What can you say?
I won't even go into where this team has come from, and where they are now. It's almost inconceivable. But it's been well documented. Just read the archives of the past few years of this blog.
Beautiful. (Globe Staff Photo / Stan Grossfeld)
No, this is about this current team, whose wire-to-wire dominance required a bit of tight-rope walking along the way, but ended without a second question about who the best team in the NBA is.
Who are the idiots who were worried about the outcome of this game, or this series?
Even the Best Player in the Universe (trademark, ABC Television) couldn't stop the collective will of the 17-time NBA champion Boston Celtics.
The C's fought for their right to party in the second quarter and didn't let up until the final horn sounded. The mind-boggling final score of 131-92 was irrelevant. This one was over at halftime (on a related note, I set an over/under of 40 for the game at half. Looks like the Lakers just squeaked that one out).
The celebration started early. It's been a long wait, so this one's going to go on for awhile. So raise your glasses and salute your men in Green.
Here's to Rajon Rondo, who played one of the best defensive games I've ever seen from a point guard in Game 6, who never let his confidence in his offense waver, even when it seemed foolish to even think about shooting. For fighting through an ankle injury to be the most active guy on the court when it was needed. For exceeding even the lofty expectations all year.
To Ray Allen, who overcame so much … an up-and-down season that included a scoreless game, a horrible start to the postseason where he couldn't hit an open 10-footer, numerous personal issues involving his mother and stepfather and more recently his son … and finishing it off with a Finals MVP runner-up performance punctuated by an NBA-tying record 7 three-pointers in the clincher. An amazing story even Steven Spielberg would be proud of.
To Paul Pierce, who has long been an NBA superstar before anyone gave him credit for it, who put up incredible performance after incredible performance on bad teams and only got noticed when he didn't come through or did something stupid. Getting the Finals MVP over The Best Player in the Universe (trademark, ABC) was an fitting punctuation on a fantastic ascension to the NBA elite.
To KG, who stepped up in the final game of the season to put any doubts to rest about his ability to come through in the clutch. The Dream Shake, the defense, the nothing-but-net 18-footers, the incalculable insanity on the court that intimidated opponents and infected teammates. It's been said before, but it can't be understated: he changed the culture of this team. Somewhere, A-Rod sits alone, weeping.
To Perk, who put up with a lot of doubters all year -- and his whole career for that matter -- to become an irreplaceable defensive force, always making the right decision on help defense and guarding the rim like his life depended on it. His transformation from borderline NBA starting center to an anchor on the best defensive team this league has seen in years was remarkable. And when he was needed most, dealing with what had to be a painful injury, he sucked it up and brought the same intensity to Game 6 to help the C's set the tone for a blowout close-out win.
To James Posey, who brought so many things to this team that you can't count on a stat sheet, For pretty much making the stat sheet irrelevant, even when he was stuffing it with three-pointers.
To Leon Powe, possibly the nicest guy ing the NBA, for working hard to be ready when his number was called, even after losing minutes to Brian Scalabrine and Glen Davis early in the season. For his great screens and even greater rolls. For his incredible Game 2 effort, without which the Celtics may not be celebrating right now.
To Eddie House, for doing much of the same as Leon… staying ready and coming through when called upon. For having the quickest release in the NBA, and for the cold-blooded threes he can rain in a heartbeat. For his much-improved defense through the season and playoffs. For his hilarious son on the sidelines.
To Big Baby, for throwing his bulk around on ballerina's feet, all while keeping his intensity as heavy as his girth and his personality as light as his toes. For letting the crowd know it's the fourth quarter and it's time to STAND UP!! For helping foster intense competition in practice for the back-up power forward minutes.
To Scal, for enduring years of booing and taunting -- to getting his name chanted in the NBA Finals, even while dressed in a suit. For waving a mean towel.
To P.J. Brown, for hitting maybe the biggest shot of the playoffs versus Cleveland, for picking up the slack in the middle whenever needed, for not backing down from any opponent big or small, for not being afraid to throw a forearm shiver when needed.
To Tony Allen, who had the toughest time returning from his knee injury -- who always seemed to almost be on the brink of breaking out of the mental slump -- for play meaningful minutes in a Game 5 loss that were not only unexpected, much needed at the time. For overcoming physical and mental obstacles to be able to help hoist a trophy.
To Scott Pollard, for bringing the comedy. He now has a ring to go around his planet.
To Gabe Pruitt, for that infectious smile, and the glimmer in his eye of future three-pointers raining down in the Garden.
To, yes, even Sam Cassell, who, despite not getting as much playing time as he probably anticipated after coming to the C's, didn't become a clubhouse cancer. And for hitting a few shots along the way. And especially for throwing Sasha Vujacic to the floor in Game 5 after fighting gor a loose ball.
To Doc Rivers, for ignoring all the doubters and going with his instincts, even when he was the only one with many of those instincts. For sticking to his guns and guiding what could have been a powered into a united force. For making these guys become champions.
To Danny, the owners, all the Celtics greats of yesteryear who were there for the ride, for Tommy who had to endure the embarrassment of sitting at the lottery last year as it all went down the tubes, for Gino dancing his dance long after his time had passed,
To Red, who probably had about 30,000 people lighting his cigar halfway through the fourth quarter. For beating Phil Jackson on Red Auerbach court … it doesn't get any better than that.
And, most of all, to you Celtics fans. To the fans who sat through all the disappointment but never gave up hope. To the fans who went to the Garden during an 18-game losing streak. To the fans who decided to come back after seeing how special this year's team was. To the fans who never much cared for basketball but now have the itch. To everyone in Green.
Enjoy it. It sure tastes sweet.