Every team in the playoffs ends their season either by hoisting a trophy or by taking a loss. The trophy is always the goal and losing is always painful. Losing any series where you led 2-0 and even 3-2 with home court advantage is especially hard. It would have been so sweet to take down “The King” this year, with this group, under these circumstances. Instead, we lost to him again and we have to watch him in the Finals yet again. That’s rough and there’s no sugar glaze that will make that charcoal donut go down any easier.
With that preface out of the way, I’m taking solace in the scenic overlook view (because sometimes a “big picture” doesn’t do the view the justice it deserves). This team was special and this year was a unique experience that none of us will soon forget. I would go so far as to say that I learned life lessons from this group. As my children mature, I’ll use this season as an example of perseverance and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.
The Boston Celtics franchise has so much storied history that fans of other teams are as weary of hearing about it as we are of seeing LeBron James in the Finals. Yet somehow this season, which didn’t end in a banner, deserves to be remembered in future history lessons.
We all understand the transaction nature of this thing we call sports. We pay to be entertained, the players are (handsomely) paid to perform, and everyone is happy. But sometimes a team performs with so much heart that a standing ovation doesn’t even seem to do them justice. A stadium-wide group hug would be more appropriate (if logistically impossible). So I’m left with words and once again left almost speechless.
Sometimes brevity transcends eloquence, so I’ll just say this: Thank you Boston Celtics.
As that amazing sunset fades behind us, we’re left with some hours in the quiet darkness of night, where we contemplate the day’s events and dream of tomorrow’s sunrise.
What a sunrise that should be. The more it gets repeated, the more surreal it sounds. A team one win from the championship is going to add two All Stars. Some teams have to decide to win now or build for the future. Somehow this team is doing both at the same time. If this is dream you can keep your pinching fingers to yourself because I’m content to continue dozing.
We’ll have all offseason to work out the particulars and argue about the details because hey, that’s what we do. But all I want is to run it back again with this same squad and see what they can do when everyone* is healthy (*of course no team gets through a year without injuries of some kind).
I want to see that lineup of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Al Horford get backed up by Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris, and Daniel Theis. Let Brad Stevens figure out how to get everyone minutes and keep everyone happy. These are the kinds of first world problems I like to have.
As sports have taught us time and time again, nothing should be taken for granted. We can’t assume that just because we were a win away from the Finals means they’ll obliterate everything in their path next year. But it sure would be fun to find out if they could.
I got a lot out of this season and I’m happy for the experience. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next season.
As always, thanks to you as well for another great year of CelticsBlog. You are the best fans in the world and you choose to spend your time here with us and for that we humbly thank you. The drama continues as we drift into summer but the focus shifts to the offseason. So stick around and join us as we reflect on the day and dream of tomorrow. Cheers everyone.