February 20, 2011



         Tonight for the All-Star game the jerseys for the East team may as well be Celtic green. Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will all come off the bench at the command of their own coach, Doc Rivers. Who knows, maybe Shaq will sneak in there and the Eastern Boston Celtic All-Stars can trounce on hairballs like Carmelo Anthony and Tim Duncan.
         At the celebratory half-way point of the season it's become clear as day breaking in the desert: The Boston Celtics are the red-eyed mother fuckers no one wants to visit come playoff time. But can anyone be that surprised? They were just as strong last year leading up The Finals against the Lakers, but unfortunately lost Kendrick Perkins to injury in Game 6, and then their rebounding edge in the final minutes of Game 7. Redemption is on the horizon.
         They've stitched themselves back up and their bench has only improved since. They have quietly maintained their stance atop the league's elite, ailments be damned. First off they spanked the Miami Heat like a bunch of doms in their first three meetings. (Their final match is April 10.) They've rotated through injuries with very slight hesitation. For a stretch earlier in the season only 9 players were active. When Rondo was out, Nate Robinson stepped up and filled the void. When Perkins was out, there was Shaquille, when he went out there was O'Neal, and Big Baby has remained consistent.
         The Boston Celtics are the perfect team. If they weren't playing basketball they could easily take on the roll of a street yard gang or assemble together as crime-fighting super heroes (or crime-causing super villains). Rondo leads all point guards with 12.2 apg and has helped to keep their standard of toughness alive. KG is like an ox digesting adrenaline glands at the top of every hour. In nearly all the games leading up to the break he got into some scuffle, verbal or physical. His nostrils flare open and his veins pulse. I wouldn't be surprised if he plays with a switchblade tied to his thigh because he always looks ready for a fight. Allen inched over Reggie Miller's three-point record grabbing the number one all time spot and Pierce hasn't required the assistance of a wheelchair to get off the court yet.
         There is chemistry. There is drive. They have no threats because they are the number one threat. Everyone wants to hype up the Miami Heat, but let's not shake that stick too soon. If Lebron James is going to pass up game winners to Eddie House and Mike Miller, then clearly something wrong still lingers within that team. They might wow us all season-long, but they'll stumble when it matters most. Their psyche is a fragile one, fending off numerous distractions.
         The Celtics, though, are focused. Game 7 replays on the walls of their minds and they're all about getting back to that moment. Obviously anything can happen and anything is possible in the playoffs, but if Gang Green stays healthy through June, and if Garnett's eyeballs don't pop out of his skull before then, these fuckers will be taking that Larry O'Brien hunk of gold back to The Garden. Swear by it.