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NBA: The Celtics are on a roll…     Share

19 May 2010

The Boston Celtics are a storied franchise in the NBA.  Along with the Los Angeles Lakers, they are akin to the New York Yankees in baseball in terms of championship prowess.  Boston has won 17 NBA championships, but critics like to point out that the team is (allegedly) too old to compete this year.   Several of their star players have been in the league for over 10 years.

Despite their advancing age, the Celtics appear to be the hot team in this year’s NBA playoffs.  After beating Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers soundly in their last series, they took a 2-0 series lead (the team that wins 4 out of 7 games wins the series) against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.  Orlando throttled the Atlanta Hawks in their previous playoff series, winning each game by an average of 18 points which is a pretty good whipping in professional basketball.  The Magic can’t seem to get it together against the Celtics, however, who are on a roll.  While the Magic had won 14 straight games coming into the series with the Celtics, Tuesday night’s 95-92 win puts the Celtics in the driver’s seat for the series. 

One liner: “It is strange to be rooting for the Celtics as an underdog, but the way they are playing, it’s hard to think of them that way now.”  (The Celtics were not expected by the “experts” to do much in the playoffs this year, therefore even though they are a storied franchise, they were essentially an underdog to win this year’s championship).

Send comments to: Leroy@notasportsguy.com

The Basics

The NBA is divided into two Conferences, the Eastern and West conference.  Each conference has eight (8) teams vying for their respective championship in a best of seven series playoff.  The winners of the Conference finals meet in the NBA finals in June.   Much like baseball, no one really cares about the regular season unless it involves some traditional rivals (Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics is the current gold standard).

Terminology:

Conference: A group of teams, usually geographically associated.  In the case of the NBA, there are the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Triple Double: When a player achieves double digits in three of five statistical categories (points, assists, rebounds, blocked shots, and steals).  For example a player with, 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in a single game would have attained triple double.

Rebound: After an attempted shot that does not go in the basket, the act of retrieving the ball after the miss is called rebounding.  The player that retrieves the ball gets a rebound in that statistic column.

Assist: When a player gives the basketball to another player who then immediately scores.

Fast break:  a play in basketball in which a team moves quickly down the court in an attempt to score before the opposing defense can get set up