Thursday, March 8, 2012

What Is Best In Life? To Crush The Celtics, See Them Driven Before You, And To Hear The Lamentations Of Their Fans

Tonight in South Philly, my Sixers played the Celtics. In what had to be considered Big Green's chance to tighten the Atlantic Division race, show there's fire left in the belly, prove to the upstart young'uns who had faltered before the break and lost close games to the Bulls and Bucks that, well, this wasn't going to be their division. Boston had won five in a row, after all. Here come the Celtics; with a win tonight, they'd be tied for first.

After one quarter, it was 33-17 for the good guys. At the half, it was 55-33. And the home team won the third and fourth quarters as well, en route to a 103-71 depantsing that redefines satisfaction as we know it.

Now, there will be bigger stories in the Association tonight. The Wizards beat the Lakers, the Heat played a game, Derrick Rose hit a game-winner to take out the Bucks, and the Clip Show blew a game in Jersey that was '80s-esque in its chippiness. But when you combine this with the utterly expected Spurs win over the Knicks, and we get back to the area of comfort on the division, since both of the frauds chasing them are, well, .500 clubs. And Philly isn't.

Want more in the way of encouragement? Evan Turner, the #2 pick in last year's draft who has struggled with his shot and playing time, threw down a 26-9-2 line. (The board numbers are legit, by the way: Turner does more on the glass than just about any other guard in the league, on a per minute basis.) Jrue Holiday won his matchup with Rajon Rondo. Six players got into double figures, which is more or less the routine night for this team. They did their usual crazy good job of holding on to the ball (8 turnovers tonight, below the season average of 10.3, and still on line to set the modern NBA record). The win came without Sixth Man of the Year candidate Thaddeus Young, who does more on defense than just about any non-starter in the league. It's their 11th (!) win of the year by more than 20 points, which leads the NBA.

And, well, it's the Celtics. Beating this laundry isn't a pleasure. It's a reason for getting up in the morning, putting up with all of life's petty injustices, and eating and living healthy -- to make sure you live long enough to see more teams beat the Celtics.

Yes, my team has no real shot of getting past the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Yes, they don't really have a player that qualifies as someone who belongs in the Top 50 in the Top 25 in the NBA, or anyone who will inspire you to buy a jersey, or tell your kids about one day.

But so long as they win their division and clown the Celtics while doing it?

I'll take it. Every year. And be quite happy for a long, long time.

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