By: Alex Reimer
Total domination. The Celtics wound up ousting the Magic, 96-84 in game 6, but the game wasn’t even that close.
The Celtics jumped ahead to an 11 point lead at the end of the 1st quarter, and never looked back. Paul Pierce led all scorers with 31 points, and Ray Allen chipped in with 20.
After the game, coach Doc Rivers said that while the Cleveland series was a “Kevin and Ray series,” this one was a “Paul and Ray series.” That quote speaks to the team basketball, both offensively and defensively that the Celtics play. In the victory in game 3 against Orlando, Glen Davis led the Celtics with 17 points off the bench.
Rajon Rondo always has the ball in his hands, and may be a little banged up. The Finals will not begin until June 3rd, and that rest will certainly behoove him and the rest of the Celtics.
Rondo’s health is obviously a concern, because if he’s not healthy, then the C’s are in trouble. Though to speak to the “team concept,” Nate Robinson, after only playing 16 minutes all series, scored 13 points in 13 minutes last night. How Robinson stayed focused, and didn’t pout after virtually not seeing the court for an entire month is a testament to the environment around the Boston Celtics.
Many questioned the Celtics’ character throughout the regular season. They had every right to do it. But just like they “turned on” their play in the postseason, the Celtics have “turned on” their championship swagger, just like they had in 2008.
That is precisely the reason why this series was never in jeopardy. The Magic played better than the Celtics did in games 4 and 5. In game 5, they got a lot of help from the officiating. The NBA doesn’t “fix” playoff games. But they certainly “tilt” them. Send bad veteran officials like Eddie Rush to a pivotal game 5 in Orlando with the Magic down 3-1, and he knows what to do. He knows his job is to try to “tilt” the game, and extend the series.
But that’s all behind us, as the Celtics came through in game 6 just like they always have. The Boston Celtics franchise has garnered 17 championship banners. Mystique and aura really do exist here, just as much as the lingering stench of one of Red’s stogies.
With his performance last night, Paul Pierce continues to cement himself in a class not too far off from Russell and Bird. He is the face of this “rebirth” era of Celtics basketball.
At the start of the playoffs, the 2010 Celtics experienced a “rebirth” similar to when the team acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett 3 summers ago. They set out on a mission to prove the better team would win.
Point proven. D-Wade, King James, Vinsanity, and Superman have all be sent packing.
In the Finals, whether it’s against the “run and gun Suns” or the “Zenmaster’s and Kobe’s” Lakers, the Celtics will win that series too. Pau Gasol is tough when he’s defending Robin Lopez. It’s yet to be determined how he’ll fare against let’s say Kendrick Perkins or Glen Davis.
But this isn’t the time for a Finals preview. That will come next week.
This isn’t the time for gloating either. We knew the Celtics would win this series. It’s always been in their DNA.
Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs every Saturday from 4-6 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, Alexredsox076@aol.com.