There’s Life After Celtics Basketball
The Celtics season has come to a close thanks (again) to LeBron James and the Cavaliers, so who do we watch now?
The Boston Celtics' season had come to a close Sunday afternoon when LeBron James' Cavaliers completed the four game sweep in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The 101-93 game seemed less like a competitive basketball game and more like Westlemania when the bad blood between the two teams came into the light. Two players, Kevin Love and Jae Crowder left the game due to injuries while J.R. Smith of the Cavs was ejected from the game. It seemed like our pesky Green Team finally caught up to the Eastern Conference favorite Cavaliers but with injuries and suspensions coming into play it seems like their chances of willing it all have been dramatically lowered.
With the home team out officially out of the playoffs basketball fans like myself now have to send our support to a new team in hopes that they will break through. With first round playoff games still going on there's still time to test the waters and see which of the remaining teams matches your basketball personality. Do you like a slow tempo, fundamental game? Maybe you should check out the San Antonio Spurs take on the LA Clippers. Their series is tied 2-2 in what is considered the best first round playoff series to date, many reporters foresaw both of these teams making deep playoff runs.
How do you feel about an energetic three-point shooting team from the West? The Golden State Warriors have been making headlines all year long due to their "Splash Brothers", Klay Thompson and potential league MVP Steph Curry. The Warriors have the first overall seed in the playoffs and have completed their first round sweep of Anthony Davis' New Orleans Pelicans. This is a fun team to watch, mainly because of the play of Curry, making professional ball players look like kids on the pick-up courts. For example, check out what he did to Clipper's All-Star guard Chris Paul just under a month ago.
If Curry isn't your choice of league MVP then you must have been watching a lot of Houston Rockets games. Their head honcho is The Beard himself, James Harden. Harden is your more modern day player, a high flyer who isn't afraid to drive to the basket and take on your big man one-on-one. Harden has been playing phenomenally ever since he was traded off of Oklahoma City's roster before the 2012 season. Watching Harden "cook up" his defenders, like this play against Timberwolves' guard Ricky Rubio, has landed his team the second seed in the Western Conference. Houston will play game five of their seven game series against the Dallas Mavericks, Houston is ahead three games to one.
If you're like me, however, you're missing the Celtic days of recent past. With Kevin Garnett's best days far behind him and with Ray Allen no longer in the league, our eyes should be focused on Washington DC. The Wizards are slowly becoming Boston's second favorite team, due mostly to the rejuvenation of Paul Pierce. Pierce's team completed a four game sweep of the Toronto Raptors, much to the chagrin of Raptors fans. Pierce adds veteran presence to a team anchored by the play of their All Star guard John Wall. Wall, with his ability to both drive into the lane and knock down open shots will seem like an upgrade to former Celtic guard Rajon Rondo. The Wizards will most likely be facing the first seed in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks.
The remaining playoff teams exhibit many different styles of play that weren't seen this year with the home town team. The whole year just reinforced the idea that the Celtics team is a star or two away from being a big time contender. With notable free agents like Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs, Jimmy Butler of the Bulls, and LaMarcus Aldridge of the Trail Blazers still in the playoffs it could be time to still get your first glimpse of Boston's future. The NBA still has a lot to offer for viewers, and if you pick the right team to follow you may see some spectacular games from the leagues superstars. But as the true Boston fan I am, I advise you to stay away from LeBron's team.