...you have to beat the best. Simple as that. (Hey, it's only a cliché because it's true.)
The Celtics lost to the Magic and the Cavs when LeBron was playing. Both close games, but both games they could not put away. Now they've lost to the Pistons in another close one.
Give this team credit for putting away the teams they should be beating. They came out in the first half and shot the ball well and played great defense. The difference was the Pistons were good enough to hang around long enough to be in position to pounce once the Celtics showed signs of slowing down. The Pistons have been there and done that. They've built their reputations on imposing their will on the opponents and getting it done when it matters most.
The Celtics are a special team, but they have not yet figured out how to do that yet. That will be the main point of contention from the talking heads until the Celtics can prove themselves against a top quality opponent.