It’s beginning to look like Boston’s best chance for a Championship in this asterisk-attached Covid-19 season lies in the skilled hands of the Boston Celtics basketball team. I’m including, of course, the entire New England fan base because Boston has become the Capital of the New England Sports World.
It feels like there is a sense of impending doom beginning to permeate the Bruins’ chances against the bigger and badder Tampa Bay Lightning. In game 4 watching Halak being disrobed, exposed and yanked for the battlefield promoted rookie goaltender who was left to fend for himself, it seemed to paint an inevitable Tuukka-less picture. His teammates deflated and could not muster a defense nor a back-checking enthusiasm: Lightning in 5.
What about the New England Patriots? I’m including them here even though the other 3 teams are finishing off the 2019-20 season mostly because it just feels like it will all be happening at the same time and the Sox just don’t generate any excitement.
Regarding the Patriots, haven’t they automatically been a top five pick to go all the way, for what, 20 years now? Does Cam Newton continue that expectation? I don’t see it, yet I can’t rule it out. But, for the first time in decades there is doubt. I suppose and believe that Coach Belichick, if anyone, could make it happen. But it’s hope now and no longer certainty that feeds the prediction.
Which brings me back to the Celtics. It almost seems like this team was built for a Bubble Championship. As if Coach Stevens unhitched the Kyrie Irving “All About Me Train” and hooked up the “Team Chemistry Caboose“. He let the young upstarts push the engine forward instead of being dragged along behind by the,“You’ll get your chance someday, just give me the friggin ball,” ego Engineer and Conductor, Yay Me Kyrie!
And what are the Celtics’ chances if, in fact, the Bubble isn’t pricked by thorns currently growing all around it and threatening to burst it as the Pandemic and Protest (properly obsessed) Real World tries to crash in?
Well, let’s just say, they are included as having a chance. Oddsshark.com has them at number 5. Toronto at number 4. Milwaukee 3. Lakers currently at 2 and The Clippers sitting at number 1. Vegasinsider.com, same order.
So, those are the cold cash facts. But what about the heart and desire facts? Without Kyrie no one expected the Celts to go anywhere just 2 seasons ago. And where’d they go? Right! All the way to the Conference Finals. A heartbeat away from a shot at the whole basketball of wax! If you had bet early enough you would have scored a nice little pile of beaming Benjamins.
But It’s hard to factor heart, chemistry and desire into a betting odds algorithm. With all the things that could go wrong, it’s the heart of this Celtics team that appears to be going right. Do I think they can beat the Raptors? People feel it’s going to be a defensive battle. So yes, I think they can beat Toronto.
I’m looking forward to this series because talent without heart is not always enough to win. The Raptors lost Kawhi just like the Celtics lost Kyrie. Difference is, a great deal of Leonard’s greatness is his heart. Kyrie might have some of the most amazing skill sets on a basketball court, but being the ticking heart of a cohesive on floor chemistry? Nah, give me Kawhi.
Can the Celtics beat Milwaukee? I don’t have the heart to think about that yet.