Celtics in playoffs: It’s called survival

Alan Greenwood

There must be a good reason to believe that the Boston Celtics can brush off the Indiana Pacers the way a purebred brushes off a flea.

Six months ago, doubting the Celtics’ ability to sweep past such a bastion of sheer adequacy would’ve been considered laughable. Of course, six months ago the Celtics were poised to dominate the Eastern Conference in its first season without LeBron James.

And of the moon and stars aligned in the shape of a shamrock, the Celtics might even be able to defeat, or at least compete on equal footing, with the Golden State Warriors.

Admittedly, that dream of Banner 18 stretched optimism into silliness. The Warriors are the best team of the present generation, its one stumble against James and his band of Cavaliers notwithstanding. They may be on the verge of disintegration. For starters, Kevin Durant, two rings after arriving, may head somewhere to make lots of money in a land of minimal expectations.

That would be the New York Knicks, for those who have forgotten that the Knicks are still in the league.

Most Celtics fans are well aware of the Knicks’ continued shallow breathing. If doubts about the C’s were not already planted, they certainly were when New York visited the Garden the night before Thanksgiving and gave Boston a humiliating spanking.

The Celtics have improved dramatically since then, but inconsistency still plagues them. And now they will go on without Marcus Smart, out with a torn oblique muscle, for at least two rounds.

Smart may be out for the season, since the Celtics would face Milwaukee in Round 2. And while they will survive the Pacers, they would have to be dominant to give us any reason to think they can get past the Bucks.

TIME TRAVEL: April 14, 1949 – “The Nashua High School band will help usher in the national pastime at Braves Field. School officials here have accepted an invitation for the Purple musical outfit to be on hand at Braves Field Monday to furnish music for the big day. With the band on hand chances are there will be on hand at least a couple of hundred Nashua fans at the Braves opener.”

DRONE ON: It was reported Saturday that the drone circling Fenway Park on Thursday night was being operated by a juvenile. That would mean a juvenile as defined by age, not level of common sense.

There have been plenty of drones wandering from beer stand to beer stand through the decades.

At any rate, a spokesman for the company that manufactures the flying machine is quoted in the Boston Globe saying “Anybody should know that you should not flying a drone over a stadium during a baseball game. It’s clearly illegal and stupid.”

If it were seen flying over Gillette Stadium during a Patriots game the only reason no fingers would be pointing at Bill Belichick would be that he can’t even successfully operate a tablet on the sidelines.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-1248, agreenwood@nashuatelegraph.com, or @Telegraph_ AlanG.