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Excuses at the ready for Celtics in Game 7

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  May 24, 2012 03:11 PM

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"Excuses only sound good to the people who make them."

An old boss gave me that line once when I tried to explain myself out of some forgotten mess.

In case of loss, just break glass. There are plenty of excuses at the ready if the unthinkable happens and the Celtics lose Game 7 Saturday. Trouble is, none of them will matter.

Among the options:

"Ray Allen was hurt."

"Kevin Garnett is getting old."

"Rajon Rondo took too many shots."

"Avery Bradley would have made a difference."

"Rajon Rondo did not take enough shots." (Yes, some people are thinking that - which is a testament to how far he has come in that area.)

And, there's always this classic.

"We got screwed by the refs."

Coming soon: "The dog ate Doc's clipboard."

On the same day Bobby Valentine had the Charles River cleared for "Beantown Betty," "Fenway Fanny," "Waterfront Wanda" and their siblings in celebration of the Red Sox 22-22 record, Doc Rivers was having none of it as the Celtics fell to 3-3 in their playoff series against Philly.

His simple assessment: "We didn't have it." Now, if only every Marquette grad was so succinct and precise in their ability to communicate, this blog would be a better place.

Doc's four words that might come in handy as the motto of the 2012 Celtics, never mind the Red Sox and Bruins. Our motto for the 2012 Patriots: "Just add Stickum and defense."

If the Celtics don't advance to Miami, it will be because they were outworked, outhustled and outfought by the younger, faster and stronger Sixers. And, dare say, even outcoached. During each win in this series, we've been told the Celtics fought with the tenacity of Rocky Balboa, the toughness of Junior Dos Santos and the skill of "Captain America." With each loss, they're the Peter McNeeley to Philly's Mike Tyson.

Doug Collins has done a masterful job with his virtually talentless team. My praise of Doc has been well documented, but I'm not sure even he could have gotten any more out of Philly's roster than Collins. The Sixers aren't much better on paper than the pre-Big-Three Celtics. While Paul "They would have swept them if he was healthy" Pierce hit all 13 of his free throw attempts, the fact that he went to the line so many times was vindication of Philly's "Hack A Pierce" strategy. All those fouls gummed up Boston's offense in Game 6 and seemed to zap any energy the team had. The slower the game moved, the slower the Celtics followed.

The Celtics' bench in this series has been a hologram of its former self. Allen needed jumper cables to get going and he didn't do much better starting, scoring just nine points in 26 minutes. At least that was an improvement over Game 2 (25 minutes, three points), Game 3 (31 minutes, five points) and Game 4 (33 minutes, five points). Mickael Pietrus led the Celtic bench in Game 6 scoring with five points in 35 minutes. The rest of the Celtics bench scored zero points in 26 minutes.

That's just more proof of Philly's thug-it-up, slow-it-down game-plan paying off. The Sixers are on the verge of becoming the Washington Capitals of Celtic Nation.

Things should improve in Game 7. The Celtics certainly can't get any worse offensively. Everything points to the Celtics "rising to the occasion" at a raucous TD Garden. Grit and all that. There should be no Game 7 necessary.

All we need now is another "guarantee." This team was the same situation just three years ago and lost to the Orlando Magic. And no one Celtics was making any excuses after that loss even though the Magic had Dwight Howard and the Celtics were without the injured Garnett, who watched the series in high-end street clothes from the Boston bench. "We still felt like this was a team that could have gone to the championship and won it, regardless of the injuries," Pierce said at the time. "It felt like we ran out of gas."

One good omen, Pietrus scored 17 points in that game for the winning team.

So the Celtics should win Saturday, right?

But, no matter what happens, we'll have a good excuse.

As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail them to me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @realOBF. Thanks for reading. Pass the clicker.

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Obnoxious Boston Fan offers a fun, unique and biting perspective on the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and whatever else people are talking about in the world of sports. We More »
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