For years, the NBA and its teams have been out for Celtic blood.
When you are the best team in basketball (17 NBA championships) as the Celtics have been, people tend to be jealous, hateful and out to steal your throne.
The Celtics have been sitting comfortably atop the Eastern Conference for relatively most of the 2011 season, but on Tuesday night, MVP candidate Derrick Rose and the Bulls ripped the Atlanta Hawks, 114-81 to pass the idle Celts for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Here are the Eastern Conference standings (Top 10 Teams) as of 3/23/2010.
|1||y - Chicago||51||19||.729||-||31-4||20-15||12-1||31-12||98.5||91.1||9-1|
|2||y - Boston||50||19||.725||½||29-6||21-13||11-3||33-9||97.1||90.9||6-4|
|3||x - Miami||48||22||.686||3||26-10||22-12||10-3||30-12||101.6||94.4||5-5|
|4||x - Orlando||45||26||.634||6 ½||25-11||20-15||9-4||29-12||99.7||94.2||6-4|
- z - Clinched Conference
- y - Clinched Division
- x - Clinched Playoff Berth
The Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls have already won their respective divisions and are locks for the playoffs.
Now, both teams will fight it out to see who can gain the top seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Noah went on to say, "He's a very mean guy. Where's the love? None at all, ugly, too."
Before entering the NBA in 2007, Noah was one of Kevin Garnett’s biggest fans.
"I had his poster in my room," Noah said. "I used to wear his jersey. And the truth is my rookie year, I was in admiration of this guy, and he kind of shut me down."
Noah went on, "He was very mean to me my rookie year. And he's only mean to the young guys and the [European players], for some reason. I don't know why, but that's who he doesn't like. He's not nice. I talk a lot of trash out there, but c'mon, be a little sensitive. Be sweet."
Is it possible that Garnett and the Celtics took what Noah said to heart and have become “sweethearts?" Could that be the reason for their recent struggles?
According to Celtics coach Doc Rivers, it could be.
Doc was asked about what he said to his team when they went into the locker room trailing the Knicks at halftime during their most recent game. Rivers said he was critical of his players at the half before their second-half comeback gave them a win over the Knicks.
“We decided to play…'soft'…that word came out a lot,” Doc said.
Celtics fans are surely mocking this statement made by Noah and are likely accusing him of being too sweet and too soft. Garnett’s intensity is what makes him the man Joakim Noah is not. It is the reason why Noah looked up to Garnett before and it should continue to be the reason Noah admires K.G. to this day.
Noah is on the rival Chi-town Bulls, and there is no way that Chicago Bulls fans would accept him liking K.G. and/or the Celtics anymore.
The Celtics played last night, Wednesday, March 23 versus the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. EDT and lost by a final score of 90 - 87. That loss dropped the C's to a full game behind the Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Bulls don’t play again until Friday, March 25, when they will have their chance to show face against the Grizzlies and do what the Celtics could not...win. That showdown starts at 8 p.m. EDT.
Boston and Chicago have 12 games left in the regular season. The Celtics do face the Bulls one last time this season on April 7 at 8 p.m. on TNT. That game promises to be a playoff preview and a bloody battle until one team is defeated and the other stands victorious.
I recommend that you put a “Bulls Eye” on that date and time when these two powerhouses meet again.
Will the luck of the Celtics stay true? Some think it will. Others believe that the mighty Bulls gored their way to the top of the East for good.
Stay tuned for more on this and other news related to the Celtics and Bulls as the 2011 NBA season winds down.
Stay classy basketball fans.
Must Read: NBA: Top 10 Candidates for 2011 MVP
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