Not So Meaningless

The final game of the Celtics regular season wasn’t supposed to mean much, but a hyped up crowd (and team) created a near-playoff atmosphere that boosted the C’s to their 66th win (by way of the New Jersey Nets).

Fan appreciation night began with brief speech from Paul Pierce thanking the fans for their support all season long, but as has become the theme with this team, the record means nothing, only winning a championship will do.

A fellow media member remarked to me during the game that just like last year, the final game of the season means nothing, and yet, this game meant EVERYTHING, especially to the fans, unlike last year’s finale when everyone really just wanted to go home.

The Big Three played only around 15 minutes a piece, leaving the game in the hands of the second teamers. Leon Powe continued to shine, racking up 27 points and 10 rebounds. He has turned out to be a hidden gem, a young Kurt Thomas in my opinion, always in the right place at the right time to get a big putback, grab a rebound, or take a charge. He’s a tireless worker on and off the court, and it has really shown in the second half of the season.

Between Powe’s play and some 3-pointers by Brian Scalabrine that sent the crowd into a frenzy, the Celtics reserves ensured that it would be Gino Time at the final regular season game. We noticed Kevin Garnett losing it when CelticVision showed a young man who looked suspiciously like Gino doing his thing in the upper deck.

After the game, the talk was about getting back to work and getting ready for the playoffs. There will be no time off, as the Celtics will get right back to practice in the morning. Both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett promised the team would not take Atlanta lightly. It’s hard to envision anything but a dominating sweep and a potential second round matchup with King James and the Cavs (should they get past Washington, who the Celtics, 1-3 against the Wizards, might want to avoid).

-SI

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