It was odd seeing the auto-generated box score load up for the Pacers game that was cancelled. But it was a good reminder that we still have regular season basketball to take care of. The Celtics still have one game left on their schedule.
Tonight's game in Toronto won't mean a thing in terms of standings or anything like that. They are locked into the 7th seed and they are (I believe) locked into the 16th pick in the NBA draft. All that's left is to write down the number of wins and losses.
With that said, tonight will be a good back-to-reality game to get the team warmed up for the playoffs. We'll probably see the starters play a few minutes if only to get loose and feel the court again. Then it is up to how Doc wants to play it. I don't think he should play them "normal" minutes or try overly hard to win the game. But he might want to let them get the competitive juices flowing as well.
Chances are, we'll see a lot of the Chinese League All Stars and maybe even a Fab Melo sighting. But that's not all we'll see. Expect to see at least a moment of silence similar to the ones that have played around the league.
You can also expect to see commemorative patches that the Celtics will wear for the rest of the season - including the playoffs.
Once the team returns home, (mid-week next week for game 3 against the Knicks) you can be sure to expect some heightened security at the game.
While it is unclear exactly how and to what extent security will be beefed up for the playoffs, it's a safe bet that it will be significantly bolstered in part because of the Boston Marathon explosions. Increased security will be a topic of discussion leading up to the day when the Celtics host playoff games 3 and 4 at the TD Garden against the New York Knicks. "We have not sat down with the Garden yet with regard to an enhanced security plan," said Celtics president Rich Gotham. "But that's certainly something we will be doing, along with the Garden and the city of Boston and the police."
With all that said, the other thing that you can expect is ...basketball. Glorious basketball. Granted, tonight's game might not be a work of art, but it is a game and games are fun. Games are a distraction. Games are a reminder of good things in life and those same games have brought us here together in this community. So it will be great to just get back to watching the team that we love play the game that we love.