The playoffs officially began yesterday, and the much-maligned Eastern Conference was surprisingly competitive. All the teams that were supposed to win won, however the games that were considered "ho hum" showed some surprising resilience and a backyard brawl.
This may dispel the myth that the Eastern Conference brand of basketball is juvenile.
Game One forced the Boston Celtics to stop and take assessment of what really matters.
Doc Rivers had to finally make "ubuntu" work in a game that could have easily been a disaster for the lads in green.
Dwyane Wade was using Ray Allen as his personal turn-style forcing the defense to scramble to cover his mistakes. To make matters worse, Ray-Ray let his petticoats show after being elbowed in the nose. He started to force his shots and couldn't disengage himself from Wade's defensive grip to make a difference.
How fortunate, the other Allen, Tony had finally learned that his best bet was to use those nimble feet on defense and he will get his points. Tony replaced Ray and Wade, and promptly found the "lane closed" sign on his forays to the hoop.
There was no need to worry as the Celtics were able to show resolve and grind out a win.
That one move saved the Celtics from regurgitating the same bylines that we had heard during the regular season.
The game was all but over when Pierce was unceremoniously bumped out of bounds by Quentin Richardson. Kevin Garnett took umbrage and the "ticket stub," Glen Davis was there to add fuel to the already heated argument.
You can look at most of Boston's history, and you will see hints of pugilistic endeavors by its various championship teams. Faded memories of Kevin McHale's clothesline of Kurt Rambis and Danny Ainge's gregarious attack of Tree Rollins' finger litter Celtic history.
Even the stoic Robert Parrish and Larry Bird engaged in fisticuffs during their time together.
From the front office with Ainge, to their color analyst Tommy Heinsohn, they can give first-hand accounts of agitations that propelled them to championships.
Kevin Garnett was only doing what Green Royalty has always done, that is to continue to fight to be part of a legacy of champions that transcends time.