Let's get this out of the way immediately: I am NOT a Boston Celtics fan. I am, in fact, a disgruntled fan of the New York Knicks, and the Celtics do everything that I wish the Knicks would do.
Tonight's fourth quarter comeback victory for the Celtics was the stuff that legends are made of. Boston is a TEAM, in every sense of the word. No Kevin Garnett, no Leon Powe, and up against (arguably) the most dominant big man in the game...Dwight Howard.
And how does Howard respond against a weakened front line featuring Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis, Brian Scalabrine, and Mikki Moore?
(Ew. Scalabrine and Mikki Moore. I think i just vomited thinking about that frontcourt duo of misfits. Anyway, I digress.)
So Howard proceeded to annihilate the Celtics on the interior, right? I mean, it's the biggest game of his NBA career, so significant production against a deteriorated front line is a safe assumption...
Andddd, if you made that assumption, you've made an "ass" out of yourself. Don't worry, I did the same thing.
Howard had 12 points. Twelve. That's it.
"Big Baby" Davis had 22. Dwight outplayed by the undersized big man again?
What a disgrace for Orlando, and a testament to the fortitude of this Celtic group. Howard did have 17 rebounds, but 11 came in the first quarter. Where was he when it mattered the most?
I don't know. Hiding, I guess. But don't be too surprised; if you remember correctly, Dwight was severely outplayed by the likes of Luis Scola, Pau Gasol, and Marc Gasol when he played for the United States in the Olympics. That was a pretty big stage, and he folded.
But enough Howard bashing. Please allow me to praise the Celtics:
(1) 21-of-21 at the foul line this evening. 100 percent. That's the mark of a true champion, and I have to compliment Eddie House, Ray Allen, and Baby Davis on their late-game free throw stroking in the fourth. Well done, fellas -- very, very impressive.
(2) How about Stephon Marbury's incredible offensive run in the third and early fourth? I believe he had nine consecutive points at one juncture, and he finished the game with 12 points and two assists in just 14 minutes of play.
As a Knicks fan, I must say I'm immeasurably happy for Stephon. He deserves this opportunity to play, and play well, in the postseason. He was wronged by Mike D'Antoni, Donnie Walsh, and the rest of New York's organization, and I'm happy that he's sticking it to them with his productive minutes in the playoffs.
Bite me, Knicks.
(3) Excellent team defense by the Celtics, holding the prolific Magic offense to just 88 points. No Orlando player reached the 20-point plateau. Special consideration goes to Rajon Rondo and Perkins.
Rondo, a point guard (for those of you that don't already know), had nine rebounds tonight. Little man puttin' in work.
In the end, this was all just a congratulations to the Celtics and their fans. The way Boston plays the game -- with passion, heart, determination, and unrelenting ferocity -- they deserve every victory that they amass.
What an absolute joy to watch. I wish them the best of luck going forward.