The Celtics are the better team. I believe that down to my bones. But the saying goes, you are what your record says you are and right now we're all even with the Sixers in the 2nd round of the playoffs.
This team consistently manages to be inconsistent and it is maddening. We know they can do so much more because we see it so often. In the very last game the Celtics led from wire to wire and looked dominant throughout. Even in the first quarter of game one they looked fantastic but of course they couldn't keep it up.
PHILADELPHIA - Would you have expected the Celtics to take any other route? The prosperity was just too much to take with an 18-point lead in the third quarter of Game 4 against the 76ers. The Celtics were playing too well, almost to the point where Celtics faithful expected a dramatic dropoff.
Their fears came to fruition as the Celtics played perhaps one of their worst halves in three months, dusted by the suddenly energetic 76ers, 61-37, in the final two quarters. A 15-point halftime lead was wasted by early in the fourth quarter and the Celtics could do nothing to stop a young and confident team that was energized by a crowd that suddenly believed.
When the Celtics have their backs against the wall, they look like world beaters and potential World Champs. When they have any advantage or momentum or edge, more often than not, they give all that back and let the other team gain enough footing to make things interesting and/or steal a game.
For the life of me I can't fathom why, because it isn't as if you can look at guys like Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett and question their mental toughness. They've got all the experience and battle tested veterans you could possibly want. They've got an excellent head coach and coaching staff and the core of this team has been through many wars together before.
The motivation is there too. Each and every one of these guys needs the extra rest that would come with putting away an 8 seed the way you should. Just because we have the better team doesn't mean that you can take the other team for granted. This whole series is like an extended first round and it is killing the Celtics and their fans.
Frankly, if and when the Celtics advance I don't know if I should be relieved or worried. Will they crumble when they face a team that is legitimately very good, or will they step up to the challenge on a more consistent basis and put in quality performances in each game? I just don't know.
This is a very, very good team and they could be great. They just need to stop playing so very, very average.