Boston's population claims some of the world's most intelligent people as its citizens while being home to many of the world's most renowned universities. I believe physicists at MIT might be involved in head coach Doc Rivers' strategy meetings.
Using a Harvard word to describe the Boston Celtics, I choose "entropy."
Using a non-Harvard vocabulary, entropy means things start to degrade, until you can't tell the difference between the individual pieces of what degraded. This happens randomly, so it occurs over time.
Just like the Boston Celtics.
They have degraded their individual selves, and now we see a unified team. The degradation of selfish basketball came over the many years of hard experience.
Start with Doc Rivers never winning a championship as a player. Then take the combined years of great play by the “Big Three” individually, which ended in short or no playoff runs.
These Boston Celtics learned the best team wins an NBA Championship in most cases. They intend to be the best team.
Many of the Celtics players can be quoted talking about that "one guy."
One guy never dresses for the Celtics; his name never makes the active list. The reason being—he doesn't exist.
Throughout the playoffs, Celtics victories have come from a random assortment of players. Go through the Celtics roster; pick any name outside of Sheldon Williams and Marquis Daniels.
At some time during the post-season, every player on our list gave the Celtics key minutes to help win a game. Of course the “Big Three” plus one do most of the yeoman's work on a nightly basis.
In every game though, one name pops up that we didn't read about between yesterday. Glen Davis comes to mind after Game Two.
There were games in the playoffs when Boston's bench got outplayed. But when it counted most, from Rasheed Wallace down through Nate Robinson, someone off the bench helped the Celtics find ways to win.
As a team, they always found a way to get it done. That's called being clutch as a team.
In Game One of the NBA Finals, the Celtics looked disjointed. Game Two the team showed up.
It became Ray Allen's night to be the "one guy."
Then suddenly we realized Rajon Rondo, after a sub par Game One, played his way into a triple-double.
Remember—"One Guy"—never gets any floor-time for the Celtics.
In a game filled with foul calls, benches became important. Boston's bench scored 24 points to the Lakers' 15 bench points.
The Celtics' bench play becomes more impressive, when you consider much of their minutes came against the Lakers' starters.
Glen Davis fought hard against the Lakers' big men. He led the Boston bench not just in scoring, but in rebounds as well. No Garnett in the paint? Fine, Davis will step up and get seven.
That's entropy. Over time, we can't tell one piece from another. Rebounds are rebounds at the end of the day.
In only six minutes on the floor, Robinson scored seven points and shot two free throws. It reminded you of Pierce, who got ten points in forty minutes of play. That's entropy.
If the success continues, we'll see entropy in action again. This will be another great team. Another great team in a long list.
Over time, one championship banner starts to look like the 17 others.