This is something I’ve thought about for a while now. Of course Bill Simmons’ recent article on the state of the Celtics, which I referenced in my last post, only hammered home that point with the following snippet:
"Play hard, feed off the energy of the crowd, and if we take a big lead, don't be afraid to pound your chest, scream at the roof, tug at your jersey, bully scrubs who won't fight back and do everything possible to add to your reputation as a bunch of front-running a-holes who act totally different when they're up 20 points than they do when they're down by three."
And as great as it was to win Game 5, even if the Celtics did try to give it away with some questionable plays – the awful pass by James Posey, Paul Pierce dribbling out of control, Ray Allen turning it over, I could go on – I did see some of that front running. It’s one thing to knock the ball out of the opponent’s hand after the whistle is blown, goal tend after the whistle, scream after dunks, talk loads of trash, stare down everyone and so on when the home crowd is rocking and the lead is growing. But now more than ever the Celtics will have to bring that intensity every step of the way and win one on the road. Detroit is happily sitting back, getting Chauncey Billups ready and looking to go back to the Finals. They won’t be intimidated by anything Boston can throw at them. And on top of that Cleveland is far from dead. They took Boston’s best shot today and refused to be blown out on the road.
In conclusion I really don’t know how to answer front-runner question quite yet. It’s not that the Celtics have to win a title. It’s just that if they don’t it will matter how they don’t. Does that make sense?
I’ll close with the following: RAJON! He was huge tonight. Huge. More on him tomorrow.