It really comes down to your perspective. You’re either the type of person who watches a player miss ten straight three-pointers and thinks, “He’s due,” or you watch the same player and think, “Why the hell does he keep shooting?”
You either look at the Celtics’ record and think, “Through all the injuries, Boston still leads the Eastern Conference. If you told me the C’s would be 40-14 despite not having their full roster for even a single game, I would’ve taken that twelve times out of ten.” Or you look at the Celtics’ record and think, “Imagine if they hadn’t lost to the Cavaliers, Durant-less Thunder, Raptors, Pistons, Rockets and Wizards. That record could (and probably should) be a lot better.”
The Celtics are 3-0 against the Miami Heat, 2-1 against the Orlando Magic, and 2-1 against the Chicago Bulls. That makes the Celtics 7-2 against the Eastern Conference’s top contenders. Against the NBA’s top seven teams, record-wise, Boston is an impressive 9-6. It’s hard to think of any scenario that doesn’t include Boston as the East’s favorite, regardless of seeding entering the playoffs.
But the C’s lead Miami in the standings by mere percentage points, and Chicago isn’t far behind. Not to mention San Antonio out West, four games ahead of Boston in the loss column. If the Celtics don’t learn to take care of business against the league’s worst teams more consistently, home court advantage could slip through their hands like a bounce pass thrown to Kwame Brown.
Home court, as the Celtics found out in June, matters. It can be the difference between an NBA title and an agonizing, four-point loss that produced a locker room filled with tears. The Celtics have proven themselves capable of beating any team, at any venue, at any time. But playing the majority of games in the TD Garden would make everything easier. (Boston Herald)
“Actually I thought we’d have a better record,” Pierce said. “Truthfully.”
“Yeah, we are a selfish team,” Pierce said. “We’re a greedy team.
“I thought we’d have a better record, but hopefully we can get better these last 28 games. Right now we’re sitting on top of the East -— not by much. Guys would like a better record, but it is what it is.”
“We’re trying to play for homecourt advantage, not only in the East but in all of basketball,” said Pierce, “so we’ve still got a ways to go if we want to catch San Antonio.”
To catch San Antonio (and hold Miami and Chicago off), Boston has to take care of business against the league’s dregs. It’s one thing losing a tight game (or two) to Dallas. It’s quite another to fall victim to Cleveland, or Washington, or Toronto. Losing to those teams is just lazy. Hell, losing to those teams is like losing to the Washington Generals.
The Celtics currently lead the Eastern Conference, trail only San Antonio in the entire NBA, and are on pace for 61 wins, many miles better than last season’s 50-32 campaign.
“I love it. I obviously would take it,” Rivers said. “If you had told me before the year that we were going to have all these injuries to key people, I wouldn’t have thought we’d be where we’re at. So I’m very happy.
“I don’t think anyone could really expect this when you consider the injuries and the fact we haven’t had our real rotation together this season.”
But, injuries be damned, home court advantage remains the goal. It’s time for the C’s to start finishing off the league’s weaker teams, so they can earn the right to wear white in any potential Game 7.