Tag Archives: kevin garnett

To Kevin Garnett, age is nothing but a number

Age is just a number for the Celtics' Kevin Garnett (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images).

by TREY ADELL

Intensity, heart, and fire. If someone looks any of those words in a dictionary, a picture of Kevin Garnett’s screaming face would follow along side. Since he first donned a Boston jersey, Garnett has been undeniable driving force behind the Celtics. Whether it’s blowing up a pick and roll, calling out defensive rotations or locking down the team’s opposing big man in the post, Garnett has been the epitome of “Celtic Pride.”

Since 2007, it is been highly apparent that Garnett has been their most reliable and unflappable player. His attention to detail is what has made this team so great on the defensive end over the years. The communication that he provides is invaluable and is apparent when he is on the bench.

According to 82games.com, the defense had never allowed 100 points over a 48-minute basis with Garnett on the floor since 2007, with the exception of 2009-10 and this season. Since then, the Celtics’ defense has fallen off by an average of 5.5 points when he sits. His presence as a Celtic has also been pivotal in mentoring young, up-and-coming guys like Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Jared Sullinger – a testament to the immense leadership he brings to the table.

Coming into this year, many people wondered whether or not Garnett would retire or come back as a Celtic. The man has poured his heart and soul into this game for 17 years, but it would have been completely reasonable for him to hang it up this summer.

Lately, the prospect of Garnett retiring has become all too real. With the Celtics spiraling towards a rebuild, it seems unfair to make him endure such a long and arduous process. His name has been unfairly floated around in trade rumors, but Garnett has made it clear that he wants to remain a Celtic, stating “I bleed green, I’ll die green.”

Garnett is not the same dominant post threat he was in 2008, but every once in a while he will amaze with his shimmy turnaround jumper. He lingers around perimeter a little more than some would like, but his mid-range game is still as good as ever. There will be nights where he doesn’t have quite the right lift in his jumper but that just comes with the territory of being a 17-year vet. There will also be nights where like last night against the Raptors when he has a signature flashback game.

Whether KG hangs it up this year, or he rides out his contract, fans should all appreciate the fact of seeing one of the greats go out as a Celtic.

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Report: Celtics in talks with Clippers about Garnett

(Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

by DANNY JAILLET

BOSTON– According to a tweet from Sean Deveney of SportingNews.com, the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in Kevin Garnett. Deveney tweeted earlier this afternoon about the potential deal:

“Sources tell Sporting News that the #Clippers have contacted the #Celtics about Kevin Garnett. Offer would include Caron Butler and Bledsoe.”

The player Deveney cites as “Bledsoe” is Eric Bledsoe, a 23-year-old point guard who played basketball at the University of Kentucky. He played one season with the Wildcats and performed well, averaging 11.3 points per game to go along with 2.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. The Wildcats finished 35-3 that year, and notched an impressive 19-game winning streak along the way. They were poised for a deep postseason run, and made it all the way to the East Regional Final, where they lost to West Virginia by a score of 73-66.

Butler played college basketball at the University of Connecticut for two years (2000-2002) before being selected by the Miami Heat as the 10th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. In 11 NBA seasons, he has averaged 16.1 points per game to go along with 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He is a two-time NBA-All-Star, and he won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.

This would be a great deal for Boston. Garnett is aging and although he can still be very productive, he does not have the same bounce in his step that he used to. Caron Butler is in his prime at 32 years of age, and is particularly effective on the perimeter. Bledsoe is a quick, speedy point guard who is very versatile. The combination of those two would bring balance on the court for Boston, something that the Celtics have struggled to accomplish this season.

In what has been a whirlwind of a season, the Celtics appear ready to start rebuilding and reloading again. A Kevin Garnett trade is not the end of this long process, but it is a good place to start as the team looks towards the future.

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As Celtics defense continues to struggle, Avery Bradley’s return can not come fast enough

The return of Avery Bradley to the Celtics line-up is much needed as the defense continues to struggle (Mark L. Baer/US Presswire).

by Trey Adell

Ever since Kevin Garnett stepped on the historic parquet floor at TD Garden, the Boston Celtics have been known for their suffocating defense. They were a juggernaut that forced teams into unfamiliar situations, hounding players on the perimeter and making them fear venturing into the paint. Now they are a small team that is struggling guarding “pick and rolls,” protecting the rim and three-point shots – all necessities to being a great defensive team. Right now, the Celtics are 19th in points allowed per-game (99.3), 27th in opponent’s field goal percentage (.463), and 23rd in opponent’s three-point field goal percentage (.368) – which are all team lows since the “Big Three” Era began in 2007-08.

Right now it just seems as if the Celtics do not have the personnel to be a great defensive team. They do not have the size necessary to challenge opponents at the rim or near the basket. According to HoopData.com, the Celtics are the fifth-worst defensive team at the rim (with opponents shooting 67.7 percent) and also the third-worst defensive team at 3-9 feet (45.9 percent). I think we all knew going in that this team was going to have trouble defending the rim since they primarily play very small lineups with Garnett being really the only legit seven-foot option in the rotation. Now there is still some reason to have hope with defensive ace Avery Bradley scheduled to make his return sometime in mid-December. According to 82games.com, four of the five 5 lineups that featured Bradley last season gave up less than one point per possession. Bradley’s defensive is so important to this team’s success as his ability to pressure the ball in the backcourt and take precious seconds off of the shot clock is invaluable.

Maybe this season’s defensive struggles can attributed to the lack of chemistry between new guys or that it still is missing one of its premier defenders, whatever it is it needs to be fixed. If this Celtics team is going to compete for a championship, the defense needs to return to it’s former glory.

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Déjà vu All Over Again, As Heartbreaker Leaves Knicks, Fans Reeling

By Russell Simon- BostonSportsU18 New York Correspondent

Unbelievable. Deja Vu all over again. In what has been the most painful sports week in recent memory the Knicks have somehow made fans feel as if they were tortured, escaped, recaptured, and tortured again in the same day. First Ray Allen and now KG, this is ridiculous. And again the Knicks can’t close out a game. Again they had a lead, again the Celtics come back, and as usual all systems shut down. This is maddening. Carmelo made the right play, the pass to Jeffries was on the money, and he somehow couldn’t rotate his body towards the basket and finish, instead fumbling and allowing the ball to be recovered by KG. Great play by Garnett to shield his body from Bill Walker to get the timeout, but again another lapse by the Knicks. On the Celtics inbounds, with OVER 4 SECONDS TO PLAY, the Knicks don’t put a guard on Delonte West. They stand there, and don’t realize that the clock is winding down, and foul him with under a second left. Astounding. The Knicks could have gotten the ball back down 3 with 3 seconds left, plenty of time to try and get a good look. But no, as usual a lapse at the worst time. Again the Knicks were out of timeouts, again had the lead with just over 30 seconds to play, again got outsmarted, outcoached and outplayed in the end.

And who is to blame for this? Look no further then Mike D’Antoni. Both games he has been brutally outcoached from start to finish. How can a coach not be aware of the situation around him? How can a coach not tell his players to foul as soon as the ball is inbounded, with four seconds left? Only Mike D’Antoni can achieve that. It is incredible to me that the Knicks have had so many mental lapses, and plays Doc Rivers drew something up and the Celtics immediately went to town on the Knicks. I don’t even care about the fact that he is a terrible defensive coach, but when you can’t coach to the situation at the end of a game you don’t serve a purpose.

But the worst part is that yet again, they played so well! Carmelo was off the charts, 42 points and 17 rebounds in one of his best games ever. He was just stunning for much of the second half, just putting the Knicks on his back with tons of incredible shots. Again the Knicks played great defense, and just got out everythinged in the last 30 seconds. Even without STAT the Knicks stuck with them and took a lead, only to see it vanish like the mirage that very well could be the Knicks 2-0 series lead.
Now the series shifts back to New York, where fans are left crushed by the events in Boston. The Celtics are taking on a Reggie Miller against the Knicks persona, and it is terrible to witness. The Knicks have to win the next 2, but at this point I don’t want to look that far ahead. Just lead by more then 20 with 37 seconds left, and then I might breathe easier.

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NBA All Star weekend

By Russell Simon (BSU18 New York Correspondent)

With the Melodrama that is the Carmelo Anthony saga, and the slam dunk contest featuring Blake Griffin the NBA’s 2011 All-Star game certainly has everyone talking, except about the All Star Game itself. While most enjoy the high flying dunks and the skills competition the game, featuring the best in the world not playing any defense, scoring a million points, and making stupid plays, is merely an afterthought. But there are many things that the NBA can do to change this, however unrealistic they may seem, to bring the attention back to the All-Star game, and away from the parties, contests, and boardroom negotiating sessions between two desperate teams and a star player. Here they are…

Refs??? Who Needs ThemBecause it is common knowledge that the All-Star game is merely the greatest collection of talent to play a pick-up game, the game should be rid of referees and the players should make their own calls. It always seemed silly to me after say Shaq took a free throw in Las Vegas bounced it on the court, had it go off the backboard, and dunked it, to have to see Steve Javie whistling him for a violation. The fact that there are ref’s actually takes away from the seriousness of the game. Their laissez-faire officiating styles in the game can lead to blatant travels becoming layups. It also would be interesting to see some of the most serial complainers, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, and Kobe Bryant come to mind, arguing with each other about a call. It would make the game more enjoyable, but also a bit more serious.

Play Half Court
While this may seem illogical, if the All-Star Game was played half-court it would greatly benefit the game. So many of the games points come on plays where the defense doesn’t get back and the offense just throws it deep and gets easy layups. Well playing on one side of the court puts an end to this by forcing all players to play defense. Without idiotic fast-break points the games would be much tougher defensively. Every player knows who they are guarding, and if they decided not to play defense it would be abundantly clear when there man embarrasses them in a half court setting and scores easily. This essentially forces teams to play D and would lead to more intense competitive games.

Automatic Sub’s If A Player Is Slacking Off, Or Not CaringThe NBA All-Star Game certainly has great potential, but it is ruined simply because the players do not care. However if the coaches were forced to make a substitution every time a player forgot to get back on D, assuming they don’t make it a half-court game, then it would motivate the players to play hard. The players love the exposure that comes with this game and if this rule was implemented they wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by being taken out of the game only moments after checking in.

Let’s Get The LegendsImagine Rose, Lebron, Stoudamire, Howard, and Michael Jordan, against Paul, Carmelo, Durant, Bryant, and Magic Johnson. While it seems like the only way one could do this is on their XBOX 360 if the NBA had one legend on the court for each time team it would be a lot more interesting. It allows fans to play out their ultimate NBA fantasies, albeit Jordan is 48 and Johnson is 51. It would also be interesting to see players playing with their idols, plus who wouldn’t want to see if those guys still had game? As a plus if Charles Barkley played, we could rejoice as he finally stopped talking…as Dwight Howard sent his shot into the 15th row.

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Win Over Lakers A Good One For Celtics

By: Alex Reimer

When the Celtics play like they played on Sunday, it’s hard to imagine how they could ever lose.

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce combined for 70+ points. Nate Robinson and Glen Davis each contributed with double-digit scoring efforts off the bench, and Rajon Rondo turned it on the 2nd half, finishing the game with a 14-assist performance.

The Lakers, after beginning the season quickly, have gone just 20-13 in their past 33 games. Kobe Bryant is clearly frustrated, and rightfully so, for at times he appears to be the only player really trying. Phil Jackson publically calling out Ron Artest and others seems to only be igniting the situation and not quelling it.

The Celtics were able to score 109 points yesterday, and dominate in the paint, even though both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol were healthy and Shaquille O’Neal amassed 5 fouls and 0 points. Figures like that show that the Lakers didn’t just play poor defense, but really didn’t play any at all.

But still, this was a good win for the Celtics, who show to still be the best “big game” team in the league. They may lose to Washington, or to Phoenix on the back-end of consecutive games, but they always get up for the games that matter.

The lone exception to that was game 7 of last year’s Finals, when the Celtics blew a 13-point lead in the 3rd quarter. But that blown lead came with an exhausted Rasheed Wallace huffing and puffing his way through the game while Kendrick Perkins sat out nursing an injury.

Perkins is back now and as Doc Rivers said at the conclusion of last year’s NBA Finals, this starting 5 has yet to have an opportunity to defend their 2008 championship from start-to-finish.

If healthy, there appears to be little doubt that the Celtics have all the ingredients to win the title again. The key, of course, is health.

Doc Rivers will have to balance “playing to win” against “playing wisely.” This year’s Eastern Conference is far better than last year’s. The Celtics can’t afford to coast through the 2nd half of the season again, not with the Heat and revamped Magic nipping at their heels.

Some criticize Garnett for not playing unless he’s “100% healthy,” but that assessment is unfair. Why should Garnett play in the regular season unless he’s fully healthy? When was the last time Garnett “quit” on the Celtics in a meaningful game or didn’t play his hardest when he was on the court? He deserves a little bit of slack.

Is Kevin Garnett an incredibly likeable player? No, absolutely not. He occasionally plays dirty (Channing Frye says hello) and talks dirtier (supposedly calling Charlie Villanueva a “cancer patient,” telling a Lakers’ ball boy he has a better chance of catching Bin Laden than receiving his autograph, etc).

Actually, the Celtics as a team are probably not all that likeable to the rest of the league. But who cares? Who wins consistently and is likeable?

All that matters is if the Celtics are ready for the playoffs. With wins last yesterday, and good health; it appears that they will be.

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 Saturday’s from 3-5 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, Alexredsox076@aol.com.

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Celtics Mid-season report card

By Zikre Haimanot

Mid-Season Report: The 2011 season has been, to this point, a successful one for the Boston Celtics. There is a renewed passion for the regular season that was clearly missing last year. The development of role players, emergence of lost hero’s and the same stingy defense has vaulted the Celtics to the top of the Eastern Conference, a spot most predicted would belong to the kings in South Beach. Doc Rivers is the same outstanding coach we have come to know and his players still seem to have respect for him. As the halfway point has passed it seems fun to look back and review the teams overall performance from top to bottom.

Coaching Staff: A+ Doc Rivers and his assistants have done a great job of keeping this team motivated and focused at the task at hand. The players are buying into the game by game approach and the results have been great. There have been a few relapses like the Wizards game but some bad days are expected and as long as the team stays in the lead for home-court advantage its nothing to be overly concerned about. In my opinion Doc Rivers is the coach of the year so far, leading a team riddled with injuries to the top seed is a major accomplishment and he deserves the credit people haven’t been willing to give him. Doc isn’t the only coach having an impact though, next time you’re watching a Celtics game and hear a voice screaming defensive assignments it’s probably Lawrence Frank. Quickly making his voice heard within the team he has taken Tom Thibodeou’s role as defensive guru and done a great job.

Starting Five: A- Its funny to think that this team has already won 30 games without even having its true starting five intact. Kendrick Perkins has been out with his torn ACL but as he nears his return the Celtics are looking scary. Each member is having a marvelous season in there own ways. Rajon Rondo has been the standout by taking the league by storm while carving opposing defenses to shreds. His assist totals are amazing to look at and he’s even knocking down the occasional jump shot. Paul Pierce is quietly putting up some of the best numbers of his career as he’s leading the team in scoring like he’s done the past 10 years while shooting career bests from the field and three point land. The other forward on the team, Kevin Garnett, is an absolute joy to watch. Healthy once again opposing forwards are having their hands full containing the beast that KG is. Last year watching unworthy power forwards blow by and score on KG on numerous occasion crushed fans but KG has made it his mission to get revenge and so far its fun to watch. Sugar Ray has been a man possessed this past month, scoring is one thing but scoring efficiently is something completely harder. His shooting numbers have been ridiculous from all over the court, attempting to join the 90, 40, 50 club (90% from the free-throw line, 50% from the field and 40% from deep) Ray is having a superb year. What makes this year even more special for him is that in a couple games he will become the all time three pointers made leader. Last but certainly the biggest Shaq has been a great piece to the championship puzzle and he’s blended in perfectly to the team. His numbers have been exactly what the Celtics need and his presence alone is making a difference. The team is drawing more fouls and getting to the free-throw line at a higher rate then last season.

The Bench: B+ For a bench that is missing some of its more important pieces they’ve been producing and giving the Celtics great energy. Though inconsistent at times there have been solid contributions from everyone this year and even people we thought would play minutes have been producing. Semi Erden has come through for Doc when injuries have messed up the rotation, though he doesn’t put up eye popping numbers his play is good enough to keep the Celtics afloat and he doesn’t have a negative impact. Glen Davis has been a huge throughout the year; his defense has improved tremendously while he has developed his offensive game as well. He will be one of the vital parts in the Celtics quest to win the championship. Though he hasn’t played as much Delonte West also has an important role and he can be a game changer whenever Rondo needs a break. With his return Nate won’t be needed to play point which should help him regain in shooting touch. Overall this year’s bench has the name and potential to be among the best in the league it’s whether they can play in a consistent and cohesive way. So far injuries have hindered us from seeing them at their full potential but sometime after the all star break we should get a good idea on what they are capable of.

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A Date With Destiny?

By Zikre Haimanot

Entering the new season there was a lot of things anticipated from the Celtics. A great regular season, a championship, and a boatload of injuries. So far we haven’t been disappointed. The latest players sidelined Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo are arguably the two most important pieces to the team. Rondo’s injury seems to be less severe and just an issue of rest and proper treatment but Garnett’s is something to keep an eye on. Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers have both come out and called the injury a “strained calf” but anyone who remembers the fiasco around Garnett’s injury in 2009 would be skeptical in believing that. For months the Celtics had us thinking Garnett’s injury wasn’t severe and he was just waiting for the right opportunity to return, that was until they broke the news Garnett wouldn’t participate in the upcoming playoffs and our repeat aspirations were crushed. For now fans are being told that Garnett will return within the next two weeks while Rondo remains day to day but its clear to viewers of the past couple days that every day these players miss is going to be a grind.

When Rondo went down with his ankle injury in New York the Celtics barley missed a beat for the first couple games with super sub Nate Robinson playing great basketball and Paul Pierce flashing his outstanding leadership qualities. The Celtics offense seemed to be the same and the assists numbers the team was putting up resembled that of the previous games Rondo played in. When the Christmas game came and the Magic completely took the Celtics out of their offensive game plan we began to see the flaws Rondo had been hiding. The struggles continued as players like Ray Allen and Paul Pierce weren’t getting the same easy looks that they usually had with Rondo in the game. Evidence to that was the major drop in the Celtics field goal percentage, throughout the first portion of the season the Celtics led the league in offensive efficiency but the past couple of games they have been completely dreadful.

Down but not out the Celtics kept fighting but as the basketball gods would have it another injury hit the Celtics. A man that seems to have an unparalleled amount of influence on the team, Kevin Garnett, was injured on a play that had no one even touch him. Coming down from an emphatic dunk he immediately began to dunk and once again the Celtics took a step back in having their team completely healthy. As if Rondo’s absence wasn’t already being felt the Celtics began to really struggle with the departure of Garnett. Without Rondo the Celtics offensive aspect of pushing the ball and getting easy shots was gone, then as they focused on getting more post touches for easy buckets another injury forces them to change their strategy. The Hornets game was a visual on that as the Celtics looked like a team without an identity. They weren’t really pushing the ball but also lacked a post presence.

For now the Celtics are forced to find a way to win without a long list of players but as we all witnessed last season losses in the regular season aren’t that important. Yes the Celtics should battle for as high a seed as they can but as long as they can get a top three seed they are in a good position to make another run.

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Déjà vu: Celtics Are Hitting A Skid After Christmas

By Zikre Haimanot

The Celtics have a major issue that the organization needs to look into, the food being served at the annual Christmas party because it seems that whatever it is it causes the players to be sick for the following weeks. Every year since the Celtics have been assembled with the Big three there is a disaster waiting after the holidays. The first couple years it was a small isolated problem that lasted for about five to eight games but last year’s skid lasted until the end of the year and now we are back to the post holiday depression. With injuries quickly mounting the Celtics have lost three of their past four and their schedule isn’t getting any easier. Playing five games in seven nights there isn’t any rest for the weary but this team can’t have any excuses. This team needs to fight hard for as high a seed as they can obtain because even though they are capable of winning a playoff series on the road it’s much easier for them if they have home court advantage. That’s what ultimately cost them last year because there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that if Game seven had been played at the Garden it would have ended differently. This team still has enough talent to beat a lot of teams in this league so excuses should be kept to themselves.

Earlier in the year I wrote about how I felt that this team wouldn’t put the same effortless performance as last season and I stand by that statement. So far into the year their have been few games where you could say the Celtics didn’t put the effort in and weren’t trying as hard. Their is a sense of urgency in this team but unfortunately for them injuries are beginning to catch up and halt the great play that they’ve been experiencing. Though they still hold onto the top spot in the East the Miami Heat are rapidly climbing up and the Magic aren’t far behind so its critical the Celtics survive this upcoming test.

January 5th seems to be a good measuring game for the Celtics as they face the league leading San Antonio Spurs. Rondo could be back by then and hopefully the team will be able to put this slide to rest. What worries me is the game against Toronto. Though not as good as the Spurs the Celtics are prone to looking down on opponents and not putting forth the best effort but without so many of their key players that seems to be a huge mistake. If this slide is to end then the Spur’s game has to be the game that changes the dynamic of this particular team. Until Garnett returns the Celtics must have players step up and produce big minutes. Jermaine O’Neal finally has a chance to prove his 6 million dollar contract isn’t a bust.

The holidays are rapping up and now the grind of the season begins. The Celtics are equipped to survive but must use the tools they have and produce some big wins to stay alive for the prize of home court advantage. Without it the Celtics face another grueling playoff run so these next couple weeks will be very crucial to their championship aspirations.

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So Far So Good: Celtics Aren’t Repeating Last Season Debacle

By: Zikre Haimanot

The 2010-2011 season came with much anticipation and excitement but most of all it came with hope. Hope that the torture the Celtics put their fans through last year wouldn’t repeat; hope that there would be no more losses to the lowly Nets or 28 point blowouts to Washington at home. Hope that with a revamped roster and a rejuvenated Kevin Garnett the 82 game NBA season would be respected and there would be no coasting or lackluster play. So far that hope has been fulfilled and the Celtics are living up to the expectations that were set during the summer.

Sure there have been moments where the Celtics have looked like the team from last year but there’s something different this time around. There’s a sense of urgency for the regular season and an intensity that was lacking in 2010. Fingers can be pointed all around for who is responsible for the different approach toward the regular season but my clear cut nominee is Kevin Garnett. The passion that he brings along with his energy is going to be vital parts towards the success the Celtics hope to have this season. Last year with the Celtics desperately in need of someone to charge them up and push them Garnett wasn’t there to do it, his injury not only slowed him down physically but affected his ability to yell and scream at teammates to get them going. With his knee at a very stable place the confidence that he lacked last year is back and he’s having no problems leading once again. His leadership along with the great play of the team has given the Celtics a respectable 12-4 record and they currently sit atop the Eastern Conference. With key wins against some of the East’s best contenders, Heat, Hawks and Bucks, the Celtics look like a prime choice to once again reach the NBA finals.

With all the positives things that have been going on this year Celtics fans haven’t had a lot to worry about. The injuries to Delonte West and Jermaine O’Neil have brought some problems but the major concern of the Celtics not trying this year has been answered. Fans won’t be put through another roller coast season and now instead of the hope we’ve been carrying all summer we can turn it into faith. Faith that this play keeps up and by April we will be talking about how good the Celtics have been playing and how they are the favorites heading into the playoffs.

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