Celtics pride returns….how I was so wrong about this team | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Celtics pride returns….how I was so wrong about this team

Celtics_Garnett_reacts_55e9While most fans right now are trying to pretend that December, January, February and March didn't exist, that they weren't calling for this team to be blown up like Hiroshima and that they "believed all along" I'll be one of the few to step up and say…I didn't. I DIDN'T believe in this team, I DID think they should have been traded away at the deadline and I certainly DIDN'T think there was any chance that we would be talking about "Celtics Pride" with this team.

Lets be honest, did you really believe in February that this team would have a chance to make the NBA Finals? The Bulls looked unstoppable, the Heat ran circles around Boston, the Pacers embarrassed the Celtics (not to mention teams like the Wizards also doing the same). The team looked as hopeless as a fish in the desert. What reason did they give us to believe?  Yes, there were a handful that puffed out their chest and thumbed their noses at all the "non-believers" but lets be real, you are an oblivious homer.

Almost more annoyingly now we are forced to deal two types of people. The first, the homers that "believed" all along telling us all how right they were and making you feel like a bandwagon jumper for enjoying the Celtics run. These are the same people that feel that since they "discovered" a band before they made it big, that they are somehow able to listen to the music differently than us all. Just because you "believed" in a team when they played basketball as poorly as one can imagine doesn't somehow make you a super fan, it just means you are oblivious to reality.

The second set of fans are the ones that WERE calling out for the team to be blown up, they called WEEI and the Sports Hub with their ludicrous trade scenarios and ripped apart Danny Ainge for his lack of moves at the deadline. But these are the same fans that are now trying to pull a Watergate, destroy all evidence of those recordings and cover up the truth, because now magically as if it were Jekyll and Hyde…"praise Jesus I BELIEVE!! I KNEW THIS TEAM HAD ONE MORE RUN!!! I BELIEVED ALL ALONG!!!" Oh my head. But thankfully this isn't all of Celtics nation….

Young-fan-sits-amid-the-shirts-placed-the-seats-for-fans-before-the-nba-basketball-game-between-the-miami-heat-and-boston-celtics-bostonWell…I am going to break the mold and come out and say I am neither of those two fans. I am the rare third fan. The third type of fans are the one that is going to take their licks like a man and come out and say I WAS WRONG. All of the games when Kevin Garnett looked as if Bill Russell changed to #5 and played in the NBA at age 78, all of the games when Rajon Rondo was a moron and earned himself stupid suspensions costing his team dearly, all of the games when the team just looked like they didn't care and ignored a thing called "Celtics Pride";  it was all a mirage. Maybe the team was just trying to lull us all to sleep, sneak up on us when we weren't expecting it, maybe they forgot to turn on all the lights in 2010 and had to flip the switch one more time in 2012, maybe they were out of shape, maybe like the honey badger "The Celtics don't give a shit" about the regular season?? Whatever it was, I was wrong. My eyes fooled me, my head fooled me and my heart fooled me. 

Some may call me a bandwagon jumper for typing this article, but those comments clearly indicate your lack of familiarity of my love of this team, I never once stopped loving the Celtics, I just didn't believe this was a true Celtics team, nor did I believe they had a chance at winning anything. Celtics pride is never accepting a loss, never accepting less and respecting the name on the front of the jersey more than the one on the back. I didn't see that in this team for the seasons first four months, and if it didn't happen after four months why should we have believed that the basketball elves will show up at midnight in May and turn this team into a hungry champion? Somewhere, somehow this team woke up. Grit and balls became their rally cry, the dominoes started falling where they needed to and the David has gotten some really good shots in on Goliath.

Boston-Celtics-020609L_1Standing a 2-2 in the series with Miami, the Celtics have made me feel the need to write a 900 word positive article article on this team for once. Celtics Pride is the 2012 Boston Celtics and the 2012 Boston Celtics are Celtics Pride.

While other teams have their superstars sitting out playoff games due to average injuries (such as abdominal strains…ahem….Chris Bosh) the Celtics have their stars gutting out knee strains, busted ankles, and popping shoulders. While other teams have seen their stars intentionally chest bump with their coach, show a lack of respect/trust in their coaches play-calling/game-plan (ahem…Dwyane Wade) the Celtics are a team that believes entirely in Doc Rivers and executed his gameplan with surgical precision regardless of the personal sacrifices they have to make. While other teams tend to rely on officiating assistance and crumble when their 6'8 265 lb Small Forward/Power Forward who drives the lane like a freight train fouls out for the first time in 4 years (ahem Lebron "I don't foul out of games" James) the Celtics ignore the lack of lack of equality and persevere.

The Celtics are a team that we can be proud of while other teams cannot say the same for themselves. While the Celtics have a legitimate chance at making the NBA Finals, I can say this with utmost certainty; win or lose this team will go down as one of Celtics fans favorite teams of all time. In Boston we always want a winner, if we can't get a winner we want a team that went down fighting to the final second, a team we can be proud of even if a banner isn't raised to the rafters. While it is still very likely that Banner 18 won't be in the rafters anytime soon, this team has already cemented its legacy within the history of the most historic team in the NBA. Win or lose Boson is proud of the Celtics for defying the odds, believing in themselves and going out with the heart of a champion rather than tanking for a better draft pick. Celtics Pride is alive and well, it may have taken longer than we all expected for it to re-emerge but I sure am glad that it realized it was time to come out of hibernation. Celtics Pride is back folks, boy was I wrong to ever think this team didn't have it, and I am sure as hell glad to be wrong. 

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  • Cam

    With the injuries we had at the beginning of the season and KG not playing well I absolutely thought they would do better. KG was good last very good people act like he came out of no where this year.
    In the end it wont be all that impressive unless they beat the Heat. Even a pessimistic fan in Feb. would say the Celtics could wi 2 rounds if they were playing the Hawks without Horford pretty much and Zaza and would beat the Sixers in 7 games.
    That’s all theyve done so far. I think its insane that people actually thought they wouldn’t make the playoffs and I think its insane that people wouldn’t think we could beat those 2 teams even in Feb when we were terrible.
    At the end of the day we still had KG, Pierce, Ray, Rondo and Doc going up against these up and coming teams. People really thought we would lose to a team like Atlanta?
    Just cause KG or Pierce are a year older doesn’t mean that they lost a leg or forgot how Tp jump. Can’t believe people thought KG would be done after this year and people still do.

  • I’d say there’s another kind of fan out there, and I think a lot of the RA staff and readers are among them: The fan that didn’t think the Celtics could pull this off, but weren’t jumping down their throats because they hoped this core could pull it out one last time. I count myself among those fans. I didn’t think they could get to where they are, but I also didn’t want them to blow up the team. I was and am a down-with-the-ship kind of guy. This is my team, and win or lose, I was and am grateful for their effort over the years and this season.
    I’ve said it a few times on twitter throughout these playoffs: #winorlosethankyou.

  • Cam

    Did people really think in Feb that we had played the best ball we can play? If you thought we were playing as good as we could and Rondo was going all out etc. And we were still losing than I understand. All the C’s did was play to their potential finally

  • Celts#18

    There was no sense of hope lost from the all star break on for me because the beginning of the season there was a reason this team had lost those games obliviously because of injuries and nothing else. Don’t try to class fans from your perspective of things and say NO ONE thought we would be here..your just a non-believer and a fake because all of a sudden you believe in this team and all of a sudden you believe in rondo just please stop

  • dom


  • averybradley=thefuture

    One of the best articles written this year about the celtics. Really nicely done. Go C’s

  • I’m kind of at a loss about the post and some of the comments. Why is everyone so wrapped up in who’s a better Celtics fan? We’re all Celtics fans. I get comparing ourselves to our competitors fans (we’re obviously better), but let’s not throw mud at each other. Everyone everywhere got something wrong this season. It was weird and unpredictable and hard to call. But we’re all here right now and we’re all going fucking nuts with excitement because we’re 2 wins away from a 3rd finals appearance in 5 years. Get positive. Gang Green are our people. Ubuntu is our philosophy. The Garden is our home. Who cares whether you thought they could six months ago. They did. And while they obviously have a myriad of reasons, economic and otherwise, for doing what they do, part of it is the tradition of a franchise and the pride of this city. Treat it for what it is – the success of the Boston Celtics is good for us as fans, it’s good for our community economically and morally, and it is a good lesson to everyone: You can’t just buy what you want – there are other contributing factors. Loyal and trusting teams can beat stars. Bird’s Celtics did it to the Bulls in 1986, and these C’s are going to do it to the Superfriends this week.

  • Quest

    Lets not make this about the fans. Lets make it about the Celtic’s Team. Its not about performance or stats its about the spirit of this team and all the adversity they have fought through on and off the court. Lets just admire and recognize the men who play on the floor. Why sully it with want “I” or “me” and all this other negativity.

  • Lupo

    This is why RedsArmy is the best Celtic site and I am here every morning, waiting for your Morning Dump!
    You have said it 100% the way it should have been said!

  • Make no mistake…the fans who felt “severe pessimism” were NOT delusional!
    Exactly 100% of the early season news was dark, dreary and depressing :
    Green…Wilcox…JO…David West snatched from our hands…the 5-9 start…the 15-17 record in late Feb….virtually every win coming against the dregs of the league, etc.
    Yes, things did turn around…but, until early March, there was no visible evidence that it would.

  • Brenda

    So proud of the team – they stuck with it and powered through. They didn’t listen to doubters just put their heads down and worked hard – other teams could learn from this. I am a fan all the way and like a previous post will sink or swim with the team. They are a tight team and show respect not only to Doc but to themselves and their fans. I know they can beat Miami and show what hard work and determination can do!
    Go CELTICS!!

  • paul

    I thought all along that this was a team that could go either way. It could be very good, or very bad, or somewhere in between. That was the only reasonable point of view. There were a lot of strengths, but a lot of serious problems too.
    Don’t make excuses for idiocy. The whole notion of ‘blowing up the team’, or giving up on the team in any way, was idiocy.

  • Mileke

    I am one of the fans that wrote this team off in February. BUT coming around playoff time, I really did think it was possible for the Celtics to make it to at least the Conference finals. That to me was a success in itself with the way the season went. So while I wasn’t totally sure about this team the whole season, for the majority of it, I had a sense of belief sitting deep down inside me. & it’s paid off. Let’s get this W tonight, & close it out in front of our beautiful fans. Will Pierce say “we’re not coming back to Miami.” tonight, like he did vs. the Cavs in 2010.

  • kg215

    There were some lunatics that were afraid of the Hawks/Sixers, believe it or not. The Sixers lack experience and talent, the Hawks are stuck in no man’s land and will be for the future too. I agree, no matter how bad we played no one should be surprised we beat them. Being 2-2 against the Heat Chris Bosh or not is a big surprise, and we gotta give our team and coach a ton of credit.

  • Mileke

    BTW, I love RedsArmy.com & it’s okay to disagree on some things, but HONESTLY who can boast about a team that was below .500 for all the 1st half of the season? It don’t necessarily mean you “flipped” as a fan, maybe the team “flipped” the switch & started playing like they were capable. I might have went this whole season with what we call “blind faith” but it has proven to pay off thus far. & if we don’t win another game this season, I am proud to be a Celtic fan, & I love this team to death. Basically, I want to say my last comment wasn’t to put down this article, cause I love it, but just saying this was all obvious. We’ve seen two different teams from February to now. That’s all I’m saying, but still a great article.

  • Tim

    Nick, you were also the one who wrote the article “Bass Floundering Under the Spotlight of the Playoffs”, just TWO games into this postseason…..

  • screaming jay

    I agree with this…this article kinda pissed me off the way it was written. Not all Celtic fans think the way you do…you are pretty close to being a “fair weather fan.”
    I only read the first 3 paragraphs, due to it being so wrong, so my comment is only on those words.

  • Ben

    While I didn’t have faith in the way the team was playing, I had faith because Doc had faith and I knew they could play better.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    This isnt an attack on fans this articles intent was to put out there just how wrong I was about this team’s heart because for the first four months of the season I saw NO heart out of the entire roster, the fact that one commenter would consider me a “fair weather fan” is laughable find me a fair weather fan whose room is entirely covered with autographed photos of Celtics legends and celtics you probably dont remember. Find me a fair weather fan that actually has an Eric Montross jersey, find me a fair weather fan that saw double digit games during the 06-07 season. I rest my case.
    But I think commenter Matt said it best when he said that it shouldn’t be about the fans. I’ve noticed that across the board with Celtics fans there are the entitled and snobbish fans that claim they “always believed” thumbing their noses at the Celtics fans that “didnt believe”. Give it a rest, seriously and grow up. We all LOVE the Celtics and are thrilled about it. I took quite a bit of criticism while writing elsewhere this season for my “negativity” about this team and my response always was, show me something positive about this team and I’ll find ten negative aspects because thats what this team was, a letdown in the first half of the season. Not sure when we started handing out awards for fans that stuck through and pretended that a bad team was going to be a champion but apparently I missed the memo, I’ll make sure to jump on the Bobcats bandwagon then. This article was meant to be a breath of fresh air, away from the other sites that have authors puffing out their chests saying they believed all along and knew this was coming, if you want to live in fantasy world go read that junk but I’m a realist, I’m going to tell you it how it is in my articles and if I ever meet any of you in person. I’m a realist to the point where I was able to suck up my pride and say how I read this team completely wrong and I was wrong about what their ceiling was.
    As far as me being the Bass author, yup you are entirely correct and I still feel he is vastly overrated and I think that was demonstrated when he played what…16 minutes the other night in a victory?

  • Nick Sannicandro

    the three of you are so entirely wrong about my level of commitment to the Celtics read my comment that I posted below. I never said that nobody thought the celtics would be here, I just said that the majority truly didnt believe because this team gave us nothing to base that opinion on, and the ones that did believe that were operating completely off of blind faith. I like to operate on facts, not faith, I need evidence that something is going to happen I can’t just sit there and say oh well….they’ll flip the swith. In 2010 I saw something in that roster that I could just feel them getting ready to make a switch, I was desperately looking for that in this team, HOPING they would flip a switch and come Feb. when I didn’t see it I resigned to the fact that it just wasn’t meant to be this season and they can start the rebuilding process. Not sure how that makes me a fair weather fan, I continued to watch every game, I continued to study every box score and advanced statistics and still rooted for my team.
    Celtics #18 to blame those early losses on injuries is horse**** because the injuries piled up late in the season more than early in the season and I’d love for you to detail how im “a fake” when I just wrote a 1000 word article on how I was wrong about this team….enlighten me since you are the all knowing and all powerful heir to Ms. Cleo’s throne

  • Doc has said time and time again that early losses were due to coming into camp out of shape. A few guys, including KG & Pierce, thought decertificiation was the end of the season. It took until the All Star break to get into some good shape.
    Hey… there are a bunch of different fans. Personally, I was never for blowing it up because it didn’t make sense. No scenario made sense to me so I figured let’s just go through this season and see how it pans out.
    I never could have guessed this would happen once we started the season…. but if you go back and check… I did say Celtics/Heat in the conference Finals and Heat/OKC in the Finals. So some of us did see this potential in this team.
    Ultimately… let’s not attack each other. This is a piece about a guy realizing he was wrong about this team. This is a time for us all to put the past where it belongs… in the past… and hope these guys can go out there tonight and kick some ass

  • KY Celts fan

    you can’t make please everyone. The fact they became so defensive just helps to prove your point.

  • raise_it_up

    I’m so ready for this game tonight.

  • Celtics fan

    In reference to the OP, thinking this team didn’t have what it takes or what have you back in February is entirely understandable and admitting you were wrong about it does not make you any less of a “hardcore” fan. On the same token, I think you have offended some people with the tone you wrote the article in and some statements you made. You stating that just b/c you could not see us making a playoff run, means that there are only 2 types of fans: 1) “rational” ones like yourself or 2) homers, is a highly arrogant stance in my opinion. There are also rational fans who know what this team is made of mentally (for evidence, see every series we have ever played in the Big 3 era), and fully expected us to be a difficult exit against anyone, which depending on seeding/injuries or whatever could equate to a nice run in the playoffs. I for one, did not think we deserved to be favorites to win the title, but just like I feel now, we’re still in the mix and at the very least dark horse contenders. So, in short, just b/c you didn’t think this team couldn’t win a title before, doesn’t make you a fair weather fan, in the same manner, b/c some people believed in the competitive fire, mental toughness, and enough left in the tank to make a run this year, doesn’t make them “homers” who did not base their opinions on evidence.

  • Sunghwan kim

    Celtics were 3-0 against the Heat in the regular season, so they weren’t running circles around them

  • sev

    we might not be in this position if it wasn’t for an injured Drose. Also I think most people got back on the bandwagon once avery bradley started playing well and we went on a run.

  • sev

    i was thinking the same thing…..although I did agree with most of the article

  • AboveTheRim

    My email to friends on March 2nd, when everyone was crucifying Danny for not making a move:
    I’d let this squad take another shot at the title, yeah it’s a long shot and they clearly on the outside looking in, but they do play at another level come playoffs…if Wade doesn’t break Rondo’s arm last year, maybe they upset the Heat. This squad, while not as sexy as 3yrs ago, still is the best shot at winning basketball and may be the last winning basketball Boston sees for awhile if they’re unable to get a free agent and get stuck in lottery pick mediocrity like before (having the #10 – #20 picks in the draft).
    But i wouldnt’ blow it up. Dont’ think you’ll get anything of value in return and these guys have earned a shot to play for it all again.
    *And for Nick, “What reason did they give us to believe?”
    They have 3 Hall of Famers and the best point guard in the game. You simply can not doubt the will of Hall of Famers. And I’ll take Paul, KG and Ray any day of the week.

  • David

    RE: the bass comment do you not think bass’s minutes was more a reflection of the line-up the heat had on the floor than a reflection of his performances, i mean for majority of the game shane battier was playing the 4 how can you match him up there…. i personally think hes been a breath of fresh air this year….i think you’ll see his true worth if bosh returns, i think his minutes will double if bosh is on the floor

  • WinstonSalems

    I agree. There was a lot of talk around the trade deadline, about blowing up the team for the sake of blowing up the team. It doesn’t make you a genius to think it was a bad idea, nor does it mean you have a false sense of reality, either. This team had another run in them and Danny knew that unless he got a crazy, once in a decade offer, why bother moving things around because he had expiring contracts? Contractually, this is the Big 3’s last hoorah. Back around the All-Star break, they were outside looking in. Still, no team wanted to see the Celtics in the 1st round. They were/are a scary opponent for teams because they were/are built for the playoffs. They play defense and they can operate a decent halfcourt offense. All they needed was an injury to another team. Let’s be honest, if D Rose never went down, it would be the Heat vs Bulls right now. The C’s got a huge break and to their credit, they’re taking advantage of it.
    I do think this article is two weeks too soon. Wait until they make the Finals, win a game or two and have momentum. Hell, you waited this long to write a 900 word, “i was wrong”, fan letter, what’s another two weeks?? Who knows? After tonight, if they go down 3-2, you may change your mind and remember a long time ago when you didn’t believe in this team.

  • Gixr1

    Win or Lose, This team team is all heart Cant ask for more. Nice piece by the way.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    I like to operate on facts and the facts were that the celtics sucked for the first four months fact is now that they got their shit together if you don’t like the facts then go back to fantasy world. FACT is that I wrote this article standing up and saying how I was wrong about this team sorry its not good enough for little fanboys like you Rury

  • Nick Sannicandro

    yes they have three Hof’ers but did it not cross your mind that..well THEY ARE OLD??? And I think that anyone outside of Boston would have objected to calling Rondo the best PG in the game at any time before May of 2012 Rose, Williams, and Paul would have all gotten the nod ahead of Rondo, though he’s closed the gap over hte past few weeks

  • WinstonSalems

    Let’s not get into a pissing match, over who saw this coming and who didn’t. There were too many readers on this site that were quick to pull the trigger on any/every deal that the rumor mills were leaking out. AboveTheRim, to make references to last year’s playoffs is irrelevant. Heat were the better team last season, with or without Rondo on one arm. KG was playing like he was 10 years out of his prime, Big Baby was a complete no show. His playoffs stat-line every game was a joke. Also, the talk about not being able to sign a free agent or get stuck with a mediocre draft selection in 2012, is also negative thinking. You want us to believe you are a glass half full type but you worry about free agents and draft picks, so its just the opposite. KG and Ray are coming off the books at approx $30-32 million. Money talks especially when they have a Top 5 player in the league, locked up for the next 3 years. If there’s a free agent worth getting, they’ll be in the running. Also, this draft is stacked. They might not find the next Paul Pierce, with their selection at 20-25 in the 1st round, but they will get someone who can contribute more than JuJuan Johnson (who btw, might be Danny’s worst draft selection since Marcus Banks–but let’s give him time). Finally, a comment about your last few sentences, about the “doubting” of 3 Hall of Famers. It’s very easy to doubt Hall of Fame players, especially when they’re 35+ years of age, playing against 28 year olds, who are entering their prime. The difference is/was/always will be, RONDO. Without him, you can take your future Hall of Famers can go play Scrabble somewhere. Without Rondo, they don’t get out of the 1st round. With a healthy D Rose, it’s a Bulls vs Heat ECF.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    Ah your actually wrong
    Dec. 27 loss 115-107
    Again a commenter taking a statement out of context, the comment was detailing the Celtics struggles at the start of the season which included the Heat running circles around them. Clearly if you think the Celtics were 3-0 against the Heat then you are of the group that is pretending that Dec-March never existed.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    You make a fair point, that was certainly not the intent of the article, I understand that you can’t bunch 500,000+ individuals into three categories though I will say the majority of fans that I’ve come into contact with are of the three groups and please do read later on in my article where I stressed that I frown upon the people that thumb their noses as what they call “fake fans” and that we should all enjoy this team together, unified as fans that love the Celtics. It really hits a nerve when the team sucked early on in the season and people had the audacity to question whether I was a real fan for pointing out the facts about the team.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    bingo, couldnt have said it any better

  • FACT is that I couldn’t sound too stupid because you repeatedly read my articles funny for someone you feel is a “trash journalist” you continue to read my stuff, flattering to say the least

  • WinstonSalems great point on Baby…his performance or lack thereof last season was the dagger on this team. He played well all season long and then turtled when it counted.
    On a different note, I have to disagree on JuJuan, I really see something in the kid, don’t get me wrong he won’t turn into KG but I could see him as a JJ Hickson. Ainges drafts haven’t been as bad recently as they were before the Big Three when we really think about it.
    First Big 3 year draft got us JR Giddens (turd) and Bill Walker (who I am still pissed that he was a part of the Nate Robinson deal as a throw in, giving up Eddie House for that waste of talent was enough of a pain for me but giving up young talented legs in Walker? Idiocy) Don’t forget they also got Semih Erden out of the draft who really came up big for them last year, ya he won’t amount to much in the NBA but he was a true blessing last year.
    Second year Lester Hudson….gave the Celtics nothing but he’s had some flashes of good play in Memphis
    Last year Avery Bradley, no need to comment on that and Luke Harangody waste of life
    This year JJJ and Moore….TBD on those guys Moore looks like he can produce, I’ll wait to analyze JJJ until next year, we all thought Bradley was getting cut this offseason remember

  • tell the principal

  • Tim

    +1 for David.
    Bass 29:44 minutes tonight, lead Celtics in scoring in the first half. When Battier played Bosh’s minutes in the 2nd half, Bass sat more and the Celtics were able to pull it off with the right matchups.

  • AboveTheRim

    You guys kind of missed my point where the topic was two types of fans. From my tone, i obviously wasn’t delusional over the top fan boy but suggested to keep the core together because for the last 4 years, they’ve looked old during the regular season only to flip the switch in May when the games count. I argued the core has earned a shot to stay together and compete at least one last time. I dropped the Rondo reference against Miami last year in a passing line and you took a whole counter arguement about last year’s team which is just off topic.

  • AboveTheRim

    Dude and about doubting Hall of Famers being easy? Say whaaat? You’re just like a media head that falls in love with young legs and athleticism. Name me a young team that won it all. Young flashy teams are so overrated.
    You know how old the Mavericks were last year? With Kidd, Dirk, Marion, Haywood, Avery? Or the Lakers with Fisher, Kobe, Artest or the Spurs before that? Or the “old” and aging Celtics before that?
    Youth is so overrated in the NBA it’s not even funny.

  • DJinthehall

    where did old man eisenman go. He must be pissed that the celts are doing well.
    Nothing to bitch about

  • OKC is young and flashy and one win from the finals

  • fukotheclown@yahoo.com

    “the Heat ran circles around Boston”
    um.. no they didn’t.
    The Heat barley won one game against the C’s this regular season.