If you got snookered by Celtics, don’t feel too badly
It took a stern glower from the man in the mirror this morning to confess:
The Celtics played him for a sucker.
Yes, last summer it seemed that the Celtics might just might be as good as they unabashedly claimed. Boston was a lock for the Eastern Conference championship. They would face Golden State’s juggernaut in the NBA Finals.
A sliver of common sense prevailed as the world considered any final foe for the Warriors nothing but a gold-bearing pinata. But, hey, it’s best of seven and if the chips fall the right way …
Well, not even the late, great Johnny Most could flat-out predict a championship for the men in green.
As it turned out, not only were the 2018-19 Celtics not great, they often struggled to achieve mediocrity. That Thanksgiving eve loss to the ever hopeless the New York Knicks – on the Red Auerbach floor – should have served as an air-raid siren.
After the Celtics swept a middling Indiana team the hollow hopes rose again. And when they won Game 1 in Milwaukee, geez they might be capable of actually of putting their regular-season struggle aside, not to mention their in-house bickering.
What a ridiculous assumption. We have seen the Celtics as they are and the picture is neither pretty or promising.
Kyrie Irving is as good as gone; if widespread reports are accurate, his fellow Celtics will shed only tears of joy. Irving has shown himself to be the David Price of basketball – that is, David Price as he stood before posting his first post-season win last fall.
Letting Irving meander off to the Knicks, or the Nets, or whatever suitor is in the rumor mill on any given day, may make lots of folks around here happy but will not in itself make the Celts as good as they think they are.
Sadly, there is no easy fix. We could wait to see how the ping-pong balls bounce in the draft lottery, but recent history reminds us to keep breathing normally.
Maybe Danny Ainge could wheel a deal to get Anthony Davis. But he’d likely have to surrender one of the team’s young stars, which might end up being a long-term wash.
Ah, if only Kevin McHale were still an NBA general
TIME TRAVEL: May 9, 1959 – “Alvirne High had a field day yesterday, belting Wilton’s hapless diamondmen out of the park with a 20-3 win.
“Southpaw Ed Cooke only gave up one hit while racking up his third win of the year and helped his own cause with two doubles and a single to drive in six runs. Dick Ahrendt and Jim Zedalis each collected three hits and both belted home runs off Wilton pitching. Ahrendt also had a triple and a double and Zedalis also had one three-bagger.”
For the Wilton diamondmen, the entire day was filed away as a two-bagger.
Alan Greenwood can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_AlanG.