I love this quote from Doc Rivers, discussing whether the Celtics need a statement victory after losses to the Spurs. But I love it because it’s fun, not because I agree with it. (Note: He didn’t really say hoot.)
“No, because if we get it, what does it mean?” Rivers asked in return. “Really, I’ve said it all year: We won a couple big games this year, what has it got us? We won the first game of the year against Cleveland. I don’t know, what statement did it make? I think it’s good for writers, honestly, it’s good for, ‘Boy, that was a statement game, that meant a lot.’
“The team going home, Cleveland, it doesn’t mean [anything] to them. For the team that wins, it’s great for a day or two, but after that, you’ve still got to go play. Say we beat Cleveland [on Sunday] and we play Miami in the first round [of the playoffs]. Do you think Dwyane Wade gives a [hoot] that we beat Cleveland? It doesn’t matter. It’s good for you — every win is good for you and always helps your psyche. If we beat Houston, Cleveland and whoever is after that, it’s good, it helps the psyche, but I don’t think it does anything for other teams. They could care less.”
Though a ‘W’ against Cleveland counts for nothing more than one against Minnesota, there’s something to be said for winning big games. In big games, both teams normally leave it all on the court. When that happens, and neither team has a lock of focus, it’s normally the better team that wins. Beyond that, big wins boost confidence. After losing as many big games as the Celtics have this season, I’m sure even the brash, veteran Celtics wonder if they can still beat the best.
So while Dwyane Wade may not give a shit about whether the Celtics beat Cleveland on Sunday, the Celtics should. A lot.