Does the loss sting? Hell yes.
Losing a 13-point lead from the third quarter, suffering some frustrating calls from Joey Crawford’s crew, and running an offense that seemed stuck on isolations can be pretty painful.
Still, there is a lot to be proud of. Obviously, in Game Seven of the NBA Finals, winning is the only thing that matters, but I think it’s fair to say the Celtics had a great run in the playoffs to even make a Game Seven in the first place.
Looking back, every Celtics player has something to hang his hat on. Rasheed Wallace turned it on the playoffs, Rajon Rondo was clutch throughout the postseason, and, despite his offensive struggles, Ray Allen held the best player in the world to below 35 percent shooting. That’s resiliency.
Paul Pierce, trying to will the C’s back into it at the end of the game, couldn’t get a late call but still gave a gutsy performance. Kendrick Perkins was huge inside, Glen "Big Baby" Davis was, too, and Nate Robinson was effective off the bench.
Of course, Tony Allen, my favorite reserve, played great defense on #24.
Lastly, Kevin Garnett played well after being dominated in Games One and Two by Gasol.
There comes a point in time when you have to look at a basketball series and appreciate it for what it was, win or lose.
I will only complain about one thing—the calls that Pau Gasol gets are ridiculous. You cannot look me in the eyes and say that’s not true. Sorry.
There's a point when I think the last game turned in favor of the Lakers. I think it’s going to be overlooked, but at the end of a quarter, Brian Scalabrine played terrific defense against Lamar Odom, forcing a bad Laker possession and an eventual airball.
Davis snagged the rebound aggressively, but he was unable to make a good pass to Rondo, and the C’s lost the opportunity to close the quarter with a bang.
The window might have closed on the Celtics, with the futures of Ray Allen, Doc Rivers, and even Pierce unknown, but you will always be able to look back to Game Seven and know you saw amazing happen.
As a Celtics fan, the team played well, they played with heart. The scoring should have come, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Credit the Laker defense.
Although, one must credit the Celtics’ defense, too. Throughout the course of the series, except for Game Six, the Celtics’ defense was solid.
For a team that was not supposed to make it out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals? A gritty Game Seven performance is not a devastating heartbreaker.
Sleep well, Celtics fans. There’s a lot to be proud of.
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