Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
It's an article of faith that the closeout game is the toughest to win in a playoff series — and that certainly has been the case for the Celtics over the past five years. They've won more series than they've lost in that span — 10-3 — but their track record in closing games has been spectacularly humdrum.
In 2008: 4-3.
In 2009: 1-3.
In 2010: 3-5.
In 2011: 1-0.
In 2012: 1-1.
That's a record of 10-12, and nine of the 10 wins have come in Boston. The two most painful losses, easily, came in Games 6 and 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals in L.A. after the Celtics had taken a 3-2 lead over the Lakers. The Celtics already fell short on their first closeout game this year, Game 5 in Atlanta, and then almost spit the bit at home before barely winning Game 6. Doing things the quick and easy way is not a trademark of the Celtics. They make you squirm.
I have no idea what will happen tonight in Philadelphia. My guts says the Celtics will lose. But the more I think about it, a loss is predictable. And if there's one thing we know for sure about this team, it's unpredictable.
If both of the Eastern conference semi-finals end in six games, the conference finals will start Saturday. If either series goes 7, the conference finals start Monday.
A win tonight would guarantee the Celtics at least two days of rest and maybe four. A loss tonight and the Celtics would be playing Game 7 on Saturday with just one day off before the next series (provided they win). The benefits of closing out the Sixers in 6 games are obvious.
Wait a minute.. I think I've figured out a way to determine if the Celtics will win tonight.
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…
On Page 2, a Philly sportswriter responds to Garnett's fairweather fan comment with absolute ignorance.
You think we’re the fair weather type, do you? Ok, to that I say that it’s better to be fair weather than to be anything remotely akin the cretins that unleashed their racist vitriol via Twitter upon Washington Capitals defenseman Joel Ward, a Black hockey player, last month after he eliminated Boston’s Bruins from the NHL playoffs with an overtime goal.
Can’t really call this an isolated incident, my friend, not unless you believe that those clowns were gathered together in some sort of Bruins/Skinheads gathering and, after their team went down, they all took to Twitter once Ward drove the stake through Boston’s heart.
No, this wasn’t the whole Boston fan base, not at all. But it’s not a coincidence that Bill Russell, the biggest sports winner in the history of Boston sports, absolutely loathed the city and a fan base that he saw as racist.
His words, not mine.
So my advice to you, KG, is that you’re better off winning this series, the next one and then the next. Because if you let those stalwart fans down, who knows what they’ll unleash on you. We do know what they are capable of.
Take that how you want.
This blog is so bad, so lazy, so wrong, so ignorant, that I'm embarrassed for the author (John Mitchell).
The racist tweets directed at Joel Ward were NOT isolated to Massachusetts. Even so, are a dozen racist comments a fair sample of a city, state and fan base?
Yes, Bill Russell once called Boston a "flea market of racism." That was 50+ years ago. Boston's ugly racist past is indisputable.
Mitchell should address the racism that's rampant and current in Pennsylvania. According to this artice, Mitchell's native state is home to "33 hate groups," including 2 Skinhead groups and 4 KKK organizations.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Stiemsma gets All-Rookie vote | Offday: Back to Philadelphia | Globe – A fast break in 3rd by Celtics | Bradley travels with team | 76ers hoping to stave off elimination | WEEI – Is this the grown up Rondo? | CSNNE – From basketball to brotherhood, Battie always saw it in Pierce | Herald – Masterful coach at core of Celtics success |