(Mark January 24th on your calendar. The Knicks come to Boston.)
One week ago, I had resigned to myself that I was seeing the twilight of my favorite Celtic's career coming to an end(Pierce and his teammates looked a step slow). While it wouldn't have been fulfilling, I would have watched him spend his last few years on okay teams and let him stabilize himself amongst Celtics lore. Boston was resigning itself to saying a third year point guard who really hasn't proven himself over a long period of time would change the culture.(Bradley is great, but he isn't an all-star. Yet.) The team that once was known for it's defense, was getting exposed all over the floor. Those sexy signings? Lee and Terry were the girlfriends even less attractive friends. The future of our franchise was starting to make Demarcus Cousins look like a choir boy. Our future center? Well, he got a concussion by walking into the door.
Now, one week later, after a blowout win over Indiana, a big time comeback in Atlanta, and then a HUGE HUGE win, without their best player, on the road, when they trailed by 10 in the first, I am officially a believer again. This was a playoff atmosphere. This was only New York's 4th loss at home. This got you back to .500. And this was WITHOUT RONDO.
We try very hard not to be homerish at the pick and pop. And we'll call ourselves out when we are(this is me calling myself out.) But after a blowout win over a younger Indiana team, a 33-9 third quarter against a quicker Hawks team in Atlanta, and then beating the Knicks in MSG, where you forced Carmelo to forget everything that has put him in the MVP conversation(Carmelo was 4-12 from three, 2-10 in the fourth quarter, 6-25 for the game), the Celtics are back. Carmelo tried to beat the Celtics, the Celtics looked the beat the Knicks. They might not be back fully, they might not win a championship, but they are back.
Boston, you might want to answer that phone. The Celtics are ready to take you out to coffee, tell you they are a new person, and that they are ready to give you everything you both wanted.