Sunday, April 27, 2014

There's still plenty to cheer for in the 2014 NBA Playoffs

How does the line go again, ‘once a Celtic, always a Celtic?’ It’s only been eight days but the 2014 NBA playoffs have been quite interesting to say the least. Being that it is the first year since 2007 that the Celtics are not in the postseason, it begs the question; whom are C's fans rooting for this time around?

Clearly we as Boston fans never forget certain players; especially anyone who was a part of the last eight seasons here in green.

It’s fair to say that it’s easy to root for an ex-Celtic in this year’s run to the title and any team outside of Miami is an acceptable winner a month and half from now. While Celtics Nation plays the waiting game between today and May 20 (when the ping-pong balls hopefully bounce in our favor), there are few Beantown connections still making a push to that Larry O’Brien trophy.

Those who watched the Nets take a 2-1 lead Friday night, saw glimpses of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce pumping up the home crowd. The first three games have been exciting to watch, and even more because we want to see these two future hall-of-famers go for it all one more time.

If you don’t get amped when you see these two anymore, it’s a sad day for you (Really Toronto? Dinosaurs? Who came up with that?). Hey remember when the Celtics drafted Joe Johnson and later traded him half way through his rookie season? I think B also stands for Brooklyn (You hear that Masai Ujiri? F the Raptors!). Rondo says he is not watching the playoffs at all; we find it hard to believe he isn’t keeping an eye on a couple of his mentors these days.

‘Big Al’ Jefferson had an awesome first season in Charlotte and is now trying to grab a win over the champs after going down 0-3 and playing with plantar fascia in his left foot (hang on buddy). Speaking of south beach, and the Heat’s luck luster performances so far, how’s Walter Ray doing?

Ah yes…In 60 minutes so far; #34 has scored a whopping 10 points while shooting 4-of-14 (28%) from the field…moving on… Those Grizzles are looking pretty impressive, huh? Courtney Lee has been shooting great and averaging double figures. Tony Allen is well, still T.A, the same lock down wing defender the Celtics let slip through their fingers four years ago (damn, I miss that guy). When does he become a free agent again?

Kendrick Perkins and the Thunder find themselves tied 2-2 with Memphis, is there an upset-brewing folks? We shall wait and see.

Former Celtics starting point guard Jordan Crawford is seeing some solid minutes off the bench, and plenty of national TV time. Unfortunately we can’t say the same for Warriors assistant coach, Brian Scalabrine (I think CSNNE still looking for a permanent color analyst for C’s road games…anyone?). Doc Rivers, Big Baby Davis and the Clippers look to avert some attention of their fans as they try to win this first round match up, now that they are up 2-1 over Golden State (Google Donald Sterling if you haven’t already heard about a recent rant…smh). For the record I have them going to the Western Conference finals against Timmy and the Spurs.

Speaking of coaches, Thibs went to the one guy off his bench that could save his season two nights ago; ‘White America!’ Wait, Joakim Noah called him that (I don’t think it will catch on), we know him as Mike Dunleavy (35 points). The Bulls still trail 2-1 to the Wizards despite the win. Old friend Frank Vogel (former Celtics scout and assistant coach for those keeping score), wants to keep his job while the Pacers look to win at least one more in Atlanta to survive the first round (2-2). Celtics legend and current Rockets coach Kevin McHale can breathe again after rookie Troy Daniels hit a clutch 3-pointer in a game-three win over ‘Rip City’ (why is Portland nicknamed this by the way?). Houston is still down 2-1 in their series.

Those whom also have ties to the city of Boston but never played in a Celtics’ uniform include; Jeremy Lin (Harvard), Sean Dutra’s (Causeway Street blog writer) favorite off the bench point guard. Do we remember when Rondo killed ‘Linsanity’ two years ago? That was awesome!

There’s also Reggie Jackson (Boston College), who led the bench in scoring for OKC during the regular season (14-points per game). He was averaging five points in the first three games of the playoffs, before going off for 32 points last night. That’s pretty good considering no one else is a part of the offense outside of Westbrook or Durant. Good luck Regg.

With all of these former Celtics to choose from still part of the postseason, who says we still don’t have plenty to cheer for? We are very much on the edge of our seats while watching these playoffs!

Did I forget Clippers’ forward/center Ryan Hollins as an honorable mention??

Sorry, I couldn’t keep a straight face either.

Joel Pavón

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