Some time after 9pm, with millions of people camped in front of televisions all over the world… with millions of people wearing either Green and White or Purple and Gold… a guy in that gray, NBA official's uniform will toss the ball in the air…
… and the last game of this season will begin.
No matter what happens. No matter what twists, turns, bounces or calls… the season ends tonight.
82 regular season games. 23 playoff games. None of them matter. Not the buzzer beaters. Not the bad losses. None of them. After all the Celtics have been through. After all the stroke-inducing, inexplicably lackadaisical efforts. Only one game matters now.
Oh, everyone will slobber over Kobe Bryant and how you don't want to face him in a Game 7.
I say bring him on. I say shine that spotlight as bright and as long as possible on that court.
Then I say watch that home team wither under it. Kobe is the only one with the stones to handle it. The Celtics can deal with him doing his thing. We've seen him do it before. I don't care about Kobe going off.
I care about Lamar Odom reverting to normal self and crumbling under the pressure. I care about Sasha Vujacic falling apart after a couple of missed shots. I care about Pau Gasol being mentally dominated by the old, crazy veteran Rasheed Wallace.
And I care about three Hall of Famers in Green… living up to the tradition that accompanies that uniform.
This is more than just another "Rah Rah" piece from me. This is all the analysis this game deserves. Because at this point, there's nothing I, nor anyone else can analyze that makes a damn bit of difference.
Yeah, the talking heads will talk, and the writers will write because that's what they're paid to do and there's a full day of time and space to fill. But they're just yammering on about nothing. This game isn't about any adjustments anymore. This game boils down to one thing: Players playing like themselves.
This is the game where everyone reverts to what they really are. When there is nothing to lose, everyone lays it all out on the line, and they become who they've always been.
And when you take a good hard look at these rosters. When you really, honestly, scrutinize exactly who these guys are and always have been… who would YOU put YOUR money on?
How many guys on the Lakers would you trust if you had everything riding on the line? Anyone besides Kobe? MAYBE Fisher.
And how many guys on the Celtics do you trust? At least 3. Rondo is creeping into that realm too.
There's nothing left to analyze, folks. This just boils down to players playing the game. And I'll take all of our players over all of theirs in this situation every time.
Every… Damn… Time.