Thursday, May 27, 2010
I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill. I don't want to sound pessimistic. But I'm noticing some alarming coincidences here. Game 3 of the Bruins/Flyers series, the B's blow Philly out of the water, and everyone assumes the series is over. Game 4, and although the Bruins are never out of it, they're never really in control. They need to score late to force an OT, but they're outplayed in that extra period, and lose. Then Game 5, the Bruins get blown out by the Flyers.
Now what matters is that the Celtics have two remaining games to avoid repeating what their ice-skating, known-for-choking counterparts did a few weeks ago.
What's scary though, is just like the Bruins losing David Krejci, the Celtics have some potential injury-related complications to deal with. Glen Davis was concussed. Rajon Rondo might be dealing with something. KG seems to be playing through something, and not playing well. And the NBA will need to rescind one of Perkins' technicals in order to keep him in the lineup.
Let's mention officiating. Game 5 was ridiculously tight, most remarkably when Perkins had two technicals called on him, which were both quite insane. He missed more than half the game, which meant a downgrade in defense, and the loss of his 3 remaining personal fouls. But was that enough to give Orlando such a lopsided win? NO! So I don't want to hear any bitching about the officiating beyond the possible Perkins suspension.
Ray Allen shooting 3/11. KG only scoring 10 points. Getting outrebounded 43 to 26. These are the kinds of reasons the Celtics lost. But also give some credit to Orlando. Howard had 21 points and 5 blocks, Nelson had 24. Reddick had 14, and the bench kept the pressure on the Celtics, combining for 38 points.
Now it was a bit freakish. The Magic came out of the gates and lit up from beyond the arc. That kind of stretch will be hard to duplicate. That gave Orlando that initial lead. All Orlando had to do was not blow it.
So the series comes back to Boston, where hopefully Kendrick Perkins will be allowed to play. He received his 6th and 7th technicals of the postseason last night, which would mean automatic suspension. Unless the NBA rescinds the calls, which they should.
But the Celtics need big men to foul Howard and limit his scoring. Sheed seems hurt, Davis definitely is hurt, and the C's are depending on the NBA to do the smart thing to allow Perkins to return. That's not a pleasant situation to be in.
Orlando has momentum, but momentum's only as good as your next shot. Unlike the Bruins, the Celtics are essentially winners. I've a reasonable amount of faith in the players in green and white. But if hurt, especially if Rondo and KG are hurt, this could be one of the ugliest springs in Boston sports history.
Game 6 Friday night.