The Celtics have been driving with the gas light on for a long time (like Kramer in that Seinfeld episode). And last night, they just ran out of gas. Paul Pierce said so.
“We still had our chances. I thought going into the fourth quarter, I
think we were down five or six, and we’ve been in that situation many
of times where we make a run and we win the game. [Sunday night], it
just really felt like we ran out of gas for us to be only down five and
to lose the way we did.”
Fatigue can account for so much of what happened to the C's: Ray Allen's shot being off, sloppy turnovers, missed defensive assignments. They didn't have KG or Powe, which is a killer in itself. They couldn't use Mikki Moore. I could go on, but I'm not going to. The point is simple… they just didn't have enough bullets in the gun. I should give credit to Orlando, too. They played uncharacteristically smart basketball in game 7 (how's that for a backhanded compliment?). They never resorted to taking bad 3 pointers. They kept taking it to the hoop. They played well where history told me they wouldn't. Kudos to them. They took advantage of our disadvantages.
So now it's time to move on, and reassess what we have, and what we need. We're going to spend a good amount of time on that this offseason. We're still going to be covering the NBA as a whole. We'll be looking at what we can get in the draft and, of course, we'll be updating you whenever a KG knee-surgery story breaks.
For now, we'll end it on a positive note. One last highlight: Rajon Rondo dunking on Dwight Howard.
Herald: Celtics disappear | Rondo down after defeat | KG eager to get better | Defending champs lay an egg | Ewing's right at home | Rediscovered touch not enough for Celtics | Mikki Moore than OK with returning | Pierce can't save champs this time | Globe: Defending champs ousted | Game 7 photos | Marbury's future uncertain | Doc: We were hoping for KG | Big Baby on Game 7, his future | Camerato: Experience has made them rich | Souza: Champs dethroned | Megliola: Sheer will only takes Celtics so far | Petraglia: Bench blues