The Quest For 18!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Boston Celtics don’t have to search hard for motivation this season.

They came into training camp with all that they needed.

Pop on the tape (if that’s even an appropriate phrase anymore) from Game 7 of the NBA Finals and it’s staring them in the face.

They were minutes away from securing their second title in three years and No. 18 for the franchise.

It never happened, of course, the Lakers stormed back in the fourth quarter to win their second straight title, denying the Celtics the joy of winning No. 18 on the Lakers’ floor.

But that loss set off a chain of events that has energized the Celtics at the start of the season in ways we haven’t seen since the original Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen was formed in the summer of 2007.

There’s no guarantee things work out this year, or any year for that matter. A motivated team stocked with veterans eager to add to their own legacies, however, is always a great place to start.

Click here to check out NBA.com’s Celtics season preview as well as previews of all 30 teams.

And if you don’t think it all starts with that Game 7 loss just listen to them talk about it, as Allen did in the video above or Pierce did to WEEI radio in Boston:

How long does it take a competitive person like you to get over a seventh-game loss in the NBA (finals)? A week? A month? Ever?

“I still haven’t gotten over it. It’s tough. Because you envision back, and say, ‘if we could have done this different, that different in the game, it would have been a different outcome.’ So, it’s hard. You think about the what ifs and all of that. I don’t think you ever forget it.”

What’s the process? Do you go in your bedroom for a couple of days and sleep, and then don’t shave for a while, or don’t bathe, and then finally come out of the shell?

“I didn’t talk to people for a long time. I didn’t watch any basketball for a long time. I sort of kind of did go into a shell. I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t even want to go out and eat for a while, because you just felt that bad about the loss. But then as I got back into the gym and working out, I just used it for motivation and just sort of loosened up from there.”

Did you feel like last season was the final run this team was going to have? And are you surprised to look around and see the same crew back together, indeed with more big, old guys like Shaq and Jermaine O’Neal?

“No, I wasn’t surprised at the run. We struggled a bit during the regular season at home. When I looked at our team from the beginning, I told people that we were more built for the playoffs than the regular season, because we didn’t have the up-and-down athletes, high-flyers that a lot of teams in the NBA have that can beat you in one game, on any given night. When you have to break down a team and really scout them and put us in the playoffs, then I knew that we could be successful. As far as our team this year, I’m glad that we had a chance to pick up the guys that we did and just kind of reload. Just seeing these guys back for another year, Ray (Allen), getting him back was huge, Kevin (Garnett) getting healthy, and adding Shaq and Jermaine was huge for us.”

I can’t remember the last time I saw a team use the agony of defeat as well as the Celtics have to reconstitute themselves and spur their quest for 18.

This is the sort of knock-me-down-I’m-getting-back-up psychology that was used routinely in the 1980s and even the 1990s, when the Lakers and Celtics battled regularly in the NBA Finals and the Eastern Conference champion always faced a gauntlet to get to the top (Boston ceded the throne to upstarts in Detroit who ultimately were dethroned by Chicago).

It probably seems extreme to some people for the Celtics to carry on the way they have about that Game 7 loss. But not here at the hideout.

We love it.

There’s no motivation as pure or pungent as vengeance. It’s worked for centuries.

Empires have risen and fallen on less.

14 Comments

  1. M. Jones says:

    I agree that the Lakers won fair and square. I just think that if Boston had Kendrick Perkins in Game 7, the Lakers wouldn’t have got as many offensive rebounds leading to second chance points and Boston probably would’ve won.

  2. Shur4T says:

    Boston Celtics is legend, I’m sure we will win this season.

  3. Edzequiel says:

    Forget everything. There’s always a lose to a team that losses somebody on their line ups.

  4. Johnny Miranda says:

    to the celtic fans, how about game 2 of the 2008 finals? the celtics have 38 free throw attempts (10/13 by leon powe) and the lakers ONLY 10 for the entire game. tim donaughy led the way of fixing the game as the celtics won that game 108-102. if that game was a fair game, lakers could’ve won and there could have been a game 7 of that year.

    also in game 2 of the 2010 finals, the refs made horrible calls especially in the 4th qtr to upset the laker fans in LA. for example, at 1:59 where the ref uses the “new review rule” where KG was the one who touch the ball last going out of bounds, but it was off pau gasol.

    Also, Phil Jackson quoted:
    “I don’t know if we would’ve won this game without these fans – thank you!”

  5. RUBEN says:

    you guys sound so stupid.Lakers had more heart.KG was awful/out played,peirce was punked all series by Artest,Allen was a disapointment he was like 12 for 40 shooting threes..Lakers did a good job on Rondo..Lakers won fair and square.seriously guys you sound stupid.LAKERS wcf MIAMI WILL FALL TO THE CELTICS……..LAKERS VS CELTICS LAKERS 2011 CHAMPS FOR ANOTHER 3 PEAT…KOBE TIES MJ FOR RINGS…SOON KOBE WILL PASS MJ IN LEGASY..HE RETIRES..THEN MY MAN KEVIN DURANT WILL MAKE HIS,,

  6. Airness says:

    I was rooting for the Celtics during the last NBA final but they did not deliver. No matter what the excuse was they failed themselves. I was a little bit disappointed because the 3 stars of Boston had some games off during that important part of the season, the postseason. That’s why Kobe won again because they (KG, Paul, Allen) did not have consistency. I remember Allen was making a record, was that game 2? I lost interest to remember. Then he had a game off after. And also to KG and Paul, they don’t have the character of Kobe honestly. That was the difference perhaps. Regarding skills or abilities all of them may equal. But about character, I go for Kobe the nearest to MJ.

    • Law064 says:

      Yes Celtics are the true champs the ref’s called over 20 fouls on Boston in the 4th quarter, Boston only took like 17 for the game. Game 7 was the biggest fix in history. Boston wil make another run this year Miami still need a bench. KG is at full force this season and Boston have added 2 more bigs. The Celtics true 2010 champs the LA Lakers were given a ring and trophy they didn’t earn a game 7 win, the ref’s decided who won.

      • Tom says:

        IDK Y but the losing team alway come with the biggest excuse like in 08 laker lost they said cuz LA dont have bynum and ariza, and now in 2010 celtic lost more excuse come cuz we dont have berkin or the reff call the Laker favor
        dude shut up and deal with it if you dont like the game cuz you dont like ur team lose then go what some thing else. so stop with ur stupid excuse and enjoy the dam game

  7. soannoyed says:

    The Celtics are the real champs. The reffing was horrible, especially in game 3, and the Lakers got a lot of Laker calls in game 7.

    • Airness says:

      With your comment, I was remembering the 1998 NBA finals Bulls vs. Jazz. I’m a diehard MJ fan then. It was game 6 and the Bulls was taking advantage of ref’s call. They received 2 favored calls from the refs, intentionally or unintentionally I’m not sure. That was really off and should be the calls in favor for the Jazz. That was unfortunate and it happens anytime or to any game, postseason or not. But MJ finished it in a fashion way. Then, that missed calls became irrelevant. Sorry to the Jazz fans of that era. To connect to the Lakers-Celtics series last finals, if it did happen there were plenty of missed calls that was unfortunate. For sure Celtics enjoyed the same in some of the games throughout their history. Missed calls were part of basketball the moment it was born, and so is to other sports. Feeling sorry for that cannot undo what happened. The trophy was awarded. And for sure, the Lakers finished it also in their own fashion way. Fisher made a kill shot, that was grand. May not as grand as what MJ did but it did produce trophy. Winners never quit, perhaps the Celtics may learn not to quit to become consistent winner.

    • ALFONSO CORRAL says:

      quit complaning man the celtics just as much or more calls in their favor