A Defining Moment


Right here.  Right now.  For the Boston Celtics, this is the defining moment of the year.  So it only makes sense to define some relevant terms.

ad•ver•si•ty (n)

1.            adverse fortune or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress: A friend will show his or her true colors in times of adversity.

2.            an adverse or unfortunate event or circumstance: You will meet many adversities in life.

Things have been pretty easy this year.  There was one stretch of losses surrounding a Kevin Garnett injury and a few losses to the Washington Wizards.  Other than that, no obstacle has stood in the way of the Celtics for very long.  In fact, most obstacles were hurdled with ease.  So now we’ve got some adversity.  They have misfortune, calamity, and distress brought about by Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Joe Johnson.  Now this team has a chance to show its true colors in this time of adversity.

o•ver•come (v)

1.            to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.

2.            to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one's weaknesses.

Great players stare down the enemy.  No one stares down like Kevin Garnett.  Great players meet adversity head on.  Few players attack the paint and draw contact like Paul Pierce.  Great players conquer.  Few current players are as clutch from long range as Ray Allen. 

Great teams search their soul and find their own weaknesses.  The Celtics need to return to what got them here: ball movement, fundamentals, and intense team defense.  Great teams adapt, adjust, and turn weakness into strength.  Now is the time to fix what’s broke and go on the attack.

char•ac•ter (n)

qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.

Character is developed through adversity.  Paul, Ray, and Kevin have slogged their way through the valley of wasteland and stand at the foot of greatness.  They know what kind of opportunity they have in front of them.  Posey and Cassell have been to the top of that mountain and they know that a few slips along the way mean nothing so long as you don’t let it.  Rondo and Perkins took their own lumps last year but never gave up or let up.  Now all these men share a common purpose and goal.   Now we will see what kind of character they truly have.

win•ner (n)

a person or thing that wins; victor.

Sixty six times this team has left the court winners in the regular season.  The reason it was so jarring to see them lose was because it was so unfamiliar.  The personalities are as diverse and contrasting.  Some are loud, some are quiet.  Some are intense, some are cool.  Some are obsessive, some are random.  Some are young, some are old.  The common thread all year has been their true identity: winning.

cham·pi·on (n)

a person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place: the heavyweight boxing champion.

The journey of a thousand steps starts with one.  The road to 17 takes 16 wins.  We’ve got two.  We need two more to keep walking that road.  It starts tonight.

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