Quote from most recent Cnnsi.com NBA Rankings: "After four dramatic seasons of serious contention from their core veterans, the Celtics have become sentimental underdogs. "
How do you guys feel about being labeled as 'sentimental underdogs'?
Personally, I'm fully on-board with being 'sentimental underdogs' this season. First, it'd be arrogant of fans to assume this team is a shoe-in for the Conference Finals, so underdog is really the only status we can expect, and being draped in sentiment is better than being loathed. The Celts have a lot to overcome - size, age, depth, powerful opponents. Also, it'd be wrong to expect the Celts to advance easily, as that could lead to distress and disappoint if an early exit occurred. Why not enjoy the ride from the perspective of an underdog, basking in the glory of throwing a huge monkey wrench in the league's (media's) plans of witnessing a Heat championship. Wasn't the 2010 drive toward the Championship as enjoyable as the 2008, if not more so? Second, it speaks to the character and grit of the squad. These Celts don't whine and they don't make excuses and they don't pass the buck. These Celts are what they are, and that's why we love them. I like to believe that fans outside of Miami and Chicago would love to see the ol' Celts knock out the Heat and Bulls and advance to the Finals. The Celts winning the Finals would be a story book ending, ala Rudy or Rocky 2. Third, damn, I'll take all the karma we can get. Go in as an underdog, play rough-and-tumble, and shock the world.
I am going to miss this era of Celtics basketball. Pierce, Allen, and KG represent everything that is beloved about Boston sports.
p.s. I know a lot has been made of the Celts finishing with the 7th seed and facing the Heat/Bulls in the first round... I'm excited to see the Celts face one of them in the first round. That's our best shot at catching one slightly off-guard, muddying up the play, and stretching the series to a seventh game where anything can happen. All or nothing. And, in the second round, the Celts would face a 3-6 seed, so it's not like they'd have to beat the Heat/Bulls in consecutive rounds, which is what actually scares me - due to their respective youth, depth, and playoff experience.
Anyway, being called 'sentimental underdogs' somehow lifted my spirits, so play on Celtics, play on.
Be respectful and keep it clean. Thanks.