One hallmark of great Celtics seasons past has returned:
Blowout games that end mid-way through the third quarter or earlier. One of the singular joys of watching dominant Celtics teams is watching the way they so totally dismantle an opponent that the opponent throws in the towel and cries no mas long before the game has ended.
It was true of every great team of the 80s, and it is true of the 2008 Boston Celtics.
In the 1990-91 season, when the Celtics started 29-5, the last 16 minutes of games were known as Dave-Popson Time, named after Celtics twelfth man, Dave Popson. The last quarter and a half wasn’t pretty, but it was fun. Watching an opponent, down by 40, whittle the lead to 25 or 30 against the scrubs, but never quite get over the hump, was always something I savored, usually with a beer.
So blowout games are again appearing on the radar, but they are not the only sign of a bullish market for Celtic Green.
The defense, which took a short vacation after the All-Star break, is back with a vengeance.
Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, who rarely played large at the same time in the past, are now feeding off of each other, posting big numbers in less than 30 minutes of playing time.
Sam Cassell has assumed back-up point guard responsibilities, which has allowed Eddie House to assume the role as assassin off the bench.
Doc and the troops, guilty of losing focus and meandering on occasion after their 29-3 start, have circled the wagons for the stretch run. They keep finding new ways to motivate themselves.
You say we’re playing the Nets, the Sixers or the Bulls?
Just pretend it’s the first round of the playoffs.
You say we’re playing an inconsequential team from the West?
Focus on keeping the winning streak going, and maybe invoke the 1985-86 team, which went on a similar winning streak in March and April. Do whatever it takes, but win these games because building momentum is what it’s about this time of year.
That doesn't work for you?
Just tell yourself you have to keep getting better. The playoffs are drawing near.
You say we've already beat LA, Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston?
True, but we haven't beaten any of the Texas teams in Texas, and, even if we had, we haven't beaten them in Texas in the playoffs.
Like I said, I'm bullish on this run.