By Mark Paulette,
Please, please, don’t get caught in the moment. I beg you. This reality check is for any ‘Green Teamer’ out there who is ready to cast aside nearly seven months of evidence and believe the Boston Celtics are back.
Though, can we even say “back”? They were never really here to begin with.
A season with such promise and hope, one that would culminate in a valiant loss to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, was derailed almost immediately due to a litany of issues.
How many times did you catch yourself believing the C’s had turned a corner this year, only to watch them take another turn, and another, and another, and eventually end up right back where they started?
Let’s just look at the calendar –
- 10-10 start to the season.
- 15-5 over their next 20 games.
- 18-16 over their next 34 games.
- Then had to claw their way to a 6-2 record down the stretch just to claim the 4-seed.
Please, I beg you, don’t be fooled. They will tell you the switch has been flipped. Maybe it’s truly the case. Or maybe they simply made Bill Belichick proud and did their jobs for once by taking care of business against an Indiana Pacers team that was arguably one of the worst squads in the postseason.
As for the scrappy end to the regular season, a pair of the final six wins came against that same fraudulent Pacers teams, while the other four came against guys that are currently golfing or on a beach somewhere. Not to mention, the 6-2 close came on the heels of a 4-game losing skid, which included losses to Denver, San Antonio and Philadelphia. Philadelphia is heading to the second round, it’s just a matter of when. Denver and San Antonio are playing each other, and currently tied 2-2. Either way, those three teams will represent two of the final eight remaining in the postseason.
When chronicling the 2018-19 Celtics’ season, the theme song should be “Everybody Plays the Fool,” by The Main Ingredient (1972). Us fans have been made fools time and again this season by the C’s. A 4-game sweep in the first round isn’t an encouraging sign for things to come, it’s what should have been the bare-minimum expectation.
Now comes the real test versus the runaway #1 team in the league and likely MVP in Milwaukee and the Greek Freak.
For us fans, our motto heading into the second round should be “We Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by The Who (1971), because this is a totally different animal than the anemic Pacers team we just saw.
I’m not saying the Celtics can’t get the job done, I’m just saying nothing to this point, including the sweep of Indiana, should be used as evidence they can. I need to see it against the league’s best before I’ll believe it.
As Michael Scott said, “Fool me once, strike one. But fool me twice…strike three.”
Mark Paulette is the executive producer of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine