In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, repeating this action forever.
The team keeps pushing that boulder up the mountain, they have pushed the Cavs in each game of this series. Yet somehow that rock slips out of their hands and LeBron James and crew ends up rolling right over them in the process.
So you would be tempted to declare that this series and the season is over, right? Well hold on. There's at least one more game to go.
Let’s hold off on that for now. Let’s not publish the obituary until they’re officially dead. At this point, it’s worth waiting out to see what this universe has in store. I mean, there’s no question that the Celtics can win a game. If you truly believe that Boston has zero chance to win on Sunday, then I have no choice but to believe that you’re the dude from Memento with tattoos all over your body and notes all over your apartment, but you’ve misplaced the one that says "Sports!"
I still believe that there's hope for the Celtics to win a game (or more) in this series and until that final buzzer sounds with the good guys in the deficit, I'm going to keep on believing that.
Of course the chances are pretty good that sooner or later the Cavs will take care of business and advance to the 2nd round. But that won't make this playoff drive worthless. Just the opposite really.
We all knew that any potential Boston playoff appearance was going to be brief. This process was about gaining experience, playing in important games (including while simply fighting for that playoff berth) and actually competing for something. This playoff quest should be an important part of Boston's process in building toward a brighter future; you simply have to look past the brevity of the stay.
It would have been one thing if this was a group of washed up veterans limping to the playoffs with no chance of advancing. This is a group of young players (and a young coach) still cutting their teeth in the NBA and they are learning first hand the difference between the regular season and the playoffs.
We are also getting a real good feeling for which of these young players has a knack for stepping up. Jae Crowder in particular seems like a keeper long term. There's going to be a lot of decisions and variables to this offseason, but that's another topic for another day (and we'll have plenty of time to go over everything soon enough).
Maybe this season will be over on Sunday but then again they may live to fight another day. While we've still got the Celtics playing let's enjoy every moment. This season looked like it was going to be another trudge through the knee deep slop of lottery land. Instead it has become a fun rollercoaster ride ending with a flourish. It was fun for the fans, the players, and the organization as a whole.
All that's left to do is win in the postseason. They get another shot at it on Sunday.