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GAMBLING AGAINST GREATNESS: CELTICS ATTEMPT TO STAVE OFF ELMINATION

@TheWillBaldwin

Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics

Line: Boston -3

Pick: Celtics -3

The Boston Celtics have to lead the NBA playoffs in the worst stat possible: games they’ve lost they definitely shouldn’t of.

At worst two of the three Toronto wins were right there for the Celtics and now in this series against Miami, you can make a case Boston should’ve won every game. The problem is, they make so many dumb, stupid, little mistakes that you just can’t make in an NBA playoff game.

They’re confirming all the stereotypes you’ve ever had of the young and upcoming NBA team that feels a year away.

Against Miami, the second the Heat go into a zone it’s like the Celtics feel obligated to just hand them six straight turnovers at some point. Then there’s on defence where somehow they still haven’t figured out how to help on the Bam Adebayo pick and rolls yet. More frustrating for Celtics fans though is the fact Bam wasn’t even why they lost game four, that particular dumb loss was due to their inability to guard a rookie.

This Celtics team is right there in all these games and right when you think they might finally figure it out, their true self of these playoffs pops out and does something dumb.

They remind me of every single university aged boy living through their “young man syndrome” time of their life. Unlike girls, boys run through a six year stretch from 16 to about 22 where we all can’t get out of our own ways and do a bunch of really dumb stuff. The kind of dumb stuff you look back on and think damn, how the heck did I ever think that was a good idea or that was the right decision.

That’s where Boston is. In a couple years they’re going to look back and think why the heck did Jayson Tatum keep dribbling into people and turning it over in the zone or why did Marcus Smart still not know his pull up threes in the fourth are a bad idea.

All these little things veterans like Butler, Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala earned the answers to in their time in the league, Boston hasn’t done it yet.

Some will point to Kemba Walker as the guy should know but he this playoffs is proving how different playing in the playoffs are than playing on a garbage non-playoff team with no expectations. Every night you go against great players who learn your game and all your tricks and that’s really hard to figure out.

Walker, Tatum, Brown and Smart will get there eventually, they’re all far too intelligent and good not to. The problem is they just aren’t quite there yet, they’re still the young and inconsistent 16-22 year olds we all were.

That’s part of why I like them tonight though. A big part of the young man syndrome is that you’re super inconsistent. One night you’re acing a final exam and the next you’re getting denied entry at a club for showing up too drunk and embarrassing yourself.

Tonight the Celtics are going to show up, play well and tantalize their fans by being the perfect team. Then, they’re going to lose game six in some stupid way that leaves the whole fanbase livid (and creates an elite Bill Simmons rant on the next podcast).

It’ll be like how one night the guy takes his girlfriend to the best restaurant and they have the best date ever and the next day he forgets to show up for brunch because he made plans with the boys instead. It’s a complete roller coaster with the young man syndrome each and every day.

My pick is Celtics cover the -3 tonight, look great and have people talking for 48 hours about if they can comeback from down 3-1 before Miami puts a stake into their hearts in game six. You can see it coming a mile away, this team’s most endearing fact is the predictability of its inconsistency.

They intoxicate you with potential before ripping your heart out with disappointment. It’s the young man way.

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