Basketball – aka Celtics Love

I’ve been a late convert to the world of basketball. I lived in Chicago during the magical Jordan years and never watched a game.  I’m kicking myself in hindsight, but there’s not much I can do about it now.  I did watch some games in 1998 and saw the last championship series, but I’m sure it wasn’t the same as watching during the heyday.  Jose was instrumental in getting me hooked on basketball and we started watching a lot of games, most of which I didn’t follow too closely.  😛

My first real NBA love were the circa 2001 Sacramento Kings, with Webber, Bibby and Christie. I vividly remember the playoff game they lost against the Lakers (boo…hiss!)…and a bad call that ended up causing them the game and eventually the series. I was always rooting for the underdog.  After that disappointment and when the team got disbanded, basketball took a back seat to grad school and life in general.

Jose’s been a Celtics fan forever, so it was just sort of natural that I started following them. Back then, I don’t remember watching a lot of games, but the player that always stuck with me was Paul Pierce.  He was fun to watch and I loved his partnership with Antoine Walker (remember that dance AW did after making baskets?) but I didn’t know anyone else on the team and I didn’t make time to watch games.  If they were on and I was in the room, I’d sit down and watch the game otherwise, I didn’t see many.

Over the past two years with the Celtics gaining more air time, winning a championship and the acquisition of the NBA league pass (and watching over 80 games this year), I’ve moved from a casual Celtics fan enamored only with Pierce to an all consumed Celtics fan in love with the team as a whole. Yeah sure, there are a few players I can’t quite decipher.  Mikki Moore?  haven’t figured out what exactly his role is…has he?  Perkins?  I know he can pull it together, but I feel like he needs to be less aggressive/emotional and stop taking things so personally.

It took me a while to warm up to Big Baby when I saw him play at the end of last season, but this year, especially with Garnett being out of commission…he’s been really consistent and has improved greatly.  There aren’t enough words to say about Leon Powe.  I feel terrible for what he’s going through right now. What a fantastic player he is.  I hope he’s able to heal and carry on with his NBA career and I’ll miss seeing him in the playoffs.

I’m looking forward to seeing the progression and development of Rajon Rondo who is awesome and has a lot of promise.  He’s so quick and has a great ability to handle the ball well.  He’s a joy to watch and with only 3 years experience, I can only imagine where he’s going from here.

As for #34, I’ve had a love for Paul Pierce forever.  Up until recently, he’s been a majorly underrated player. Thankfully in the past few years that’s changed.  The Truth will always be my favorite Celtics player (even though I have a Ray Allen shirt.) Speaking of Ray, my favorite thing about him is his cool, calm and collected demeanor I have rarely seen him display frustration during a game.  He’s got a laid back attitude on the court that must spill over into his daily life.  He’s a beautiful player to watch and so graceful it’s almost unnatural.  As for KG, I don’t know a lot about him.  Remember I lived in a bubble regarding basketball for many many years.  I know he’s got a reputation as a terrific leader and visionary.  You can’t deny his passion for his team and the game, just watch him on the sidelines at any recent game.  If they actually start showing him again — we’re all good at reading your lips, KG…just saying.  The addition of KG and Allen have definitely brought the limelight to Boston once again and it’s great to see Pierce partnered with two amazing allies.

One of the things I love most about the Celtics is their “Boston is a Brotherhood” mentality.  Every game is a team effort and it shows.  You’d think with 3 superstars egos would get in the way, but those superstars have experience fueling them. They know that it takes a group effort to succeed.  Nothing I can write will express this more than this clip.  Now, how do I get myself one of these shirts??

Don’t jump all over me, I know little about strategy and plays and Lord help me if I ever have to identify a particular call.  I’m only good at calling traveling (why aren’t the refs??) I just really enjoy the games.  I like the fast pace, the energy, the team-player component. I like the variables that make each game unique. I don’t understand a lot of the fundamentals.  I’m always pausing the game to ask a question about a call or a play, but that’s how you learn, right?

I was concerned after Game 2 (vs. Bulls) when Rondo took a few tumbles, as did Ray, and even Big Baby went flying into people.  Players were falling faster than they could shoot.  Rondo and Powe left with injuries. Only one came back.  I was furious that they would risk their team future for a playoff season it’s unlikely they’ll win in the end.  I’m not lacking faith here…it’s going to take a miracle for them to beat the Cavs 4 times.  Even with KG healthy it would be difficult.  I have no worries they’d beat the Lakers, it’s the Cavs I’m not sure of.  But then Game 3 came and they bounced back.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen the rest of this playoff season, but I ♥ the Celtics and will continue to love them.  Yes, things have been rough with all the injuries and it’s been a more difficult than anticipated year, but I have faith they will play their best and when they do have a bad game or lose the series, I’ll still here watching.  And cheering.

Two of my favorite things: The Celtics and Rome!

Two of my favorite things: The Celtics and Rome!

The playoff games against the Bulls have been terrific and I’m looking forward to actually being at Game 4 in Chicago.  We’ll be there wearing green in a sea of red.  Let’s go CELTICS!

Stay tuned for post-Game 4 pictures and recap!

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