Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 10,1992...please meet May 9, 2010

I had hoped to be writing this column after a Celtic victory on Friday night against the Cavs. But the Fighting LeBrons played to their capablities and did what they should be doing the Celtics all along.

But nevertheless, this is still a relevant issue. The similarities between the 1992 Celtics-Cavs Eastern Conference Semi-Finals and this years edition are stikingly similar. The only difference is who is currently winning this series.

Little did we know, or maybe I was to dumb and young to recognize that the end of the the original Big 3 of Larry Bird, Kevin Mchale and Robert Parrish was coming to an end. The same scenario is playing out now for the Celtics with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. This is the last stand for the 2nd edition of the Big 3.

The '92 Celtics limped through the regular season with numerous injuries to Bird and company, but they finished the season strong and wiped out the Pacers without Larry Legend in a 3-0 sweep. The 2010 Celtics limped through the regular season, but wiped Miami off the floor in impressive fashion to advance and face Cleveland.

The '92 Cavs were suppose to be on the verge becoming a great team to challenge the Bulls, with the likes of Mark Price, Larry Nance and Brad Daugherty. They won a first round series over the Nets 3-1 and had home court advantage agianst the Celtics. The 2010 Cavs are suppose to be on the verge of greatness, defeated the Bulls 4-1 and now have the older, slower former champion Celtics on the ropes.

Each of these series went to a 2-1 stage with a pivotal game 4 looming. The Celtics of '92 snuck to a 2-1 lead and faced Cleveland with Game 4 looming at home, on a Sunday May 9, 1992. This became the big 3's last stand. Boston never could take control of the game or series. Larry Bird, who had not played to this point, returned to a hero's welcome at a raucus Boston Garden, but the Celtics never siezed on that frenzy and lost a 114-112 decsion. Cleveland responded by winning Game 5 at home, Boston returned the favor in Game 6 setting up a Game 7 back in Cleveland that the Cavs won handidly.

So here we are 18 years later, I'm still Young and dumb, much older and heavier, but the Big 3 is making its final stand almost exactly to the day Bird and company did. At some point in every series, one team realizes its better then the other. That moment happened in the first quarter of game 3. Now can Boston somehow muster up another performance to extend this thing or will they wilt under the pressure. I picked Cleveland to win this in 5 and unfortunately, I see no reason to change that prediction, hope I'm wrong but here is hoping Pierce, Garnett and Allen bring it tomorow and give me another week of meaningful basketball.

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