Win Or Lose, Enjoy Tonight Because It Could Be the Last Game In the Big 3 Era

With the Celtics down 3 games to 1 to the Miami Heat, tonight could be the last game in the Big 3 Era. Only 2 other Celtics teams have come back from 3-1 down in a series, 1968 and 1981, both against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 2011 Celtics are more than capable of coming back in this series, but age and health are major factors.

Before I get into why this might be the last game in the Big 3 Era, I’d like to go over Game 5 and the rest of the series.

Tonight, the Celtics go into a situation that they haven’t faced before. Experience is in their favor, but do they have the legs to keep up with Miami? After a heart-breaking loss on Monday, I don’t know how much is left in the tank. All Celtics fans need to hope for is the day in between is enough rest for the team.

If the Celtics can somehow steal tonight’s game, then maybe, just maybe there is still hope. The Celtics would be going back home with a chance to tie the series and send it back to Miami for a Game 7. In a 7th game, anything is possible. But before we can even dream of such a miracle, the Celtics need to win tonight.

If the worst should happen, and the Celtics lose tonight, a lot of changes could be coming our way. There have been rumors that Doc Rivers might retire at the end of this season. If Doc leaves, I expect KG to leave or retire as well. In an interview before the season, they had asked KG what he would do if Doc retired. KG’s answer was that he’d retire as well.

With the head coaching job possibly open, who replaces Doc? The Celtics assistant head coach Lawrence Frank, is a finalist for the Rockets head coaching job. If Frank gets the job, there is one coach that I think would be the best replacement; Mike Brown. Brown coached the Cleveland Cavaliers during the LeBron era, and Brown is a good coach. If he doesn’t have to deal with egos like LeBron, then I think Mike Brown would be a great fit.

Back to retirements and free agents. Shaq is playing on one leg, and because of that he’s not playing in Game 5. In my opinion Shaq is done, and I expect him to retire at the end of the season. I also read an article that Jermaine O’Neal might be thinking of retirement at the end of the season as well. With multiple roster spots open due to players retiring, who will replace them? As the offseason goes on, I’ll write articles on what the Celtics do during the draft and free agency.

They also have many free agents this year. Glen Davis, Delonte West, Von Wafer, Nenad Krstic, Sasha Pavlovic, Carlos Arroyo, and Troy Murphy all are unrestricted free agents at the end of the year. Jeff Green is a restricted free agent, and Ray Allen and Shaq are player options. After all is said and done, after retirements and free agency, the Celtics could possibly only have 4 players under contract after 2012. With that being said, the Celtics are going to have plenty of money to sign a superstar or multiple role players.

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, because this offseason is going to be long with a possible lockout. But if the Celtics can use their money right, they could make a run at Dwight Howard in 2012. The chance of that happening is a long shot, and that is over a year away.

So, like every other Celtics fan, I am going to enjoy this game because it could be the last with this core of guys. It may also be the last game for a year with the chance of a lockout. This run has been great and too bad we can’t turn back the clock, but here we are. Hopefully there is one last miracle in this team, one last game winning 3 by Ray Allen, one more time KG pounds his chest, one more time Paul Pierce comes up big in the clutch, and maybe if there is a Game 6, one last chant of “Let’s Go Celtics!”

This is and was a special team, and we may never get the same feeling again. But maybe someday, in the near or distant future, we find another core of true Celtics that sacrifice everything they have for the team, and have a will to win and win championships.

On the night of a possible elimination, I say one more time. Let’s go Celtics and beat the Heat!

Celtics Beat the Bucks 87-56

After losing 2 in a row, the Celtics came out with a sense of urgency. It was a franchise record-breaking night for Celtics defense. The Celtics only allowed 22 points at half, and held the Bucks to a total of 56 points in the game. If there were any questions about the Celtics defense without Perk, they were certainly answered.

In the 1st half, the Celtics jumped out to a lead right from the start. The Celtics starters who haven’t played well the last few games, came to play tonight. Ray Allen who had an off night against the 76ers, had a game high 17 points. Paul Pierce also had a solid night with 14 points 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks.

The Celtics could have probably won this game by 50 if it wasn’t for the turnovers. Pierce and KG combined for 8 of those turnovers, but the Bucks couldn’t capitalize on the Celtics mistakes.

The Celtics went into half with a 39-22 lead. Everything went bad for the Bucks in the 1st half, and it only got worse as the game went on.

In the 2nd half, the offense picked up and the Celtics just started to run the Bucks off the floor. Their ball movement was great, instead of looking for the 1st option, the Celtics looked for the 2nd and 3rd option which led to easy baskets. With the ball movement, Krstic was always wide open for the easy lay up. Krstic had 11 points and 14 rebounds. He was great tonight, and his rebounding was another major part of their success.

The Celtics overall team defense was unbelievable. The team defense was too much for the Bucks. Not many times would the Celtics allow a wide open shot attempt.

Another positive about tonight’s game, was the fact the starters didn’t need to play much in the 2nd half. The bench contributed a lot, and the lead grew while they were out there. Carlos Arroyo did a nice job commanding the 2nd unit, and had 6 assists. Troy Murphy had a surprising 12 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Celtics off the bench in scoring. The bench scored 35 points tonight, and if the Celtics can get that much production off the bench, then it would relieve a lot of the pressure on the starters.

The Celtics won convincingly 86-57, and never trailed in the game. The Celtics play another 7:00 pm game vs the Nets tomorrow.

Celtics Lose to Clippers, But Doc Says Celtics Aren’t Crying

The Celtics 5 game win streak was snapped last night after losing to the Clippers. After being down by 18 most of the game, the Celtics made the game competitive later in the 4th quarter, but it was to no avail.

The Celtics played bad last night. Rondo only had 2 assists total late into the 3rd quarter, and KG was 3 for 17 at one point during the game. When you have stats like that coming from your starters, expect to lose. Nenad Krstic had his best game as a Celtic, Krstic scored 20 points and had 9 rebounds. He was probably the only consistent player they had out there last night.

Carlos Arroyo impressed me last night. He didn’t have a great game, but what he did on the floor last night is what the Celtics need. Arroyo is probably the first real point guard to back up Rondo since Sam Cassell. Arroyo had 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

The Celtics came up short and lost 108-103, but they don’t seem to phased by the loss to the Clippers.

From Doc Rivers via Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe –

“No one cried,’’ said Doc Rivers. “We lost the game. We’re good.’’

 The Celtics play the 76ers in Philadelphia tomorrow at 7:00pm.

Celtics Add Carlos Arroyo to the Roster

According to the Boston Herald, the Celtics have signed Carlos Arroyo. Arroyo was cut by Miami so they could sign Mike Bibby. Arroyo could likely join the team in Milwaukee depending on the physical.

For the Celtics to sign Arroyo, they cut Chris Johnson who was signed to a 10 day contract. According to sources, the Celtics cut Johnson because they felt the guard position was more important.

If the Celtics are more concerned at the guard position, it could be good news that our big men are getting healthy.

Celtics Buyout Update #2

To begin, I’d like to welcome the newest member of the Celtics, Troy “Dropkick” Murphy. Murphy signed with the Celtics around noon time, Miami was close to acquiring him, but Murphy made the right choice. Now the Celtics have 2 roster spots open. There are a few players on their list.

The Celtics got in contact with Corey Brewer today like many other teams. Brewer has narrowed his list down to 3 teams, the Celtics, Spurs and Mavericks. Brewer would be a great addition, and he would probably take the role of Tony Allen if he is signed by the Celtics.

The newest name that has come up is Eddy Curry. Sources say the Celtics have some interest in him. Curry would add size and depth at the power forward or center position.

To acquire Mike Bibby, the Miami Heat cut Carlos Arroyo. Arroyo probably won’t come to Boston, but since Delonte West is made of glass, I wouldn’t mind having another point guard.

What Danny Ainge has done this past week is nothing short of amazing. After trading one of the starting 5, getting 2 quality players in return, and now signing Troy Murphy. Ainge could probably be in the same sentence with Red Auerbach, especially if the Celtics win the championship this year.

UPDATE: Corey Brewer is going to sign a contract with the Dallas Mavericks, according to Yahoo Sports.