Yep. I’m leading off with that clip of our friend Jim Mora.
For NBA fans, it is a special time of year. The playoffs are underway! Currently we’re in the first round of the playoffs, where 16 teams are fighting for their seasons every night. The tension in the stands increases, the games get more physical, and the quality of basketball goes up by a huge amount. I’ve followed the NBA with some regularity since about 2006. I’ve seen my team, the Celtics, win a championship on the strength of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Head Coach Doc Rivers.
But I’ve never been to a playoff game before. I’ve watched a number of them and been to only one regular season and one preseason game, both Celtics games. Tonight though, I finally got to go to a playoff game! And my thought regarding going to the game was: Yes! Playoffs! Playoffs?! No one expected this Boston Celtics team to get into the playoffs at all. They traded away the two best players on the team midway through the season, Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, and somehow the Celtics still managed to earn the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference of the NBA playoffs. They drew the 2nd seed, the talented and loaded Cleveland Cavaliers. Lucky us… Well they’ve had past playoff success against this team. They won in the 2008 and 2010 Easter Conference Semi-Finals.
I guess that kinda counts for historical stuff, but not really. They are completely different teams now with revamped rosters, systems, and there’s enough separation from those years to make them irrelevant to this series. The Celtics lost the first two games in Cleveland. Not by much, but a loss is a loss. When the good people of my radio show crew realized that we could see the Celtic play the Cavs, as one of the hosts on the show is a Lebron fan, we immediately looked for and found tickets to get in. We went today after class, and had a wonderful time at the Gahden for everyone’s first playoff game. It was a marvelous time. The Gahen, as I refer to it, was electric. The fans were excited, loud, cheered for every good Celtics play, and booed Lebron James every single time he just touched the ball. Yeah he is not liked here at all. Oh well. The starting intros were a little disappointing and did not live up to what a playoff intro should be. These are what playoff intros should be.
The crowd was still hyped and was into the game right from the start. Sitting with my radio show friends, James and Vanessa, and my friend from the BU Catholic Center, Emma, was absolutely wonderful. The conversations with them at intermissions, timeouts, on the T to and from the Gahden, and cheering the whole night with them (and against Vanessa, the Lebron fan) was a blast.
Ultimately, the efforts by the Celtics were not enough to earn a win. They could not get an offensive or defensive rebound down the stretch and lost to the Cavs 103-95. The Celtics went down 3 games to 0. Well yeah, that happened. Losing is never fun, but they played an awesome game. And it’s been a wonderful season for a team that was supposed to miss the playoffs completely this year. I’m just accepting that I’ll likely lose a bet with Vanessa that will require me to wear a Cavs shirt/hat for a whole day… Oh the humiliation… Oh well. I made the bet knowing the odds. Let’s see if the Celtics can at least avoid the humiliation of a sweep on Sunday afternoon! And let’s see how kind I can be to my voice in the next few days after I put a great amount of stress on it by cheering my lungs out!