Monday , Jan , 14 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

The Boston Celtics’ Losses: It’s a Matter of Perspective


The Boston Celtics' Losses: It's a Matter of Perspective

This article is a special feature from BSMW Full Court Press, one of the web’s finest Boston Celtics sites.

See, here’s what occurs to me about the Celtics or, specifically, about covering and rooting for them: Despite the rough weekend, things have never been so good. Not for my generation anyway. Following the surprising second loss in three games against inferior competition, I recalled a moment from my youth during the early-to-mid eighties. I had woken up on a Saturday morning to find that the Celtics had suffered the second of rare back-to-back losses out on a West coast swing. Looking up from the paper in disgust, I muttered something to the effect that the Celtics “sucked”.

I’ll never forget the look of astonishment on my father’s face. It must have taken him a moment to realize that for as long as I had been rooting for the Celtics, they had always been exceptional, always been a contender. As far as I knew things, Larry Bird, Robert Parish & Co. had always been there chalking up a steady stream of wins. As a result, I completely lacked the perspective to understand what a couple of unexpected mid-season losses meant, which is to say: not much.

Having learned that valuable lesson long ago, I advise you to erase these losses from the memory banks as quickly as possible. Chalk them up to fatigue or perhaps a bit of a timely karma reality check. Perhaps people will now quit all those useless speculations about the team’s chances of surpassing 72 wins and remember that the regular season serves most usefully as a qualifier for the playoffs. By now we already know that barring a Garnett injury, this team will glide to a division title in its sleep. In the meantime, they’ll certainly try to win every game they play but will also understand the greater importance of keeping their key players healthy and rested while otherwise continuing the learning process together and sorting out who else can contribute under various circumstances.

For the rest of us who love the team and the sport of basketball, it all remains ever so compelling, even on a daily basis. Think of all the storylines to follow. Will Tony Allen ever stabilize and evolve? Is Big Baby the real deal as a draft night steal? Is Garnett’s gravitational force on the team’s intensity sustainable? Will Kendrick Perkins eventually snap and go gladiator on a slew of terrified opponents? All of the above sure beats watching another year of Paul Pierce aging through his prime in misery while Bassy Telfair and Gerald Green continue to not get it.

As for the rest of this season, I hope we can all take a collective step back from placing so much grave importance on these regular season games. Leave that useless hysteria for the new generation Red Sox fans. The Detroit game? Yeah, that mattered because it served as a litmus test of whether the newly constructed Celtics could stand up to the uber-battled-tested and long assembled Pistons. A disappointing yet meaningless loss to the Wizards? Ummmm…not so much.

To reiterate: 30-5. An .857 winning percentage. Front-runners for home court advantage throughout the playoffs. And as if life couldn’t get any better, those guys who somehow beat the Celtics a couple nights ago? They have the misfortune of having to face them again immediately thereafter on the parquet floor. And you thought Garnett looked irritable during nine game winning streaks? Pass the popcorn, boyos. This ought to be good.