Doc Rivers and the Celtics need to get back to worrying about getting through the regular season
Opening night in the NBA for the Boston Celtics had almost everything. There was Kevin Garnett giving the Ray Allen “I will (bleeping) murder you” face, both the Celtics and the Heat played hard and the game even ended with a hard foul that has both teams riled up and ready to throw down when these two teams meet again in January. After their hard fought Eastern Conference Finals series in May, it was the perfect continuation of what is arguably the best rivalry in the NBA right now.
Now it is time for the Boston Celtics to look ahead and start moving forward one game at a time. They would be the first to tell you that Tuesday night was only one game and that there are 81 games to go this season. The Celtics have defensive chemistry issues they need to address as well as the management of the older bodies and their legs.
The fact that the Boston Celtics kept working to storm back into the game on Tuesday night did not come as a surprise to me. Again, it goes back to the rivalry between these two teams. There is real, honest to goodness, sports hate between these teams. We haven’t seen anything like this in the NBA since the Knicks and the Pacers in the mid-90′s. With the Heat getting their rings on Tuesday, the Boston Celtics wanted nothing better then to spoil their coronation ceremony in front of Miami’s home-crowd. It simply wasn’t to be and while it hurts then, one game doesn’t make a huge difference in the season.
On Friday, the Boston Celtics take on the Milwaukee Bucks in their home-opener followed by a trip down I-95 to Washington D.C to take on the Wizards at the Verizon Center. Will the older players start taking minutes off now that the “big one” is out of the way? Will Kevin Garnett get a “DNP – Old” as Spurs legend Tim Duncan got last year? It’s probably more likely then one might think.
The goal is the NBA Finals, not the number one seed. It’s time to simply grind and push through the regular season.