Celtics meandering toward final thud

In this damnable, darkening hour of the 2023 Celtics’ playoff stagger, is time to accentuate the positive.

The C’s have a heartbeat.

It’d be a beautiful thing if it was Jayson Tatum’ heart, but let’s not waste time thinking of what might be. Let us be thankful for what the Celtics have.

Grant Williams found his way into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, an achievement in itself after drifting into the far end of the Boston bench.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Williams drilled a 3-pointer, giving the Celtics a nine-point lead. For a second or two, cockeyed optimists could harbor the thought that the Celtics could put away Miami, tie the series at 1-1, and head to Miami secure in the knowledge that they really are the better team.

Perhaps caught up in that fleeting bliss, Williams whispered some sweet trash talk to Jimmy Butler, the man who stands poised to carry the Heat into the NBA Finals. Butler responded with a two-pointer in the paint, drawing a foul by Williams. Before hitting the free throw, Butler found Williams ready for a nose-to-nose slice of gamesmanship.

The crowd roared, relishing the moment. Maybe Williams will carry the Celtics down the stretch, leaving Butler and his mates in his dust.

Incredibly, nothing appeared in the scroll at the bottom of the TV screen posting the odds of which man would absorb the spark and take over the ball game. DraftKings usually wastes no time when such opportunities arise.

Williams might have been the people’s choice.

Alas, Butler has superior basketball abilities.

That nine-point lead evaporated in Miami’s 24-9 run. When it was over, the evening’s instant message put out by the gaggle of experts who tell us what we should be thinking:

Williams poked the bear.

Anyone with any sense at all knows better than to poke the bear, especially when the bear has Butler’s power to make that poking look very silly.

At any rate, one more Celtic meltdown leaves them in a 0-2 hole. Starting Sunday night in Game 3, the Celtics will try to win four out of their next five games to reach the NBA Finals.

When they finally eliminated Philadelphia in Game 7 six days ago, the Celtics looked as though they could make an unfettered march to Banner 18. Thanks to the outcomes of the playoff series surrounding them, the path looked wide and sparkling.

Now their most talented players need to find jumper cables to maintain a pulse.

You May Have Missed…

Welcome back, Kyrie

Celtics sweep their way into NBA Finals Sweeps are the pedestals on which great teams reside. Sending stunned foes home for the summer by dismissing them in four games is what separates awe-inspiring NBA teams ...

Make that 3-0

Celtics slap down Pacers - and doubters All those Hoosiers, resplendent in their yellow t-shirts and giddy with hope, must have been wholly stunned when their Little Team that Might ultimately couldn’t. The ghosts of ...

Fresh Content Direct to Your Inbox