March 19, 2012
The journey was especially rough today. The Red's Army team has had its difficulties tracking the Celtics this season, but this one was one of the worst.
We lost two members on today's expedition. Chuck crumpled to a broken heap before halftime. I turned to KWAPT to help carry the broken, shattered, blubbering shell of a man Chuck had become back to camp, but the catatonic look in KWAPT's eyes told me he was gone too.
I was going at this one alone.
It wasn't easy. The Celtics were shooting about 33% through 3 quarters. There were what felt like 100 turnovers and twice as many fouls between these two teams through that stretch. It was a gross, vomit-inducing, unbearably bad brand of basketball that only the strongest of stomachs can handle.
Then… there was light.
Ray Allen hit a 3 to beat the 3rd quarter buzzer and the glorious floodgates opened. The Celtics offense went OFF…. opening up a 19 point lead. I dropped to my knees, threw my hands to the heavens, and thanked the sweet Lord above that I had survived.
Of course, my celebration came too soon. Atlanta scored 11 straight points, to make the last few minutes a dog fight. The Celtics lead was four… I felt the elements starting to overwhelm me. I felt that this was the end. And then Josh Smith, with :22 left, took an ill-advised three.
Even now, I swear he winked at me before he shot it. Good ol' Josh. I knew I could count on him.
With the game still in doubt, Jeff Teague… who had gotten a ridiculous taunting tech earlier in the game… had the chance to make the storm unbearable. As he launched his potential game-tying 3… I saw the hands of the basketball Gods swoop down and push it the shot about three feet wide left.
I had survived the most unbearable game I may have ever seen. So did the Celtics, 79-76.
Tomorrow, I will send the search party for Chuck & KWAPT. I will tell them to follow the sobbing.