Up and down, up and down, up and down. I could be talking about the Celtics’ play this season — and I wish I were — but I’m not. Life’s ups and downs put everything into perspective for me today; One second, I was sitting, watching a basketball game that my team won, and I was at once upset because of how they played and elated with how they won. The next, I heard crashing, then tears, and finally I started to cry a little myself.
I don’t want to share any more details about what happened; It’s tough for me to write about my personal life. I can write about myself all day long, and I can write about the Celtics for even longer than that, but when I need to talk about the people, the things, that matter most to me, it’s hard. How do you write about a personal subject, about people who truly matter to you, and then publish it on the internet for everyone in the world to read?
Maybe other people can do that, but I guess I’m just not other people. I am not going to use this forum to talk about something that happened to somebody close to me, not ever. I might bring up something serious when it happens, but I will never completely share anything that affects someone close to me.
Instead of sharing my secrets with you, instead of sharing with you everything that goes on in my life, I’m just going to relate my secrets to you when they change the way I feel about the Celtics, or when they in some way influence the way I look at the game.
Before life happened, I was upset about the Celtics’ effort, but happy about the way they’d won. I was worried by the continuous lack of heart and execution (David Lee with a wide open open dunk to tie the game in overtime?), but ecstatic by KG’s jumper.
Then there was crashing, and there were tears, and I realized that, in the grand scheme of things, a regular season game against the Knicks just doesn’t matter. Not one bit.
Anyways, I did watch the game, and I did have opinions about it, and I even wrote some of them down before life interfered with my thoughts. So here they are for you, my unimpeded thoughts.
How do I write about a game when I’m so elated with the way the Celtics won it, yet disgusted by how they played throughout the game? How do I write about a game when the hero, the man who made the final shot that made my heart jump, was the same player whose neck I wanted to ring throughout most of the afternoon? How do I write about such an exciting win, when it shouldn’t have been so goddamn exciting?
I’m not so sure how to describe my feelings after this one. Kevin Garnett was terrible. He looked slow, he looked pained, he was hobbling around, and he looked like a brick-layer, but there Garnett was at the end to knock down three huge jumpers, including the game-winner with no time left on the clock. How do I write about it, when KG spent most of crunch-time getting acquainted with the back of Al Harrington’s jersey, but then had me jumping around in joy (and relief) at the end?
How do I write about the Celtics when all I asked for this morning in my preview was a good first quarter, and then they played a good first quarter… but proceeded to play miserably the rest of the game? Do I write about how they responded to my wishes, or do I write about how they reverted right back to the lazy team they’ve mostly reserved for first quarters?
I just don’t know where to start, where to finish, or where to end. Paul Pierce was great. He not only carried the Celtics offensively, but he made an enormous block on Wilson Chandler down the stretch. Don’t ask any questions about why Chandler was shooting a stepback jumper in crunch time, just realize that it was Pierce who sent it right back off him and out of bounds.
Rondo is another player who confused me tonight. He did it all — rebounds, points, assists — and made it look easy. But it makes things so much more difficult for his teammates when Rondo’s defender doesn’t have to be anywhere in his vicinity when Rondo has the ball in his hands. Whoever was guarding Rondo spent his night five feet away from Rondo, and while Rondo had a very good game, it clogged the paint for everyone else. On the plus side, he shot 4-8 from the free throw line. Why is that a plus? Because it’s double his free throw percentage to this point.
Kendrick Perkins was again solid. 16 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks for Perk. The man is turning into a defensive monster, and is now serviceable with the ball in his hands, too.
Rasheed Wallace’s slump, if it could, got worse. You can’t possibly shoot as poorly as Wallace has over the last handful of games, even if you had Hellen Keller’s vision and the soft touch of sandpaper. I’m not too worried; Wallace has spent his career proving himself as a good shooter. That shouldn’t stop now, even as he nears the twilight of his career. At some point, Wallace should snap out of his slump… right?
The bench was awful, the starters were okay, and the Celtics have yet to put a good team effort together over the last couple weeks.
But in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Over a season, the Celtics will have their ups, and they will have their downs, but hopefully they’ll peak at the right time. Whether they play great now, or look like the New Jersey Nets, the only thing that matters for the Celtics is being ready to win come playoff time. The way the execute now means nothing; the Celtics will end up with a good record, and they should have a good seed in the playoffs. A meaningless game with the Knicks is just that — meaningless. The Celtics came away with the win, and that’s all they needed.
After all, there are a lot of things more important than a regular season game against the New York Knicks.