Before I get into this, I want to make something clear at the top. It’s okay to fan the way that you want to fan. If you want to be crazy optimistic all the time, go for it. You want to be doom and gloom all the time? Fine, it’s totally your call. But with that being said...
Everyone needs to calm down.
Now, I understand losing a game at home to a Joel Embiid-less 76ers team is not how we all thought this series was going to start, but also, it’s just one game. We’ve been through series like this already. Heck, Boston dropped Game 1 to both Milwaukee and Miami last season, both who may have been better teams than this Philly one!
It’s okay to lose some games in the playoffs, individual losses are basically meaningless over the course of the entire postseason. As long as you make it out of the series, it frankly doesn’t matter how long or how short it takes you.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s really talk about this team. This is a pretty frustrating group, that much is for sure. Whether it’s getting smacked by 40 by OKC without SGA or allowing James Harden to drop 45 points in Game 1, they seem to lose games almost at random and yet are also somehow the better team in every game they lose. Infuriating! I’ve personally never watched a team that is this good but is also susceptible to the strangest losses I can remember any Celtics team having. Just kidding, that is a total lie. We went through the exact same experience last season. We should be used to this by now!
Does anyone remember that terrible Game 3 in Milwaukee where Tatum had 10 points while Giannis dropped 42-12-8? How about Game 5 of the same series where the Celtics lost the 4th Q 33-21 to go down 3-2 in the series? Who could forget the wonderful ass-kicking Miami gave Boston in Game 3 when they lost the 1st quarter 39-18 at home!! Did we all collectively forget Jimmy Butler dropping 47 points in TD Garden during Game 6 of the ECF? I was told last year’s team was all about defense! This year’s team is supposed to be worse because they can’t defend as well as last year!
The only loss the team was never able to bounce back from was Steph Curry dropping 43 points in the Garden in Game 4 of The Finals, but that was on a whole other level than any meaningless Round 2 playoff loss. I guess my short rant here should culminate in this.
Until someone takes 4 games out of 7 against this group, no single loss should truly get your heart rate going. Heck, even with 3 losses against them, I’m still going to assume they are going to get off the mat and fight back. That’s what they did all playoffs last year and that’s what they did the entire regular season this year. You tag them once or twice, they punch back. Go down 3-2 against Giannis? You fight back and win the series. Lose Game 6 at home to the 2nd best game of Jimmy Butler’s career? You come back and win Game 7 on his home floor. Allow James Harden to drop 45 without Joel Embiid? Well, color me excited to see what Boston has in the tank tonight. Even with the rumors of Embiid’s return, I’m still feeling pretty good.
Besides, we know how this Celtics team operates. For whatever reason, they lose huge games at home, then calmly take care of business on the road. Such a peculiar group of incredibly talented players, but I’d still take them over any other team in the NBA. So, kick back, relax, and enjoy the basketball. This Celtics team are a bunch of zombies; you may feel good about getting a few over on them, but they always get back up and keep on marching. If this team survived the onslaught of Giannis driving into Al Horford every other play and Jimmy Butler getting literally every single call over a 7-game series, than I think they can survive a James Harden lifetime achievement award game. Can’t be Celtics in 6 without losing 2 games, so it remains, Celtics in 6.