing… Pierce’s ‘greatness’… KG’s ability to be clutch… the ability of both Rondo & Perkins… and the depth of the Boston bench. All answered.

I’m still not sold on Doc Rivers as a coach. Yes, I’ve heard all the anecdotes about ‘motivation’, but I still see this immense victory happening despite Doc, not because of him. If there’s one spot that can be clearly upgraded on this team, it’s at Head Coach.

To the Lakers. Despite the scoreline – no shame in this loss. Making the finals when the guy who’d be the starting center – the guy who just might be the 2nd best player in the team – sits on the bench for two thirds of the season… not many franchises could do that.

Thrashed? Yes.
Humiliated? Certainly not.
Who could’ve envisaged LA even being here a mere 9 months ago? More likely to be branded a team-in-turmoil than a group on the verge of greatness… Not many expected LA’s squad to be competing for a spot in the finals, and those that did expect it, didn’t expect it this year.
LA will be back next season, and stronger for the experience of having been in a Finals. Lack of experience isn’t something that will plague them next year.

The Lakers have the luxury of having ample personnel to make another run at it next season. Sure, tweaks might need to be made, but there won’t be too much doom ‘n’ gloom within the halls of Lakers management. This Lakers crew is built to compete for a good while longer.

And Boston, phenomenal. They have a few more years left in their squad too – they’ll definitely be having something to say about who wins what over the next while.
This just might be the rivalry renewed that the NBA’s selling.

And as the cheers died down, as the white and green balloons and streamers settled… the only thing missing from this victory was a haze of cigar smoke.
Red smoked Hoyo de Monterrey.
Pretty sure that where-ever he is, he lit one up.

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3 responses

18 06 2008
brumbygg9

a very gracious post Mr. Malice. Woke up to see the result and couldn’t have been happier. A great season by the Cs, a great ending, and a very happy Boston fan sitting here looking at the cows in Dorset!

18 06 2008
DMtShooter

If the Lakers and their fans weren’t humiliated by that loss, they simply can’t be humiliated. The last time I saw a team facing elimination care that little, it was… the Lakers, in the Phoenix Game Seven when Kobe wouldn’t shoot. Hmm, what a coincidence…

18 06 2008
withmalice

Sorry DMtS… on that we disagree.
I’d rather have my team finish second than somewhere lower.

Who was it you followed again?

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