The Celtics officially won the Atlantic Division yesterday on their day off, a feat which holds approximately the same long-term significance of J.R. Bremer’s Celtics career—or, zero long-term significance. In the words of one Kobe Bryant, the Celtics have bigger fish to fry than the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks.
Ironic, then, that the Celtics visit New York tonight to play the Knicks in a game that actually holds all types of meaning. Beating New York isn’t just about one game. It’s not about beating another “Big Three,” because the Knicks have struggled mightily since the Carmelo trade and don’t look anything like contenders. (Oddly enough, a Mike D’Antoni-coached team led by Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Amare Stoudemire actually struggles on defense—who woulda thunk it?)
It’s about forging chemistry with the five new players (six, if you count Delonte West). It’s about keeping pace with the Bulls. It’s about hoping Rajon Rondo snaps out of his coma. It’s about regaining team-wide rhythm and returning to championship-caliber play. It’s about building on the second half in New Orleans, when the Celtics reminded everyone they can still play inspired basketball when the mood strikes them.
I didn’t at all mean for this (really, I didn’t), but I sound a lot like a familiar advertising campaign:
It’s all about 18.