Mercifully, the waiting is over.
After five games in which the Boston Celtics slowly clamped down the screws on Los Angeles, they opened a huge can of whoop ass Tuesday night, pasting the Lakers, 131-92, to clinch their 17th NBA championship.
For those of you who don't follow the NBA closely, it's almost impossible to put last night's game into perspective. To beat a team that soundly in every phase of the game—in a championship-clinching game no less—is hard to understand.
To win a deciding game by 39 points is like, what, winning the Indy 500 by 10 laps? Winning the World Series by throwing a perfect game? The world of sports lacks the metaphors to properly describe the Celtics' feat.
But the Celtics don't need any metaphors, and they don't need me to explain them. Plain and simple, they stomped the Lakers. Pick any part of last night's game.
Hustle? Boston by a mile.
Rebounding? Rajon Rondo by himself.
Bench? I would have taken Eddie House, James Posey, P.J. Brown, Glen Davis, and Leon Powe against the entire Laker team.
Coaching? Doc Rivers was a mile ahead of Phil Jackson all series. Turns out he had a lot more to work with, but he pulled the right triggers at the right time all series.
Defense? Please! Boston should have been arrested. They strangled the Lakers' offense like a baby in a crib.
Offense? What does 131 points in a deciding game do for you?
Did I leave anything out? The BankNorth Center probably has better concessions and bathrooms, too.
All in all, it was hard to fathom. Maybe it was just one of those nights, maybe the ghosts of Boston's past.
No chance, it's much simpler than that. The Celtics were just much better.
To attribute this butt-kicking to luck, a bad game by the Lakers, or to Auerbach, Bird, and Russell only diminishes what Doc Rivers and these Celtics achieved. They were the best team all season, and they finished the job with a statement.
Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and the rest of the Celtics earned every inch of this title with their heart, tenacity, effort, and play. And they deserve every moment of attention and all of the accolades for their victory.
They made believers out of a lot of doubters this series, me included. There's nothing left to do but tip my hat to the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics.