Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's Celtic Elimination Day

Today, puppies are a little cuter.

Today, food tastes a little bit better.

Today, you will laugh, and smile, and know that God loves you, that there is a plan, and that life has meaning.

Today is Celtic Elimination Day.

Today is the day when we can safely ignore Kevin Garnett, safe in the knowledge that his Thug Life Glare is as empty a threat as could be imagined. Today is the day when I can stop trying to wonder what is keeping Ray Allen alive, or why Paul Pierce can go to the free throw line every time he screams like a woman in childbirth. Today is the day when even Celtic Fan can be happy, because they can root with their whole hearts for Saint Kendrick Perkins, and root with the rest of the country for Not LeBron, and go scurrying off to Patriot OTAs, since the NBA does not exist for the bestus fan base on the planet once his laundry has been eliminated. And today is the day where we get to stop hearing about how history is more important than personnel, how Rajon Rondo is the best kind of sociopath to have on your side, and how the way things have always been is the way how things will always be. (Oh, and also, how awful awful awful it is when stars collude to join a team and rent a title. Real organizations, of course, never do that.)

Today is the day when the NBA utterly and completely stops televising famous rich people going to games, and Chris Rock can stop putting lie to the idea that he ever was any kind of Knicks Fan. Today is the day when we can stop watching NESPN tell us about the Heart and Spleen and Isles of Langerhans of A Champion. Today is the day where Ryan Hollins can go back to being a fourth quarter offensive lineman camp body, where Keyon Dooling can dial up Travelocity, where Marquis Daniels can investigate 21st century hair styles and Greg Stiesma can go back to dominating the D League.  And today is the day where Doc Rivers gets to plot long and hard about where his Dookie son gets to go play his dookie pro ball, while pretending how this will all be better next year, or that they can somehow keep the band back together for one more improbable year of cheating people out of regular season ticket money, only to put a call into All Father Stern for those special refs to make sure they go at least 2 rounds.

But it goes even further than that.

Next week, the (second) best NBA playoff series of the year starts, with the Heat going to Oklahoma City to play a series that, God willing and the refs don't rise, will show that the true power in the Association lies with a franchise that, city stealing be damned, built a team perfectly. That hasn't yet been corrupted by age and money and commercial endorsement and team-hopping and the carcinogenic effect of so, so, so much smoke being blown up their ass.

It might also be the moment when the 23-year-old second-best player on the planet exerts his will over the 27-year-old best player on the planet, though the reductio ad adsurdium involved in breaking this entire thing down to two guys who probably won't even match up against each other all the time (that is, if their coaches are intelligent). It could even be the moment when Russell Westbrook pulls off his annual Better Than Durant moment by taking apart Mario Chalmers, or even the vastly overrated (at least this post-season) Dwyane Wade.

It will be pretty damned great to watch. It's going to have players that are so good that you can watch them even when it devolves to half court isolation plays, and neither team is going to go for that. The teams are going to have to score over 100 points to win, with big runs; it's not going to be decided by block/charge calls, flagrant fouls and intentional fouling. (Again, refs willing, which is a little dicey given how many calls Wade gets.)

It will not be watched, in any great number, by Celtic Fan. Or Laker Fan. They don't watch the Finals unless their teams are in it, because they are like rats in a cocaine experiment, pressing the pellet button until their hearts explode. You will not miss them.

The Thunder have secondary options, and useful bench players, and a wildly useful home court. The Heat have Finals experience, the best all-around player, and the steel that only comes your way after two straight series in which they pushed the dirt off their coffins and roared back to win. They won't go down easily.

It will be glorious, rather than thuggish. It will be four to seven (though probably six to seven) games that I'm going to want to DVR, and I never DVR games. It's going to have bench players that can start (for, well, OKC only), men who can rain threes, the two best players in the Association this year, and two charmingly erratic coaches that will add a whole new level of uncertainty to the mix.

And if you don't like that, or Celtic Elimination Day, or the fact that the next NBA champion will be people on the upswing or peak of their careers, rather than the end... well, sucks to be you. Not us. You.

1 comment:

Tracer Bullet said...

We don't get enough Isles of Langerhans mentions these days.

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