FanDuel - WFBC

June 18, 2008

Ring it up! Celtics crush Lakers for 17th title: There were legendary Celtics sitting in the stands, with names like Russell, Havlicek, Heinsohn, Maxwell, Ainge, and White, who could all tell stories about the days when they touched the NBA championship trophy, sprayed champagne on each other, and watched Red Auerbach proudly puff on a victory cigar. After a 22-year wait that included the retirement of Larry Bird, lots of lean years, and the death of Auerbach, the Celtics have new legends named Pierce, Allen, and Garnett, who now can tell their stories about touching the trophy, spraying champagne, and wishing Red were here to witness it.

posted by BornIcon to basketball at 05:29 AM - 80 comments

Further evidence of getting what you pay for. Clearly, Boston's money was not wasted, and the team came together beautifully in the last two series. Still, I bet the Hawks are kicking themselves. They were thisclose. Oh yeah -- Auerbach was an asshole. But then, I have ABA in my tag.

posted by afl-aba at 07:18 AM on June 18

Congrats to the Celts, who put together the key pieces of a great team in just one off-season. There's something right with the world when the Celtics and Lakers are both good.

posted by rcade at 07:37 AM on June 18

There's something right with the world when the Celtics and Lakers are both good. True that rcade, it reminds of of the 80's. Ahhhhhh, the good ol' days.

posted by BornIcon at 08:11 AM on June 18

Wow! The Lakers picked a really bad time to have their worst game of the season. Boston picked a really good time to have their best game of the season! Congats Boston, but don't celebrate too much because the Lakers will be back next year. It was kind of silly how everyone expected the Lakers to win, considering they added Gasol in mid-season. I think he only got like 25-30 games in before the playoffs. A lot of people saw how the Lakers offense got better with him, but their defense and defensive rebounding went into the toilet. Next year with Bynum they will not be so soft. Ray Allen got robbed of the MVP. There's no way a guy who scored 6 points in an entire game should ever win MVP in the finals. Ray-Ray was the only consistent starter for both teams...

posted by docshredder at 08:13 AM on June 18

The Celtics were full value for the win, and good for them, but no team worthy of the finals should lose by 39 points in an elimination game. The highlight reel this morning was three minutes of the Celtics passing and running and shooting around five pylons. I don't believe I saw any Laker on the court take more than a step or two in any direction. Every once in a while Kobe would wind up with the ball and he'd take a long contested shot from somewhere in Connecticut, but that was about it. I hope whatever game the Lakers were saving themselves for turns out in their favor, because they didn't put much of an effort out last night.

posted by chicobangs at 08:39 AM on June 18

Ray Allen got robbed of the MVP I don't think so. I mean, I also thought that Ray should've gotten the nod for MVP honors but I wouldn't say that he was 'robbed' of it. Besides, thru-out the playoffs and the finals, the Truth was defending the other teams superstars and was doing a helluva job doing it. From Joe Johnson to LeBron James and then Kobe Bryant, Pierce led the way with his defensive tenacity. The award was given to the right player and deserving so. The Celtics D was the MVP last night though. I have never, in all my years of watching NBA basketball, have I seen a TEAM play defense the way that the entire Celtics starters, role players and bench, performed the way they did in this years playoffs. Just a great team win and I just see more of the same in the next few years.

posted by BornIcon at 08:46 AM on June 18

Hell yeah!

posted by blarp at 08:57 AM on June 18

Thanks to Moses Malone, I became a Celtics fan back in 1979; I've seen 'em good, I've seen 'em mediocre, and I've seen 'em fall to absolutely horrible depths. Today, I'm proud of them for being champions again, but I think I'm even prouder of the fact that a guy like Kevin Garnett gets his ring in Celtic Green. ...wishing Red were here to witness it. And Len, and Reggie, and Johnny Most.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:38 AM on June 18

Complete and utter dominance by the C's. Paul said it best at the half interview. Paraphrasing "We just want it more, we are not going to take our feet of the gas pedal". The Celt's scored 42 in the last quarter with mostly reserves in the game. That's just crazy.

posted by ProSam at 09:43 AM on June 18

Further evidence of getting what you pay for. Keep seeing this from the whiners at deadspin (why is that site so negative and so racist and yet so popular), and I need someone to explain it to me. A. The league has a salary cap B. The Celtics traded for both Allen and Garnett Which part of that was buying a championship? I watched the kids they traded away not come together and not gel for the last 5 or 6 years after they blew up the Pierce/ 'Toine Show. Pretty sure the Celtics would have bought a championship as soon as the new ownership group came in if such a thing were possible. Next year with Bynum they will not be so soft. This came up at deadspin as well, but people were a little more level-headed (after a few Martin Lawrence jokes). Kobe's a year older, LeBron's a year better, etc. It's not as though the Lakers will be put into carbon freeze until next season starts. There's no question the Lakers should be good, but the West has some other contenders.

posted by yerfatma at 10:35 AM on June 18

Now that I've said that, let me say what I really think: I'm sick of hearing about what the 2007 Celtics aren't. I'm already tired of having them talked about like they're the caretakers of the NBA trophy for a year until someone worthy of it comes along. They imposed their will on the team that was supposed to sweep them out of the Finals. You can put Bynum in there and it moves Gasol back to his normal position, but how much of a difference does that make? You could put Gasol on top of the backboard and I don't know he'd be all that effective when it counts. Everytime he actually could be arsed to grab a rebound, it came with a great scream of pain. He was scared of going into the paint with anything other than a hook or a floater. Lamar Odom was the same beguiling talent he's been since I first saw him at URI. He'll be great just so long as someone else is bearing the brunt of the load. You can have Radmanovic and Vujacic; I'm sure they'll go for 20 here and there, but they (especially Vujacic) looked more intersted in winning the Sam Cassell Memorial Shot Heaving Contest. Before the year started all we heard was the Celtics were 3 guys and a roster of crap (thank you Bob Ryan for infecting Tony Kornheiser with that). Then they reeled off a hundred or so straight wins and it was that the Celtics weren't anything until they did it against the West. So they started 16-0 against the West, then swept the Texas Triangle. At which point the Lakers had acquired Gasol and the Celtics got demoted to #2. Then the Celtics sucked like an Electrolux in the first two series of the playoffs and they were nothing more than foils for the Lakers, even after beating Detroit in 6 with two away wins*. Now they've beaten the Lakers in 6, crushing the Lakers' spirit along the way and it's "Wait until next year when some real competition shows up." If there are real competitors in the NBA next year, they were here this year. And they lost. * And I love how the Celtics' shitty road playoff record was held against them when the league at large went something like 5-30 on the road, including the Celtics 3 road wins.

posted by yerfatma at 10:48 AM on June 18

Although I'm quite sure the rest of the country is sick of Boston championships, I really enjoyed this one. It was fun to pull for the underdogs again. Paul Pierce has played so hard for so long for the Celtics; it was awesome to see him get his first title. Of course I'm glad for Garnett and Allen as well, but anyone who's supported this team for the last decade knows that Pierce has been the heart and soul of the team through all the ups and downs - from playoff runs to almost traded, from All-Star games to embarrassing outbursts, from an almost fatal stabbing to a perilous bounce of the ping pong balls. Statistically, Allen was the most consistent, and Garnett and Posey played amazing D. But this series turned on Game 4, when Pierce raised his game to an otherworldly level, silencing Kobe and pouring in points. He well deserved the MVP, and it was sweet to see him win it after rooting for him for a decade. Congats Boston, but don't celebrate too much because the Lakers will be back next year...Next year with Bynum they will not be so soft. I have a healthy amount of respect for Bynum, but that doesn't include tempering a championship celebration out of fear of what he will do next year. He's a solid player, but it's saying a lot to suggest that his absence was the difference in this series. This was a thorough ass-kicking of a truly overrated Laker team. After all, although the veterans get most of the press, two of the Celtics' starters are in their early 20s. If Rondo adds a jump shot, and Perkins improves his post play, the C's could become truly awesome for the next couple of years. I don't think those are unrealistic hopes for a couple of guys whose game has improved exponentially of late. However, if last off-season is any guide, a new title contender may come from an unexpected place with a few fortuitous trades or wise draft picks. The season certainly rejuvenated my appreciation of the NBA, that's for sure. on preview: Amen, yerfatma

posted by Venicemenace at 10:50 AM on June 18

Harvey Araton's take is even more on point given this news item.

posted by chicobangs at 11:01 AM on June 18

The Celtics were a better team than the Lakers. I'm not trying to make it sound too simple, but there it is. The Lakers don't have three players at the same level as the Celtics. The trio of Pierce, Garnett, and Allen are just better than any trio of Kobe and two other dudes that the Lakers could throw out there. Oh yeah, and you might want to put a guy on Allen every now and then when he starts going off with those outside three pointers. Congats Boston, but don't celebrate too much because the Lakers will be back next year. Yeah, it's been a couple decades since you last won and your top three guys have been long suffering on bad teams and have finally made it to the promised land but just curb your enthusiasm. All that next year talk is just whining. The Celtics get to be the champions until next years finals. Now where the Boston/New England fans are concerned, if you could keep the gloating down a tad, those of us in the decidedly have not category would appreciate it.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:11 AM on June 18

Yay hindsight!

posted by tron7 at 11:30 AM on June 18

....they (especially Vujacic) looked more intersted in winning the Sam Cassell Memorial Shot Heaving Contest I wasn't too sure that they still have that? Nice! I have to agree with yerfatma because the Celtics defensively were way superior to their opposition. There wasn't a team out there that stood a chance against this defense. The #1 thing that people need to realize was having the C's play 7 games against the Hawks and then the Cavs before dismantling the Pistons and then the Lakers, those Game 7's actually helped the C's come together as a team. It wasn't a bad thing to have played those wire to wire games but the better team prevailed in the end. All of this 'oh, wait till next year when Bynum comes back' crap that people are crying about is actually pretty funny considering that the C's were the NBA's celler dwellers just a year ago but my question is: What exactly has Bynum done in his career so far besides get hurt? I like Andrew Bynum as a player, his games is decent, but he is not the final answer for the Lakers. They truly need to have more of a post up presence in the paint and Pau Gasol & Lamar Odem need to travel to the yellow brick road and find their hearts because neither one of them sure played like they had one last night and I also like Gasol & Odem's game, just not last night. The Lakers didn't put up much of a fight and the Celtics deserved this championship much more.

posted by BornIcon at 11:31 AM on June 18

I'm sick of hearing about what the 2007 Celtics aren't. I'm already tired of having them talked about like they're the caretakers of the NBA trophy for a year until someone worthy of it comes along. Where are you hearing this? I guess I've heard some what-ifs about Bynum but that only makes sense because he was sitting right there on the bench in street clothes and he showed all-star type talent early this year. It's hard to beleive this team won't be better with Bynum. I don't think that takes anything away from this Celtics team though.

posted by tron7 at 11:41 AM on June 18

I think Kevin McHale should get Executive of the Year for his rebuilding of the Celtics. First, he traded them Szczerbiak, who was one of the pieces in the Ray Allen trade, then he sent them Garnett for Al Jefferson and a bunch of spare parts. Without McHale's help, Ainge's squad would still stink. That being said, I'm very happy for KG, and I'm always happy to see the team with the second-worst team name in the league (next to the Utah Jazz) lose.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:43 AM on June 18

Further evidence of getting what you pay for Somebody tell this to the Yankees. I'm happy that Garnett, Allen, and Pierce finally got rings, as all three seem to be good guys. For the Lakers, it will be interesting to see if Bynum's return to the lineup has the effect that some are predicting. But the one thing I think everyone learned from this finals is that Kobe is NOT Jordan. Many of the talking heads on TV and radio were too quick to crown him as the next MJ. Hopefully we don't have to listen to the comparisons anymore.

posted by curlyelk at 11:57 AM on June 18

But the one thing I think everyone learned from this finals is that Kobe is NOT Jordan. That's kind of what I was thinking. The entire series, he just wasn't all I AM THE MAN, like MJ. That, and when MJ decided to be the man, he was the successful man and didn't heave up constant shots that hurt the team. That, and Phil Jackson. It's amazing how underwhelming his team performed the most of the series, something I attribute to the coach. The 24-pt collapse. The near collapse in game 5. The Laker's worthless effort game 6. I'm not sure if Doc Rivers outcoached him, or if Phil just doesn't give a shit anymore.

posted by jmd82 at 12:06 PM on June 18

Where are you hearing this? In all honesty, it was mainly Pardon the Interruption all year long plus some of the ESPN talking heads. The link you posted to the trade thread is amazing, tron. I have no idea what that Yerfatwa dude is saying. Like he's schizo.

posted by yerfatma at 12:08 PM on June 18

I'm already tired of having them talked about like they're the caretakers of the NBA trophy for a year until someone worthy of it comes along. They imposed their will on the team that was supposed to sweep them out of the Finals. C'mon now. There's no doubt in my mind that the better team won. Their maturity, experience and front court domination leaves no doubt that they deserved the championship. That being said, what's with the us against the world mentality? The Celtics became popular favorites to win it all before the season even started. They won 66 games and got off to such a fast start that people talked about them besting the Bulls 72 win mark. They had home court throughout the playoffs and anyone who had the Lakers as favorites hadn't been watching them all year. You can focus on the haters. They are always going to be there. But the "everyone hates us" mentality can become a self - fulfilling prophecy (See Belichick, Bill). This was a thorough ass-kicking of a truly overrated Laker team. Really? Game 6 was clearly a thorough ass-kicking. But the series was not. The Lakers won two and choked away a third. Not a thorough ass-kicking in my book. And overrated? At the beginning of the season, the Lakers were picked to finish 8th in the west if they made the playoffs at all(The Celtics were popular favorites to win it all). They beat the Spurs, the defending champs, 4-1 in the Western finals and earned a spot in the finals. They lost 4-2. I'm struggling to see how that makes them thoroughly overrated. ON PREVIEW: Fatty, maybe you should take your ESPN and PTI with a grain of salt. With all that air time, they have to say something.

posted by cjets at 12:14 PM on June 18

That being said, what's with the us against the world mentality? You'd feel the same way if you had to put up with living around here. We haven't had a championship since October. And the Bruins barely made the playoffs exciting. Sure they're young and now winning attractive free agents (and might add Hossa if things fall right), but they're not winners. Yet.* maybe you should take your ESPN and PTI with a grain of salt. Absolutely. I always have with ESPN, but up until this year, PTI had been an oasis in the desert of thought at ESPN. It's turned into a standard yell-at-each-other sports talk show, and that saddens me. Thankfully, the Sox went back-to-back in the first against the Phillies and are up 4-0. This winning addiction is tough.

posted by yerfatma at 12:18 PM on June 18

On a more serious note: And overrated? At the beginning of the season, the Lakers were picked to finish 8th Then they acquired Gasol and somehow became The Best Team. That's what I think he was referring to. Game 6 was clearly a thorough ass-kicking. But the series was not. The Lakers won two and choked away a third. Not a thorough ass-kicking in my book. No, I wouldn't go so far as that, but I don't think the series was as close as 4-2 suggests, either. The Celtics almost took Game 5 (admittedly they almost blew Game 2 after leading by 20+) and dealt with injuries throughout.

posted by yerfatma at 12:21 PM on June 18

You'd feel the same way if you had to put up with living around here. I feel your pain. I'm sure you're filled with envy with all the free time I have not having to watch my shitty teams. It's only June and already the Mets have given me the summer off. Then they acquired Gasol and somehow became The Best Team. That's what I think he was referring to. This may have been the attitude in the national media or other cities. But speaking as a resident of L.A., that simply was not the mindset of the local fans and media. They struggled defensively, their front line was soft, they struggled to get rebounds and they have the mystery that is Lamar Odom.

posted by cjets at 12:38 PM on June 18

but up until this year, PTI had been an oasis in the desert of thought at ESPN. It's turned into a standard yell-at-each-other sports talk show, and that saddens me. My wife and four year old son both refer to PTI as "that shouting show."

posted by cjets at 12:53 PM on June 18

Yay hindsight! Oh, hey, I remember that comment thread. Pardon the woofing, but I said: But really. If the three stay healthy for a season, we're talking Kevin Garnett with more help than he's ever had in his life before. I'm not saying it guarantees anything; that'd be silly. It's also kind of silly to say that they won't make the EC finals. And I called Rondo out as a critical element of the team! Then again, I was concerned about their defense, so maybe I'm an idiot after all.

posted by Bryant at 12:56 PM on June 18

It's only June and already the Mets have given me the summer off. Trust, you are so not the only one. No matter how well the Mets do the rest of this season, I am so calling this season a wrap. The way they did Willie was so unprofessional and I cannot respect the Mets organization after this. I'll still watch a few games here or there but not with the passion that I usually put into my favorite teams. They lost me at goodbye. My wife and four year old son both refer to PTI as "that shouting show." You sure it's not Around the Horn? I love both these shows but ATH is more of a shouting match than PTI could ever be.

posted by BornIcon at 12:56 PM on June 18

PTI is "Statler & Waldorf Talk Sports." It'll never be as yelly as ATH, because two old farts don't make as much noise as five mouthy jackasses. (Especially when two of the latter are named Paige and Mariotti.) I doubt I'll ever watch ATH again, but while PTI is definitely not as good as it was a few years ago, they do sometimes ooze out a decent discussion for maybe 90 seconds per show. So it's worth DVRing it and fast-forwarding past the NBA & NFL stuff Mike & Tony think they know cold but don't really, and the topics about which Kornheiser is proud of his ignorance (NHL, any international competition). That way, I can watch an entire episode of PTI in about six minutes, which is all I care to devote to it.

posted by chicobangs at 01:21 PM on June 18

Ha, chico, that's exactly how I watch it too. At some point they stopped caring and bought into the ESPN party line. Kornheiser's opinion of the Celtics shifted all over the place this year, but not because he ever watched a game. I'd liked the "Couldn't give a shit" schtick until it was in re: something I cared about. I knew the show was over for sure this week when Wilbon gave us 30 seconds on why Euro 2008 was important, along with details of matches and player names. This from a guy who'd been an avowed soccer hater up until . . . the pre-production meeting for that episode, I guess.

posted by yerfatma at 01:25 PM on June 18

You sure it's not Around the Horn? I love both these shows but ATH is more of a shouting match than PTI could ever be. I'm sure. I don't watch ATH. PTI is about all I can handle from ESPN except for the occasional sportscenter snippet (and actual sporting events, of course). And, my condolences on the Mets. So it's worth DVRing it Exactly. I tend to watch it a few days late and always get a kick out of how wrong they always are. The fact that the show is timed also makes it very convenient for my workouts.

posted by cjets at 01:47 PM on June 18

The link you posted to the trade thread is amazing, tron. I could have swore I was there and we were discussing the window the Celts had to do some damage and how quickly KG would age. Must have been a different thread. Game 6 was clearly a thorough ass-kicking. But the series was not. The Lakers won two and choked away a third. Not a thorough ass-kicking in my book. It felt like the most one sided 6 game series I've ever seen. Then again, I missed all of the game's first quarters when the Lakers were playing well.

posted by tron7 at 02:06 PM on June 18

And, my condolences on the Mets. Geez, thanks. Omar, is that you? Please stop playing with my head, that's an emotional topic for me.

posted by BornIcon at 02:12 PM on June 18

The Celtics became popular favorites to win it all before the season even started...They had home court throughout the playoffs and anyone who had the Lakers as favorites hadn't been watching them all year. You can focus on the haters. What if instead we focus on the "experts"? Abbott - Lakers in 5 Adande - Lakers in 6 Ford - Lakers in 6 Hollinger - Lakers in 6 Rose - Lakers in 7 Sheridan - Lakers in 6 Stein - Lakers in 5 Thorpe - Lakers in 6 Game 6 was clearly a thorough ass-kicking. But the series was not. "I picked the Lakers to win in five games. The Lakers could not have won this series if it had gone 25 games." - Bill Plaschke

posted by Venicemenace at 02:14 PM on June 18

As a non-basketball fan I truly enjoyed watching that last game with my youngest, who is a huge basketball fan. The Celtics seemed to be on a different basketball plane altogether than the Lakers. KG doesn't miss even when he is falling over backwards to the floor. Rondo picks Kobe's pocket and doesn't draw a foul. And in the 4th quarter it looked like someone had nailed the Laker's shoes to the floor. I was checking the stands for Rod Serling.

posted by irunfromclones at 02:23 PM on June 18

Venice, Plaschke doesn't count as evidence if he's speaking against LA sports. It'd be like pulling a Shaughnessy quote to prove a Boston team was bad. He lives for it.

posted by yerfatma at 02:47 PM on June 18

But surely he, along with the ESPN experts, qualifies as someone who's been watching the team all year. And personally, I agree with his analysis here. I don't doubt that Laker fans had a far more accurate picture than casual fans of the team's true nature. But claiming that the Celtics were favored to win all along is revisionist history. That said, I hope Bynum comes back strong and the Lakers are able to get Artest. If the Celtics can stay focused, that might make for a hell of a rematch...

posted by Venicemenace at 02:49 PM on June 18

Yeah the Celtics won, but they could have easily lost. They KILLED the Lakers in game 6 but every other game could have gone either way. Also, if the Celtics are so much better than the Lakers, then the rest of the West shouldn't even show up next year (considering nobody in the West even challenged LA in the playoffs). Also, the Lakers defense is getting a lot shit for being soft but Boston only managed 100+ in one game. If LA's defense is that terrible, Boston's offense has some serious issues. You can put Bynum in there and it moves Gasol back to his normal position, but how much of a difference does that make? Hopefully you'll find out next year. Do you honest think 13pts 10reb 3blk wouldn't make a difference? Not to mention the kid is strong and can control the paint. Gasol can go back to shooting his little 15 footer and being the great passer that he is and Bynum can bang with the big boys.

posted by docshredder at 03:02 PM on June 18

ESPN experts That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. I don't doubt that Laker fans had a far more accurate picture than casual fans of the team's true nature. But claiming that the Celtics were favored to win all along is revisionist history. Go back to beginning of the season. Bryant is demanding a trade. The Lakers are in disarray. Meanwhile the Celtics are favored to win the East and a favorite to win it all. Midway through the season, the Celtics are 30-4, a clear favorite, while the Lakers are a nice surprise but still not favored to win anything. Even at the end of the season, the Celtics finish with 66 wins, 9 more than the Lakers. Again, the Celtics are the favorites. And thanks Fatty. Plaschke is an idiot and hardly representative of a Laker fan.

posted by cjets at 03:10 PM on June 18

That game was surreal. Watching the Celtics go nuts stealing the ball, blocking shots, nailing 3's, it was insane. Even in the second quarter, when they were building that huge lead, there were so many plays that just made me guffaw at how... lopsided it all was. The Celtics were amazing, and very quickly you could just see the Lakers thinking "We can't win" and they stopped moving, just statues on the court. The Garnett falling 2+1 play, where he pointed to the sky while lying in the paint, set up by an amazing thread-the-needle pass from Pierce. Kevin Garnett forcing a jump ball with Gasol using one hand- the whistle, the look on his face with his thumbs up, and the chest pound when he gets the call. Rondo driving left then kicking the ball out to Allen all by himself as the Lakers, Celtics, and 18,000 fans all hush watching a beautiful clean 3 sail through the air and get the place to explode... or any time Allen hefted up a 3 and everyone just knew it was dead-on. Pierce driving into the lane time and again, the Celtics just a swarm stripping balls right from their hands, passing around them with impunity. In fact, the only thing I minded was the Celtics running out the clock and taking the 24-second violation; it just seemed out of character for a team that had played 47 minutes and 30 seconds of gutsy, never-let-up basketball to just dribble the ball out without even a shot attempt. And now, a song to incur the hatred of every non-Boston sports fan reading this thread:

  • On the first day of Bostonmas, my true love gave to me: an NBA Championship!
  • On the second day of Bostonmas, my true love gave to me: TWO World Series, and an NBA Championship!
  • On the third day of Bostonmas, my true love gave to me: THREE Superbowls, TWO World Series, an NBA Championship!
You may now commence your hatred. This has already been one hell of a decade for Boston sports fans, and there's still 2 and a half years left...

posted by hincandenza at 03:22 PM on June 18

You may now commence your hatred. This has already been one hell of a decade for Boston sports fans, and there's still 2 and a half years left... Nothing like a gracious winner. Congrads to the Celtics and their fans.

posted by giveuptheghost at 04:30 PM on June 18

Don't forget, Bostonians, this decade also gave you Mystic River and The Departed.

posted by owlhouse at 04:48 PM on June 18

I've been a Celtics fan since the 1952 - 1953 season. Yeah, that's not a typo, I am that old. I saw Jim Loscutoff set a single-game rebounding record for The Boston Garden, and then saw Bill Russell break it a year later. I saw Russell's first game in the Garden. I remember Bob Cousy heaving the ball toward the rafters as the clock expired in the final game of the 1957 championship, never dreaming that this was the first of 17. The past 22 years have been agony for me, as one thing after another went wrong, and the league seemed to be looking for ways to screw the Celtics. Each of the first 16 was nice, but somehow, 17 is the sweetest of them all. It might have something to do with being able to share this with my college-age son. I feel like a torch has been passed on, as my father initiated me into the glorious and sometimes painful world of Boston fandom. The only thing missing for me was having a recording of John Kiley playing "It's a Great Day for the Irish" that I could have played at the final buzzer. Regarding the future prospects for the Celtics and the Lakers, "What yerfatma said." If the C's can keep Posey, and either keep Eddie House or find an equivalent for him, they don't have to do much. The young kids on the bench will develop naturally, and you can bet that Perkins and Rondo will improve, if for no other reason than the referees will now be familiar with them. Actually, Rondo will work hard this summer on his pull-up shot, and if Perkins is not bothered by his shoulder, I think he will work on his offense as well. For the Lakers, I think they will be in the finals next year, with a possible challenge from New Orleans or Utah. Another Lakers/Celtics matchup is quite possible, and quite intriguing.

posted by Howard_T at 05:08 PM on June 18

Now Boston can work on the Bruins.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:18 PM on June 18

Gee, I sure hope the Sonics don't steal all the towels from Key Arena when they leave for Oklahoma. Or that Ichiro will get along with his entirely new team and front office. And that the Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics fans remembered to leave room in their dresser drawer for all of their World Champion t-shirts. Frakkin' Boston.

posted by THX-1138 at 05:28 PM on June 18

After the series, P.J. Brown has reportedly been seen as highly recruited by several NFL camps. Rumored to have allready recieved a few contract offers, P.J. will apparently be the first to have a future in Pro football after he retires from basketball

posted by Captain Shugg at 06:17 PM on June 18

Yeah, I know I wasn't really gracious- but this was especially nice a few months after that awful Patriots Superbowl loss, when everyone and their aunt was rooting against the Pats on principle.

docshredder: Congats Boston, but don't celebrate too much because the Lakers will be back next year...Next year with Bynum they will not be so soft. BornIcon: What exactly has Bynum done in his career so far besides get hurt? I like Andrew Bynum as a player, his games is decent, but he is not the final answer for the Lakers. docshredder: Hopefully you'll find out next year. Do you honest think 13pts 10reb 3blk wouldn't make a difference? Not to mention the kid is strong and can control the paint. Gasol can go back to shooting his little 15 footer and being the great passer that he is and Bynum can bang with the big boys.
See, that's tough to say. The only two times the Celtics and Lakers played in the regular season were losses of 13 and 19 points, but those occurred with a healthy Bynum putting up weak numbers... albeit pre-Gasol. In these Finals, with a healthy Gasol putting up 15/10, but no Bynum... they still lost 4 of 6 including embarassments in games 4 and 6. So, will both players at once be greater than the sum of their parts? Possibly. But it's a very long season, and we're not even certain to see either team in the Finals next season. The Spurs didn't lose the ability to play, Lebron's only getting better, etc. As someone said above, it's not like the whole league is going into deep freeze until next June.

posted by hincandenza at 06:21 PM on June 18

So, will both players at once be greater than the sum of their parts? The other it missing from that math is (- Lamar Odom), because he would lose some minutes in that scenario. I'm assuming the Lakers would use him as a 6th man and not start him at 3. Though he might do really well as a 6th man.

posted by yerfatma at 06:49 PM on June 18

I'm assuming the Lakers would use him as a 6th man and not start him at 3. . Actually I believe Radmanovich would be the odd man out in that scenario. The starting front court would be Bynum, Gasol and Odom with Fisher and Bryant in the back court. Odom as a sixth man is intriguing. And though I do believe that Bynum would be a major addition to the Lakers, I'm still not convinced that he's going to be healthy.

posted by cjets at 07:10 PM on June 18

The Spurs didn't lose the ability to play, The Spurs are too old, period. And Ginobli, their best player, throws his body around too much to stay healthy for the whole season. Utah and New Orleans will surpass them next year and will provide the biggest challenge for LA (assuming no significant injuries to any teams). Lebron's only getting better, If we learned anything in these Finals, it's that one man can't do it by himself. So unless Cleveland makes some significant upgrades nothing will change. Actually I believe Radmanovich would be the odd man out in that scenario. The starting front court would be Bynum, Gasol and Odom with Fisher and Bryant in the back court. I agree with that, but you might see Jordan Farmar getting some starts next year. Also, the Odom, Gasol, Bynum lineup may prove to be too big with every team using small lineups and one of them may have to come off of the bench, possibly Bynum or Gasol.

posted by docshredder at 07:26 PM on June 18

But the one thing I think everyone learned from this finals is that Kobe is NOT Jordan Amen ... Nearly puked when I heard that crap, but then I watched the delivery and it seemed the announcers reading the teleprompter didn't even believe it as they were speaking. Look, the guy has more size and certainly can match on athletic ability, but that's where it ends. If he's playing against an average defender who he can torch for 40 he's effective and gets some time on the nightly highlight reel. Jordan won so many games for his teams by making his 'mates better than they were. It's evident that Kobe's 'mates don't really like the dude, and he has a cancerous effect when the going gets tough. It was fantastic seeing Sweet Ray, KG, Pierce and the tremendously underrated supporting cast and coach get their due. Unbelievable team defense, unselfish offense, a real treat for any true ball fan, Celtics or not.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:08 PM on June 18

Don't forget, Bostonians, this decade also gave you Mystic River and The Departed. I think Scorcese is still filming "Ashecliffe" in town, too. It's another Dennis Lehane book turned into a movie. There had been about 6 major movies filming in/around Boston so far this year. That said, it was fun to watch the Celtics. I'm not really into basketball much anymore, but I really enjoyed watching the playoffs. Happy for Pierce and KG.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:31 PM on June 18

I think Scorcese is still filming "Ashecliffe" in town, too. Oh yeah? Well they filmed Benny and Joon in my home town about 48 years ago. And Vision Quest. (Oh God, I just made it worse)

posted by THX-1138 at 11:23 PM on June 18

"I think Scorcese is still filming "Ashecliffe" in town, too." I think the Lehane novel Scorcese's filming is called "Shutter Island." Congratulations to the Celtics. (Ouch!) The better, more physically imposing and stronger willed team. I can't even believe the experience of being in the Finals will help the Lakers next year. Andrew Bynum wasn't here to gain this "experience" anyway. Whatever his court flaws are, they don't stop me from imagining James Posey in a Lakers uniform.

posted by Newbie Walker at 04:33 AM on June 19

That said, it was fun to watch the Celtics. I'm not really into basketball much anymore, but I really enjoyed watching the playoffs. Happy for Pierce and KG. Aren't you happy for Jesus Shuttlesworth?

posted by bperk at 06:55 AM on June 19

They're calling the movie "Ashecliffe" after the hospital in the book.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:55 AM on June 19

I think Scorcese is still filming "Ashecliffe" in town, too. Is that the foolishness that tied up Mass Ave and Comm Ave last week, maybe two weeks ago? They're already collecting on the sidewalk outside my office for the duck boat victory parade.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:21 AM on June 19

And Vision Quest I can watch that any time it comes on, but I've never come to grips with the idea Matthew Modine finally indicates his depth of feeling for Linda Fiorentino by attempting to rape her. And it works. Must have set things back a decade, and they weren't that great in the '80s to begin with.

posted by yerfatma at 07:27 AM on June 19

Even at the end of the season, the Celtics finish with 66 wins, 9 more than the Lakers. Again, the Celtics are the favorites. I would honestly love it if you would show me in what forum the Celtics were favored to win the Finals against the Lakers once the matchup was set. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But so far I've cited LA columnists like Adande and the admittedly lame Plaschke, a variety of national "experts" (slam them if you will but I think Henry Abbott and John Hollinger know what they're talking about), and to this I'll add the Vegas line which strongly favored the Lakers going into the series. And isn't the conventional wisdom that when two teams are evenly matched, the best player generally wins? I mean, a few years ago SI picked the Miami Dolphins to win the Super Bowl. Nothing is more laughable than the preseason preview magazines for a given sports season after the season is concluded. As for regular season records, since when do they determine the best team in the NBA? The Spurs have mailed in the regular seasons all throughout their run of success.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:25 AM on June 19

Ashecliffe has been filming in state parks and on Peddocks Island mostly. There aren't many city scenes in the book as I recall.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:32 AM on June 19

But the one thing I think everyone learned from this finals is that Kobe is NOT Jordan Since you want to go there... Can you name one team in the last 20 years that has won a Championship with only 1 all-star? Jordan had Pippen, Olajuwan had Drexler (and a bunch of other ballers), Kobe and Shaq, Wade and Shaq, Duncan and Parker, Billups and Wallace and Hamilton, the list goes on...Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol are decent players with a lot of potential but they are definitely not all-stars (Gasol made it once in 2006). You have to be able to count on more than one guy, period. If Kobe was able to win the Championship with his supporting cast, you could make the argument that he is better than Jordan...I'm not, but you could based on those facts.

posted by docshredder at 08:57 AM on June 19

But the one thing I think everyone learned from this finals is that Kobe is NOT Jordan It's not even whether or not he won for me. It's how he played in the finals: Not that great. If Kobe was dropping 30/game and still lost, it'd be a different story.

posted by jmd82 at 10:13 AM on June 19

That said, I hope Bynum comes back strong and the Lakers are able to get Artest. If the Celtics can stay focused, that might make for a hell of a rematch... Stay focused? With KG in uniform for the Celtics for years to come, there's just no way that the C's won't be focused once the next NBA season comes around. That's the one guy that everyone can agree that actually leads by example. Whatever his court flaws are, they don't stop me from imagining James Posey in a Lakers uniform. That's just NOT gonna happen. Pose will be in a Celtics uniform next year because he's to smart to leave a gold mine. At least I hope so. As for the comparisons between Kobe and Jordan, please stop with that insanity. Kobe will never be Jordan no matter what number on his jersey is. 8, 24 (one better than Jordan? Please!!), it doesn't matter what he does (even talking like Jordan), there will always be one Michael Jordan and neither LeBron James or Kobe Bryant will ever come close to becoming the greatest basketball player of all-time. Jordan just set the bar way too high for anyone to come and surpass it and he will always be the gold standard as to what every player wishes to become. Too bad it won't happen.

posted by BornIcon at 10:26 AM on June 19

The Lakers have an enormous amount of offensive talent, and only need to add some toughness and heart to be better next year. The "Derek and the Dominoes (Vujaflop, Gasolyield, Radmanoslap)" defence they play is painful to watch and they'll need a whole lot more to get them by the up and comers in the West.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:34 AM on June 19

Lebron at least showed up for the Finals last year.

posted by chicobangs at 10:47 AM on June 19

I would honestly love it if you would show me in what forum the Celtics were favored to win the Finals against the Lakers once the matchup was set. That forum would be local L.A. fans and Laker season ticket holders that I know (clearly anecdotal evidence and unlinkable), most of whom believed that the Lakers would be 'lucky' to win in 7 games. Even Phil Jackson said that the Lakers were 'lucky' to make it to the finals. I think we're simply looking at different criteria. You're looking at what the media (notorious front runners and masters of the obvious) had to say about the finals matchup, specifically. I'm looking at the season as a whole, a season in which the Celtics were considered the front runners and the best team in the NBA throughout the season, as well as looking at the attitude of the local L.A. fans. And isn't the conventional wisdom that when two teams are evenly matched, the best player generally wins? Two things: First, that's assuming that the teams are evenly matched. I didn't assume that. Second, I thought conventional wisdom was the the team with home court advantage is the favorite.

posted by cjets at 10:48 AM on June 19

Can you name one team in the last 20 years that has won a Championship with only 1 all-star? 2003 San Antonio Spurs. The Houston Rockets teams.

posted by bperk at 10:49 AM on June 19

From the Huffington Post: Kobe is the M. Night Shyamalan of basketball.

posted by chicobangs at 10:58 AM on June 19

I keep waiting for this "Western Domination" over the east that the media has been telling me about for years! They rack up alot of regular season wins and they score alot of points, but when it comes down to it (exeption S.A.), they don't compare on defence with the playoff teams of the east. I don't know why Boston seemed like the underdog, but I'm am glad they won the way they did! (Oh,...& Dumars ain't done yet.)

posted by bo_fan at 11:05 AM on June 19

Oy, chico, that article was harsh. I would have to say that at least Kobe has talent. I'm not so sure about M. Night. Another comparison that might be accurate is that M. Night had a very talented pair of producers on The Sixth Sense that had a lot to do with the effectiveness of that movie, whereas Kobe's supporting cast hasn't been all that good. Once Shyamalan stopped using his producers from Sixth Sense, his movies went downhill. Although I did like Signs. What can I say, I'm a sucker for bugs from outer space flicks.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:44 AM on June 19

I think we're simply looking at different criteria. You're looking at what the media (notorious front runners and masters of the obvious) had to say about the finals matchup, specifically. I'm looking at the season as a whole, a season in which the Celtics were considered the front runners and the best team in the NBA throughout the season, as well as looking at the attitude of the local L.A. fans. I don't doubt that the people you talked to might have favored the Celtics, or at least harbored reservations about the Lakers. However, I followed this NBA season pretty closely and I really do not recall any point at which the Celtics were favored to win the title. Hell, even Bill Simmons took the Lakers in 6 over the C's in his pre-playoff preview. To try to get a sample of what LA fans were thinking before the Finals began, I perused a few blogs: "Lakers win the NBA championship in five" "Lakers win it in either five or six games" "I expect the Lakers will win" "I'm having a hard time deciding between Lakers in 5 or 6" "When it comes down to it, the Lakers have the best player on the floor (Kobe), the better coach (PJ), similar balance up and down the roster. They've beaten a running team, a physical team and a championship team, showing along the way they can win in a variety of styles. To make a long story short, right now they're the better team. Not by a ton, but by enough. Lakers in six." (In my browsings I also found this amusing slideshow with "celebrity" picks. Kristi Yamaguchi took LA, what more evidence do you need???) As for your contention that the Celtics were favored in preseason, I don't think that's supported by evidence either. Am I allowed to cite ESPN for this one? The vast majority of their panel took Chicago and Detroit over the Celtics as Eastern favorites. Chad Ford was the only one to pick an Eastern team to win it all and he chose the Pistons. As I recall, the knock on Boston was that they were supposed to be terrible beyond the Big Three. Cjets, I don't doubt that you and your circle of Laker fans might have seen the Celtics as favorites all along, favorites going into the playoffs, or favorites going into the Finals; I have no possible way to disprove this. But I simply don't see any evidence to suggest that your take reflected popular opinion, however it might have been measured. I never claimed to be speaking for CJets and his Laker Fan Posse. But it seems pretty clear that the Celtics weren't the favorites here by any other measure.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:48 AM on June 19

Can you name one team in the last 20 years that has won a Championship with only 1 all-star... Billups and Wallace and Hamilton Technically the 2004 Pistons' team only had one all star, Ben Wallace. He was the only member of the team to have made the all star game that season. Rasheed Wallace was the only previous all star on the team, with his last all star game being in 2001. The rest of the starters (Prince, Billups, Hamilton) wouldn't make the all star game until future seasons.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:36 PM on June 19

The Lakers being favored in the finals had more to do with Boston's seeming difficulties against Atlanta and Cleveland than with the relative strengths of Celtics and Lakers. After being taken to 7 games by supposedly inferior Atlanta and Cleveland, the Celtics were perceived as weak, lacking any "killer instinct", and easy prey for a high-powered offense. Even the 6-game win over Detroit was downplayed as having been lost by Detroit rather than won by Boston. What the pundits did not see was that LeBron James had a great series against Boston, Atlanta was a young and well-coached team that had steadily improved over the course of the season, and Detroit was far from a bunch of tired, old men. The so-called experts did not value Boston's defense as highly as it should have been, nor did they see that the defensive weakness of Los Angeles would make it difficult for them to overcome a sizeable lead. (Yes, I know what almost happened in game 2, but that was more due to a Boston letdown than anything the Lakers did. Let's not forget how many uncontested 3-point shots from far away LA hit in the 4th quarter of that game.) Before the finals, I was saying to anyone who would listen that the Celtics had the best defense that LA would see all year. Lakers had their troubles scoring against San Antonio, who have a decent but not overwhelming defense. On the other hand, Boston was able to score against a Detroit defense that was both physical and sufficiently mobile to disrupt Boston's offense. After the Pistons, the Lakers' defense must have seemed like a biddy league group to Boston. Had it not been for the very quick and very tight fouls called on Garnett in game 5, it would have been over right there. You can credit Kobe with a "great" play for the late steal on Pierce, but that was more a matter of Pierce's carelessness than Kobe's skill. If you judged that play by the same standards as the fouls whistled on Garnett, Pierce goes to the line to shoot the potential tying free throws. (Note: had that play been called, I for one would have been questioning it. It was a good non-call, but when some really ticky-tacky stuff is called early, why does the same stuff not get called late? Let's not get into the officiating in the series. It wasn't bad, but there was a lot of inconsistency both ways.) In short, the national media seems not to have taken more than a perfunctory look into the matchups of Celtics vs Lakers. It's quite understandable, since they do have a lot more than one thing to cover. The Boston beat writers who specialize in basketball all picked the Celtics. I don't know what beat writers from other sities had to say, but I would wager that they didn't all pick LA.

posted by Howard_T at 03:39 PM on June 19

As for your contention that the Celtics were favored in preseason, I don't think that's supported by evidence either. Am I allowed to cite ESPN for this one? The vast majority of their panel took Chicago and Detroit over the Celtics as Eastern favorites. Be my guest. I will point out that though the Celtics were favored by everyone to win the Atlantic. The Lakers logo does not appear once on that ESPN preview board. Cjets, I don't doubt that you and your circle of Laker fans might have seen the Celtics as favorites all along, favorites going into the playoffs, or favorites going into the Finals; I have no possible way to disprove this. But I simply don't see any evidence to suggest that your take reflected popular opinion, however it might have been measured. Fair enough, especially when you have posted link after link that supports your point. I can only say that when it someone told me that the Lakers were considered favorites the day of game 1, I was genuinely surprised. And Howard T, thanks for making my point better than I could.

posted by cjets at 05:26 PM on June 19

1. Why is it that everyone is of the opinion that Boston won the Finals so one-sided? (They lost 2 games and were in position to lose game 2 and game 4 and they only one one game by 10+ points) 2. If the Lakers' defense is soooo bad...then why did Boston score 100+ only one time? The Lakers being favored in the finals had more to do with Boston's seeming difficulties against Atlanta and Cleveland than with the relative strengths of Celtics and Lakers. I completely agree with that statement. When the season began I thought Boston had a really good chance to win it, with Detroit and San Antonio being their biggest challenge. When the Playoffs began, I still thought it would be Boston or Detroit v. San Antonio or Utah. After the Lakers smoked Denver and beat Utah, and Boston struggled mightily against Atlanta and Cleveland, I was thinking, "Hey, maybe the Lakers could take this thing if we beat the Spurs." I'm pretty sure thats exactly what the so called "experts" were thinking too. They let Boston's struggles in the first two rounds cloud their judgement. After they handled Detroit, I knew it was going to be real tough to beat them. From the moment the finals started I said Lakers in 5 (a real fan never bets against his own team, and the Spurs made us look damn good), hoping we would get one of the first 2 in Boston and win out at home. I told everyone that if it went back to Boston for game 6 and 7 we were done. All in all, even though LA got spanked in the Final game, it was a great season. Everyone picked LA to finish 8th and get sent packing in the 1st round again. It was nice to be watching b-ball in June again. . .

posted by docshredder at 07:46 PM on June 19

If the Lakers' defense is soooo bad...then why did Boston score 100+ only one time? To discuss the Lakers' defense would require them to have had a defense. They lost. If it were a hundred game series, they would have lost more than 60-40. Good team, just not the best.

posted by yerfatma at 08:59 PM on June 19

To discuss the Lakers' defense would require them to have had a defense. They lost. If it were a hundred game series, they would have lost more than 60-40. Good team, just not the best. Did you read the question?

posted by docshredder at 09:13 PM on June 19

Yes. Boston averaged 94 points per game in the regular season. Why do you think they only scored 100+ once?

posted by yerfatma at 08:35 AM on June 20

Yes. Boston averaged 94 points per game in the regular season. Why do you think they only scored 100+ once? Excellent point, fatty. If it could be done, the most meaningful statistics in NBA basketball would be "number of points per offensive posession" and "points allowed per opponent's offensive posession". Points per game is valid, but limited. It is entirely dependent upon the style of game played. A fast-break team's offense will always look better than it really is, while conversely its defense will consistently look worse, merely because of the increased number of posessions by each team.

posted by Howard_T at 09:57 AM on June 20

I'd also point out they averaged 102 points in the Finals. It's a really small sample and thus useless, but if one wanted, one could claim the Lakers' defense was 8 points worse than league average. And they scored 100+ twice, with 108 in Game 2.

posted by yerfatma at 10:40 AM on June 20

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