NBA Playoffs: Boston Hopes to Avoid an Epic First-Round Collapse

Luigi TollisCorrespondent IApril 20, 2008

Well, I haven't written an article in roughly a month. There have been plenty of reasons for this sad happenstance (or happy, if you hate what I tend to write). 

I generally believe that the NBA in March is mostly an afterthought. Don't get me wrong, I still love the NBA and watch as much of it as possible, but many a fan will find themselves distracted by March Madness, and will turn a blind eye to the pros who do it for both love of the game and substantial amounts of money.

But, I digress. It's playoff time. It's that time of the year where your team is either playing golf, or playing ball (who knows, maybe they're firing guns outside strip clubs, or evading a DUI).

As a Celtics fan currently living far from New England, this is my chance to watch a number of their games in succession on TV instead of some crappy internet feed. You know, if you had asked me a few years ago what the chances were that all four Boston sports teams would make the playoffs in the same year, I would ask if you were drunk, stoned, or having some weird acid flashback. 

Moving ever closer to the point of this article, the C's are playing the Hawks right now.  The master of the teleprompter is giving that great commentary I have come to know over the years, yet I still yearn for the ramblings of the man that the Tommy Point was named after.  It's a shame too, because the camera pans to old Tommy from time to time.  I guess a short glance will have to do.

Tonight's game between these two teams has pretty much played out as expected. 

Without placing some sort of jinx on either team (reverse or otherwise), this series will go as scripted by David Stern and his lackeys in NYC. I find it simply amazing that the NBA has been able to put a points shaving scandal by a ref behind them so quickly. That is the majesty that is the David Stern era I guess.

That being said, there are a number of good things for Hawks fans to look forward to.  Josh Childress will only get better, and the same goes for Horford. Joe Johnson causes every Celtic fan to cringe, as we remember the day we drafted him, and also the day that Pitino subsequently traded him away (anyone also remember Chauncey Billups?)

It should be noted that while the teams in the West are beating up on each other in the first round, the East has a fairly balanced playoff schedule. This could play into the Eastern Conference's favor, or maybe it won't (eureka, jinx protection!).

There are some things that could prevent the Celtics from winning this series. First, the Atlanta defense has done a stellar job of collapsing in the paint and subsequently blocking shots. I do, of course, write this as the C's are up 20, but it still holds true. 

If the Hawks can find a way to stop Boston from going on their traditional third quarter run, they may be able to make this a decent series or even go on to win.

Then again, the Hawks score, on average, less points than the Celtics allow per game in the regular season (ATL- 86 pts, BOS- 90 allowed). 

Oh crap, I think I just jinxed the Celtics. Then again, since I moved out of New England, the teams have all accomplished tasks I thought were nearly impossible in the same year.  Hell, last year at this time I was hoping that the Red Sox or Pats would carry me through the hell that was the winter sports season.

Even if my beloved Celtics do not end up hoisting the trophy, years of bitter torment by the Red Sox (they used to lose you know), and the past football game that was held in February (that I refuse to acknowledge by name) have taught me how to deal with depression. 

The answer to how to deal with the depression which comes with your favorite team losing in big games is pure and simple. Scotch. 

It works, it really does (but your car may suffer damage as a result). So, if I have jinxed the Celtics, then turn to the majesty that is that spirit coming from the Highlands.  Lord knows I will.