Hawks-Celtics: Boston Overwhelmed by Atlanta's "Fairweather Fans"
Sorry Bibby, but people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw giant boulders.
However, I must give credit where credit is due. Atlanta fans have truly risen from barely selling out Game Three before tip-off to having one of the rowdiest crowds in the playoffs so far during Game Six.
The Celtics lost to the Hawks after a last ditch 28-foot heave from Rajon Rondo missed before the final buzzer. This last play was designed to be a pass to Ray Allen, who came off of a pick too late, forcing Rondo to throw the ball off-balanced to end the game.
The game, and the entire series, has been a thinly veiled attempt by Commissioner Stern and the NBA referees to "prove" that there is parity among teams in the East.
Does this excuse the Celtics loss? Definitely not. The foul calls and three-second penalties against Boston (astronomically larger than those against the Hawks), have barely slowed the Celtics from winning their three home games by an average of 22 points.
This type of under-performance reminds me of the presidential races where two seemingly competent individuals, Al Gore (2000) and John Kerry (2004), couldn't beat the village idiot despite the fact that it seemed George W. Bush was trying to help them win (like the refs helping the Hawks and more realistically, Stern's goals)!
Was there blatant cheating in both elections? The facts discovered later point to a definitive "yes". Should it have mattered? No. Much like the Celtics, Gore and Kerry should have had leads that were so insurmountable that it would be impossible to affect the outcome. Unfortunately for the United States (and the world's economy), a man who shouldn't even be trusted with safety scissors eventually became the leader of the free world...twice.
Back to basketball... I've done enough bashing of the Hawks. To be fair, various people have commented on my previous satirical articles and made very valid points. Boston should be worried.
As most of these posters stated, they shouldn't necessarily be worried about Game Seven, but about the fact that other teams can smell blood in the water.
So what's the bottom line? The Boston Celtics are playing championship-caliber basketball at home and haven't even given up an opportunity to risk a loss a home.
That being said, the Celtics — who have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs — could win the championship by simply not losing any games at home.
Unfortunately, that is NOT a championship basketball team's mentality. Boston blew a great opportunity to make a statement by winning Game Six. The best the Celtics can do is return to Auerbach Court and play their best basketball of the season.
Before walking off the famed parquet, however, I hope they realize that the court's namesake and the other members of the NBA's most storied franchise's past would be in agreement with Kevin Garnett's comment before the 2007-08 season began:
"We haven't accomplished anything yet."
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