The Battle Royal ………………..
Thus far the postseason has given us a number of games that’ll either be something to remember. Or in some respects something that we’d rather forget.
At this juncture it’d appear that a battle royal is being played out before our very eyes . And it may well prove to be one of the best postseason series played in recent memory. As the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls slug it out with each other. The series now seems to be taking on a life of its own . And if nothing sles has provided us all with the excitement we’ve been craving. And with last night’s epic struggle which ended for a young Bulls’ team . It has to be now said that the fans in Boston as well as Kevin Garnett may well have something to worry about.
If ever there was any proof that this series has been the one that has now caught the fans’ attention and imagination. Then the game last night all but cemented that fact. In a triple overtime win the Chicago Bulls have brought themselves back into contention and squared the series at three games apiece. I for one can’t think that Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers is really relishing having his team play the Bulls in another slugfest.
The 128-127 win all but usggested that both teams have have continued playing at a vety high intensity level with the premise being the last man standing. Such was the relentlessness shown by both teams . That you’d have thought this mightn’t have ended. And the scoreboard itself was kept ticking over at an electrifying pace at times.
And now comes the ever burdensome questions for not only the Celtics but also their fans. If your team can’t close the door when you’ve an eighteen point lead in the fourth quarter when you’ve allegedly had your opponents on the ropes. Then how in hell’s name do you expect to deal with the likes of the Cavaliers or Lakers if that’s where your ambitions lie as to this postseason ? If ever there was a cause for concern if you’re a Celtics’ fan. Then now has got to be it and you have to be asking this and a great many more to say the least.
And while we can state that the Celtics as the current NBA champions are given their due respect. It’d be remiss of me not to suggest that the Bulls haven’t played their part in making this an exciting series. And if anything they’re proving more than equal to the task. And in their heralded rookie Derrick Rose they may well have found someone who the Chicago fans can now feel completely comfortable with. No I’m not suggesting that he now sits at the table where Michael Jordan gracefully feted us with his postseason feats of glory. But Rose’s play in this series does harken back to those halcyon days of old.
Rose’s prodigious play in this series , his unyielding presence and stewardship coupled with that of his teammates John Salmons , Brad Miller, and Ben Gordon has now brought the Bulls but one win away from dethroning the Celtics as champions. Were it to happen I for one would not be completely surprised. But with one game still remaining in the seven game series to be played. The odds are staked heavily against them though it’s not completely out of the realms of possibility. Albeit that game seven will be played in the caverous TD Banknorth Gardens Center in Boston. Home to some of the most belligerent fans in all of basketball. But the Bulls themselves have to be feeling confident. They’ve silenced the fans there once before so there’s no reason to believe why they can’t do it again and seal the fate of Boston and add to their own growing legacy.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learntabout this game it’s that when you’ve your man down in a fight . It’s best to seal the deal and not let him get back up and punch you square in the mouth. The Boston Celtics and their fans learnt that last night. And I seriously doubt that they’d want a repeat of that to happen in game seven.
Postseason series’ games in the NBA are either fraught with excitement and exceptional play. Or they can be exceedingly tedious and boring for want of a better word. Rarely will you see #7 seed as we have heare with the Chicago Bulls play a #2 seed in the Celtics. And you can’t tell at first glance who is meant to be the higher seed. Records do tend create and lull us all into that fall sense of security. And it may well have led into the complacency with which the Celtics’ players and fans may have looked at this first round series with some glee. But now knowing that they’ve got a fight on their hands . I’d dare say that they’re revisiting that whole issue at this juncture ? If nothing else the bravado and gusto being shown by the injured Garnett on the sidelines has been tempered a great deal.
Boston for its part has to be looking at veterans Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for guidance. Allen himself has proved last night that when his mind is completely on the game . Then he can be something special to watch and having led all scorers last night with 51 points. Let’s just say another display like that may or may not be enough to lead them into the enxt round. But then they’d still have to contend with what the Bulls might have in store for them. And based by what was served up by the Bulls’ trio of Salmons, Gordon and Miller who by themselves accounted for seventy of the Bulls’ 128 points last night. Things over the remainder of this series will definitely become contentious by way of both teams’ play. All is now on the line and it is now about all or nothing !
Wars are usually fought as a means to an end . But it is the battles where the strategies are first put in place that could well decide how that war is waged and won. Thus far the battle between the Bulls and Celtics has been a battle royal and one of wills. However the war has yet to be won . Any wagers as to how it all might end ?