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Dan Shaughnessy

At the Bank, it's locked up (maybe)

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Dan Shaughnessy
Globe Columnist / June 17, 2008

Tonight is the night. Bring your green foam fingers to Causeway Street. Banner No. 17 will be won on June 17.

It's as certain as Big Brown in the Belmont.

Give the Lakers credit. They could have rolled over like dogs. They could have folded their designer tents, lost Game 5 at home, and spared themselves a cross-country trip. Instead, they stood tall in their own building, and their reward is the ultimate beat-down they'll suffer in the New Garden tonight.

It's a sure thing.

Like the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Some Celtics fans are happy about Sunday's Game 5 loss. This way, the local legions get to see the Celtics win at home. No Boston team has won a championship in the Hub since Larry Bird and Friends beat the Houston Rockets at the Old Garden in 1986. The Red Sox won World Series in Central and Mountain time zones. The Patriots won Super Bowls in New Orleans, Houston, and Jacksonville. Winning in front of the hometown fans is much more fun.

And it should be a cinch.

Like Mike Tyson over Buster Douglas in Tokyo.

I'm thinking Paul Pierce wins the Finals MVP award. He has emerged as the best of the New Three in this final round. By a long shot. All year long we argued about who would get the ball at the end of a close game. Now we know. Pierce is the go-to guy when it counts. Following the large footprints of Cedric Maxwell, Pierce tonight says "hop on my back, boys" and brings Boston a championship.

It's a slam-dunk.

Like the Rams in XXXVI.

Phil Jackson isn't going to pass Red Auerbach. Red hated Phil, and if he were still alive, it would kill him to see Jackson win a 10th ring on the Red Auerbach court. But it isn't going to happen. The Celtics are going to beat the Lakers in Game 6 tonight.

It's inevitable.

Like Roger Clemens making Cooperstown on the first ballot.

It feels as if the NBA playoffs started when the Red Sox were still in Fort Myers (it was actually April 20). Tonight's finale will be a record-setting 26th postseason game for the Green. Seven against Atlanta, seven against Cleveland, six against Detroit, and six against LA. Boston, Massachusetts - not New York, New York - is the city that doesn't sleep. But it ends tonight. We can all get some rest.

I haven't been as certain about anything since the Red Army skaters played Team USA in Lake Placid in 1980.

All the numbers favor Boston. The Celtics never have lost a series in which they led, 3-1. No NBA team has recovered from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. The Celtics are 12-1 at home in these playoffs. "This is what we played for all year," says coach Doc Rivers. And tonight is the reward for those 66 regular-season wins.

It's a lock.

Like the 2004 Yankees after they beat the Red Sox, 19-8, to take a 3-0 lead in the ALCS.

Danny Ainge is going to be worshipped like Theo Epstein and Scott Pioli. P.J Brown is going to win a ring after 15 years in the league. James Posey is going to be remembered the way Rodney Harrison and Dave Roberts are remembered. Tom Thibodeau is going to do for Rivers what Bill Belichick did for Bill Parcells. Wyc Grousbeck is going to be as popular as Bob Kraft and John Henry. Sean Grande is going to sell key chains with audio of his game-winning call. The Farrelly brothers are going to make a movie called "Basketball Jones Diary." There's going to be a parade, and Mayor Menino is going to tell the Celtics to "mount your ducks."

Bank on it.

It's as good as Pedro on the hill with a 5-2 lead and one out in the eighth.

The Larry O'Brien Trophy is in the house. David Stern is on hand to present the gaudy gold bucket-and-ball to the Boston Celtics for the first time in 22 years. The Celtics have come too far to blow this thing now, and that's why it ends tonight.

Or else we panic.

Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at dshaughnessy@globe.com.

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