Less than an hour ago, the Boston Celtics won one of the most intriguing and confusing NBA playoff games I can remember. I mean, what should we take from this game? Should we be alarmed and killing the C's for nearly blowing a 17 point lead at home? Or, should we be marveling at the collective team effort that resulted in another victory in a "must win" game (that's six and counting)? I think the answer is clear. While the C's certainly had....well....let's call them issues in nearly blowing that 17 point lead, I believe that this was the first playoff game that proves this team can actually win the NBA Championship.
First and foremost, we have confirmation that Ray Allen is still alive (29 points, 9-15 shooting, and 5-6 from 3 point land). We also have further confirmation that Paul Pierce is one of the best all around and unselfish players in the Association. In addition to his 16 points and 6 assists, Pierce once again sacrificed much of his offensive game to exert his energy on the defensive end of the floor and lock down Tayshaun Pierce (8 pts. on only 3-7 shooting). From the start of this series, the Celtics have counted on Pierce to go man to man with Prince, a notorious playoff killer, and he has responded by holding Prince to 33% shooting in the first five games, and he rendered him an absolute non-factor in Game 5. And, finally, we have confirmation that TIBT ("The Insane Big Ticket") can put together a massive performance when it matters the most (33 pts., 7 boards, and the 2 biggest free throws of his life). Oh, and by the way, in case you didn't notice, Kendrick Perkins just became the X factor. If you put up 18 points and 16 boards in the conference finals, you are officially a factor. And, if you happen to be on a team with three future hall of famers (yes, I'm sticking by that argument), you are an X factor. At least, I think that's how you define "X factor".
After a month of less than stellar play, I am finally sold on the Celtics as a potential NBA Champion. I'm by no means guaranteeing they are going to win the Title. Hell, I'm not even guaranteeing that they will win this series. All I am saying is that I finally believe they are actually capable of winning it all. As I sat in section 117 of Philips Arena on the first Friday of May for Game 6 of Round 1, I never saw this day coming.
So, it's clear I'm a believer. The real question is whether the WAD Nation finally believes in the Celtics? Let the debate begin....