BOSTON (CBS) – Forget about the holiday season, THIS is the most wonderful time of the year.
The Bruins and Celtics engaged in their respective Conference Semi-Final battles. The Red Sox emerging from their early woes and showing signs that this could be the magical year most predicted it would be.
It’s all good.
But, like the New England weather, that can change in a heartbeat. The Celtics, who looked poised to hang championship banner number-18 through the first four-and-a-half months of the season, have looked confused for the past three months. Many have cited the trade that sent center Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City as the turning point that resulted in Gang Green going from top seed in the Eastern Conference to the three seed.
However, Perkins was not available to the team while it was building the best record in the East. He was rehabbing a knee that was reconstructed in the off-season. No, the problem the Celtics faced, and to a great degree still face, is a newly assembled second unit that is nowhere near as efficient or effective as the one that was blown up.
No more Tony Allen. No more Marquis Daniels. No more Nate Robinson. No more Glen Davis.
What’s that? Davis is still a Celtic? Oh, right. He just plays like he’s somewhere else.
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If Doc Rivers’ second unit can’t hold or, heaven forbid, build a lead then the Celtics can stockpile those “It’s all about 18” promos and use them next year, too because the only thing they will be hanging this year is their collective head.
As for the Bruins, so far so good. Any season that includes beating the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs makes it a good season. But the Bruins want better than good. The Bruins want to avenge last year’s collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers when they raced out to a 3-games-to-none lead before losing four straight.
They are off to a solid start. Again. Now they need to hold serve at home in the Garden and finish off the Flyers for an all-expenses paid trip to the Conference Finals.
And with the Red Sox, there is still a long way to go before the 2011 season comes into focus.Yes, the team still occupies the basement of the A.L. East and for a few weeks it looked like the Red Sox season was going to end before the B’s and C’s did.
But, as Gene Wilder said in Young Frankenstein, “Alive…it’s alive. It’s ALIVE!”