Let’s get something straight from the outset.
The Boston Celtics do not deserve to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. We will get into the why’s of that later but after falling to the Philadelphia 76′ers in Game 6 82-75, it is clear that the Celtics are just wasting their fans as well as their own time in these playoffs.
For cosmetic purposes the Game 6 particulars go as follows: (bare with me for they are ugly)
The 76′ers were led by Jru Holiday’s 20 point and 6 assist effort but it was the way he clearly outplayed Rajon Rondo that was the most eye popping. Elton Brand continued his resurgence with a 13 point and 10 rebound double double and his defense on Kevin Garnett in the post was outstanding.
The 76′ers shot 46% from the field, a dismal 17-28 from the free throw line for (61%), were out rebounded 48-37 and they still won the game going away!
They gave up 14 offensive rebounds to the Celtics who are one of the worst rebounding teams in the history of the NBA and they still won the game going away.
The Celtics saw Paul Pierce put up a valiant 24 point and 10 rebound performance but it took the rest of his teammates too long to join the party to make a difference in the losing outcome.
Kevin Garnett overcame some early struggles to finish the contest 9-20 from the floor on his way to 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The numbers of Pierce and Garnett hide the true ugliness of the rest of the Celtics in this game. Boston shot just 33% from the field as a team. They also got powerdrived, suplexed, and punched where the sun don’t shine in the paint getting outscored by a 42-16 margin.
Credit Philly for putting the vice grip on the Boston attempts at the basket but a 42-16 advantage is just too absurd for words.
Brandon Bass shot just 2-12 for 8 points, following his 9-13 shooting 27 point explosion in Game 5. Truly feast or famine for Bass.
Ray Allen was unable to defend or hit shots rendering him useless in his 9 point foul plagued 26 minute atrocity. Allen is a gamer and he is definitely hurt but his play is now hurting the Celtics.
Then there is Rajon Rondo. The point guard diva scraped together 9 points 9 rebounds and 6 assists in a highly ineffective performance. He was unable to get Boston into any of their usual sets offensively as he got torched by Holiday and Lou Williams defensively.
Rondo would regularly pass the ball to Garnett or Bass at the top of the key and run to the other side of the floor. What exactly the Celtics bigs were supposed to do with the ball in that position only the basketball gods know. Rondo seemed so disinterested it was pathetic to watch.
Obviously this was not the Celtics best effort and now they have 2 full days off before Game 7 in Boston on Saturday.
The experts will say Boston’s experience plus the extra day’s rest will carry them to victory in Game 7 and chances are those things are correct.
What is also correct is that the Celtics are the better team but their lack of interest in proving it on a consistent basis has been a travesty and comedy of errors.
Sure, the Celtics story of it being their last run at a championship makes for nice theater but if they can’t beat the 8th seeded 76′ers convincingly then what will the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers do to them in the Eastern Conference finals?
Boston’s act of playing to the level of their competition has gotten as old as they are and the 76′ers are now primed to oust the Celtics from the playoffs as a result.
Quite frankly, maybe its time.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com