BOSTON (CBS) – So the Celtics didn’t win Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night.
But I’m going to go out on a limb and become most likely the only person in America to pick the Celts to win this series with the defending world champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Before you mark me down as crazy, please understand how I’m defining the word “win.”
This is a good Celtics team, but they are not going to beat the Cavaliers four games out of seven. The Cavs are healthy, loaded with talent, and led by LeBron James, who has repeatedly proven he can dominate any given game when he needs to.
However, the Celtics don’t have to win four to emerge from the series as winners.
They can win by not giving up, a hallmark of their team all year.
I didn’t see every game, but the two teams Cleveland swept on their way to this round appeared to panic whenever the Cavs started to take control. By refusing to do so, by competing hard every minute, the Celtics can cement their reputation as a team with top-tier attitude and character, two essential elements going forward.
Boston can win this series by pushing Cleveland hard, forcing them to adjust, creating a chance to win in at least one or two games.
Along the way, they can win by learning from the champs what it takes to be a champion, absorbing the lessons they teach us and perhaps next year, returning the favor.
“Winning” can mean different things, on the court or in life.
And I’m picking the Celtics to come out of this winners.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: