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News » Champs get back to work


Champs get back to work


Champs get back to work
A little over a week ago, when the Celtics traveled to Los Angeles for their much plugged Christmas showdown against the Lakers, it was understood by everyone in Boston that the Green's ever-expanding winning streak was about to face a crucial test.

So the Celtics lost to the Lakers, and the winning streak, stopped at 19, was placed on the mantelpiece like a pair of bronzed baby shoes.

What nobody could have predicted was that the Celtics' problems out west would not be limited to the Staples Center. Imagine our surprise, then, when the Celtics limped home after having also lost to the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors.

Thank heavens for the gimme against Sacramento, or else the Celtics would have returned home with a West Coast o-fer. Then again, wasn't Golden State supposed to be a gimme?

But here's the point: Nobody panicked. There were no cries that a trade needs to be made - now! - and there were no Internet polls asking whether Doc Rivers should lose his license to practice the coaching of Basketball.

It isn't complicated. Everyone trusts the Celtics. So much outstanding Basketball has been played the last two seasons, so much hustle, so much attention to detail, that Celts fans don't sweat the small stuff.

What's that?

The Celtics lost 3-of-4 on the coast?

So what?

Returning home to TD Banknorth Garden last night, the Celtics steamrolled the Washington Wizards, emerging with a 108-83 victory that wasn't even that close.

``Good game for us, guys,'' said Rivers, getting right to the point. ``We needed that.''

Paul Pierce, his game spot-on perfect, scored 26 points in just 26 minutes. Kevin Garnett played a little over 25 minutes, Ray Allen a little more than 30. And you got to see a lot of Gabe Pruitt, Brian Scalabrine and Patrick O'Bryant.

It was an easy victory, sure, but know this: Even if YOU might not have slammed a hand down on the table as the Celtics sputtered on the West Coast since you, you know, have all this trust, you'll be happy to know that the players were the ones slamming a hand down on the table.

Figuratively, of course.

``It always leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you have a type of road trip like that, and knowing we're going to be spending a large amount of time this month on the road,'' said Pierce. ``It's good to get back home and get a taste of some winning before we go back on the road.''

So there. You don't have to endure that bad taste in your mouth because the Celtics took care of that for you.

``Man, if you don't have a bad taste from THAT, then I don't think you're competitive, and you're not a winner,'' offered guard Eddie House. ``We all felt bad. We had a long plane ride home after that loss to Portland. We had a lot of things to think about.''

What they have to think about it is claiming homecourt advantage for the postseason. As Pierce put it, ``This is where we play well. This is where we're comfortable. Homecourt was very valuable to us last year on our run.''

Said Garnett: ``We want to keep up the standards, obviously. We want to establish homecourt for the playoffs, but the focus night in and night out is that game and what we have to do that night. We want the homecourt. That's obvious.''

Last night's date with the Wizards, then, was a game of affirmation for the Celtics. They needed to get home, push somebody around, claim an easy victory, and then go from there.

As for you, you can just relax. Worry not about the Celtics.

With that bad taste in their mouths as they jetted home from Portland the other night, they are doing the worrying for you.

- sbuckley@bostonherald.com


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 3, 2009

 

 
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