What a relief- my worst fears were groundless.

As an avid Celtics fan, who has followed them since the time that Larry Bird turned Boston upside down and re-instilled Celtics pride to the team, I always have these nagging doubts that crop up, particularly when things are going too well, that somehow, we're going to come a cropper.

It has happened to the Cs time and again over the years, and there are too many examples of that to bring up now, as a knowledgeable Cs fan base is all too well aware of what I'm referring to.

It started with game four, when we fumbled our way into overtime, and managed to snatch defeat from the gaping jaws of victory. My heart sank at that point, having the feeling of impending doom, with the feeling that we would blow game five big-time, after that let down in game four.

Unfortunately, my fears were justified, and I couldn't even bring myself to watch the game, but the occasional score checks bore out what was happening, and I just hoped that we would emerge although bloodied, but unbowed, in order to take game six at home.

Disaster then reared its ugly head once more, with Perkins being ejected, which meant an automatic game suspension for number six. Then, to add injury to insult, Davis was concussed to the point where he didn't know which country he was in, and then  Daniels was concussed as well, and Rasheed came down with back spasms. [ that would leave us with, um Williams and Scalabrine to cover howard in their place- if that's not impending doom, I don't know what is ].

To my immense relief, and a somewhat lessening of the sense of impending disaster, Perkins had a technical rescinded, [ neither of which I thought he should have received in the first place ] and both BBD and Wallace were declared able to play..

 Now my only thought, prior to the game, was, how are they going to come out- with a bang and get things rolling, which I hoped for, or a whimper, with our guys nursing their injuries?

They came out with hustle and drive, and a smothering defense to go along with some very timely shooting [ a game I watched from beginning to the very last whistle] to take a commanding lead in the opening quarter, until- disaster [ yup, it was waiting for the right moment to happen ] struck!!!! Rondo, our 46 minute a game star point guard and director of our offense [ not to mention along with a  pretty strong defensive game ] was hammered.

My heart dropped to ground zero, and I'm sure I had a mild heart attack on the spot, but kept watching, although I felt that the gods were playing games with us mere mortals, and were teasing and testing us.

Lo and behold, Robinson came in and took over where Rondo left off, and the Cs actually inreased the lead while he was in action [ the thunder and lightning missed us, the rain stopped falling, and the clouds began to clear up during this period ].

Prior to half time, when we had given back some of the points, and Howard was beginning to dunk with increasing ease, I kept shouting at the tv- foul him/ hit him hard- make Howard work for every point, as his dunks are almost a 100% guaranty, while his free throws are only a bit over 50%. [ Besides, he deserved to be hammered, for his style of play, where he hammers others, and is seldom called for it ].

After the break, the team defense held and Allen and Pierce made key 3 pointers to put the game out of reach. I began to start breathing again at around the three point mark, knowing that it would take an immense disaster  to happen to snatch this well earned victory from our heroes.


Lakers- here we come, and I do want it to be the Lakers, to take back the trophy we loaned them last year  [ and we even have an extra day or two of rest for the banged up bodies to heal a bit ].

Please, Doc, have porters carry the suitcases for the guys, and watch over them like a mother hen until the opening whistle.


Banner no.18- here we come. Go Celtics.


Lionel Gaffen/Fotomix


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