This isn’t how the Big Three era ends, is it?
At home, against an eighth seed? With Ray Allen and Paul Pierce hobbled, Kevin Garnett as strong as he’s been in years and Rajon Rondo reverting back to his inconsistent ways? In an Eastern Conference semifinal so ugly it’s threatening to drop below C-Span on the excitement scale?
The Boston Celtics can’t lose Saturday’s Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers, can they? Not when they have the three best players in the series, all the postseason experience on their side and Philadelphia has no closer … right?
The Celtics kicked away a 15-point halftime lead in Game 4, a golden opportunity to take a stranglehold on the series. They could have advanced with a win in Game 6, but shot just 33.3 percent and politely declined to stop Philadelphia’s dribble penetration during an 82-75 loss. Now they are set to meet a confident Sixers squad in the deciding Game 7, which could also serve as the finale of the Big Three era.
If the Celtics don’t win tonight — and I feel like I’ve said this each of the past two seasons, so take it for what it’s worth — the Big Three era will have almost certainly ended at the hands of Doug Collins and the Philadelphia 76ers.
If they do win, they get a chance to avenge their loss to the Miami Heat.
Game 7 is tonight. It’s either the Celtics’ next step, or their last.