Man, this hurts. I mean, we could see this possible outcome from the moment that Rajon Rondo went down. Before that even. But it was always just a possible outcome. Things could have gone differently. I believed they would go differently. I believed in this team.
So part of me is mad. Mad at this team for not showing more mental toughness. Mad at them for making the Knicks look so good. Mad at them for wasting the opportunities that they did have (up in the first two games at the half). But most of all, mad that they made me look foolish for believing.
Then that passes and all I've got is a deep sadness over this loss. It pains me to see the Celtics like this. It specifically pains me to see Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett like this. We already know that Kevin Garnett is running purely on adrenaline right now. He's got bone spurs, hip pointers, and who knows what else. I get the feeling that we'll find out in a week or so that Paul Pierce was (once again) suffering from some kind of ailment - or two, or three. Even if he's "healthy" he's not the Paul Pierce that he once was. This was all inevitable at some point, but that doesn't make it any less painful to watch.
Part of it is luck of course. Rondo... I mean, I don't even have to finish that sentence because you know. But I just kind of felt like we had enough to make at least a little run. Like, at to the 2nd round at least. Not so much.
So we've got one more game left. I guess we'll be playing for pride at this point, but then again, weren't we doing that tonight too? Which leaves us in early offseason planning mode. So there's that. This is going to be a very interesting offseason, and a very difficult one. But I think I'll hold off on talking about that for tonight.
For now, the game, series, and season are over. And yes, maybe the era too. We'll see.