Saturday, January 5, 2013

The regular season is barely relevant for the Celtics

Last night was the first time all season that the Celtics played with the starting lineup (Garnett, Bass, Pierce, Bradley, Rondo) that dominated the league last spring (Doc Rivers finally listened to me and benched Jason Collins).  They responded with their best defensive effort of the season, blowing out an Indiana Pacers team that had won 9 of 11 games.  This block from Avery Bradley kind of sums things up perfectly:

Boston would have beaten anybody the way they played last night; Miami, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, L.A. (Clippers or Lakers), anybody.  In fact, I just wrote a piece for Celtics Life called "The Celtics we saw last night could win the NBA title."  Because the C's are capable of doing what they did last night, it's impossible to count them out as long as two things happen:

1.  They have to actually make the playoffs.  It shouldn't be an issue, but at the moment they are clinging to the final spot.

2.  They must be completely healthy.  Last year Avery Bradley's injury was their downfall.  Garnett, Pierce, Rondo, Bradley, Bass, Sullinger, Terry, Green, and Lee all need to be 100% heading into the postseason.

Having said that, the Celtics will probably lose in Atlanta tonight, and that's no reason to be discouraged.  Yesterday we saw what they are capable of.


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