Its official prediction time for me… and I'm saying Celtics in 6. (Chuck is going with C's in 7. He went on the record Monday on BarStool Sports. Sometimes he forget he also writes for this site.)
I know I tend to be more optimistic then some people about our Celtics chances… but I think we're building towards something.
First… I think its good that we went to 7 games twice. It was maddening. It was frustrating. But, in the end, it was good. To paraphrase Ray Allen after yesterday's practice… all the reasons people are giving that Boston will lose… are the reasons they'll win. They are now well aware of the problems of the road. They're hashing out their roles. They're confident they can win an elimination game.
Second… I think the Celtics flat-out underestimated the Hawks and the Cavs. They didn't underestimate LeBron… but they underestimated how much fire the rest of the team had. This, however, is the matchup that they've been looking forward to. Its finally Celtics-Pistons time. There's no more looking past anyone.
And finally… I think Rondo is going to take advantage of a gimpy Chauncey Billups. I think Rondo steps up… and shows up… in at least one of the road games. I think the return of Eddie House will continue that up-tempo, high energy approach needed to beat the Pistons at least once on the road.
So I do expect the Celtics to continue to defend home court. I expect (or maybe its extreme hope) them to win 1 game in Detroit… and then its on to face the Spurs in the Finals.