15 April 2011

All In for the Win

Listening to: The Morning Benders, "Lovefool (Cardigans)" and Ben Taylor, "Nothing Compares to You." I guess I'm in a covers mood. Actually I'm arguably always in a covers mood.

My sister just sent an email asking me to explain why Shaq's strained calf muscle keeps him out for weeks while other player's injuries only last a few days. The answer is: I don't know. I mean, Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal is old. Like thirty nine years old. And he weighs (at least) three hundred and fifty pounds. His body just breaks down a lot. He's also the only hope the Celtics have of winning title eighteen. Yes, it's desperate times for Celtics fans starting this weekend, when they face off against the Knicks in round one of the 2011 NBA playoffs.

Post Kendrick Perkins trade, the Celtics' new additions have been nigh useless and the growing sentiment among fans and experts are that the Celtics are done as serious contenders. They got blown out by the Heat and the Bulls in recent weeks and the entire attitude of the team is in the dumps. They need Rajon Rondo to step up but he's somehow morphed from best point guard in the league to inconsistent and puzzling headache. It's been theorized that the Perkins trade has emotionally affected Rondo as he lost his best friend on the team.

It's easy to forget that for these dozen guys who spend all their time together, losing your hang out buddy can throw everything into flux. You lose that person you talk to, eat on the road with, and for Rondo and Perkins, basically grew up with. Since the trade deadline, the Celtics have added five new players -- Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, Troy Murphy, Carlos Arroyo, and Sasha Pavlovic -- and that must be difficult on a team used to steady and stellar chemistry. And poor Avery Bradley, the only rookie left on the team. Who does he hang out with? As we learned in Episode 4 of The Association, Bradley is tasked with getting peanut butter and jelly for every pre-game spread. That must be an even lonelier task now.

I'm already a pessimistic fan at heart -- always fearing the worst -- but I still have a slight hope that Boston can pull through this year. Although logically they aren't good enough, maybe they can just magically make it happen. Of course, nothing would hurt me more than to see them fight to the Finals and then lose to the Lakers again. Last year's Game Seven defeat was too painful. I can't do it again this year. So please basketball gods, just tell me if the Celtics will win a championship this year. I'll trade you something really valuable in return if the answer is "yes." My first born child is yours. Okay fine, George's first born child as well. Take all our children!

Last year the Celtics started their epic run to the Finals while I was headed to Europe. Clearly I need to leave the country again for them to succeed this year. Mexico is only a short drive away, maybe I better go down there for the next two months. Anything for my Celtics. I'm already preparing to get all emotional either way. Damn feelings, damn this weak heart.

Let's end on a happy note: Paul Pierce's best dunks of the season. For some reason Pierce has been unleashing some monster dunks this year, which proves that he's still got a little spring in his step. And speaking of hops, this JR Smith dunk is the craziest one from this season-- even greater than any of Quake Griffin's. Pause it and look at where Smith takes off from before he hammers it home two-handed. I'd take some of that in the morning.