Watched the Cs lose their 5th straight road playoff game. The formula was the same: the starters played well, the bench was mediocre, and then they couldn't score in the 4th quarter.
Barkley and Magic talked about this on the post-game show. Where a lot of the media attention in the Hawks series was on the Cs' defense, the real story, imho, is how clunky their offense is. Barkley and Magic pointed out that the Cs cannot get easy baskets in a half-court offense. This is exactly the problem. Down the stretch in close games, they are throwing up absurd 3-pointers. That's a sure path to losing.
Hmm...who does this remind me of? Oh, right! The Hoyas! The Hoyas have always (well, most of the the time) been a great defensive team, but aside from Iverson, they've always had trouble scoring consistently against good teams. Like this version of the Celtics, they are in great shape when they pound weaker teams, but I don't trust them in close games.
Having said all of that, the media attention poured on the Celtics is really excessive. There are 4 conference semifinals going on. In the first 16 games, the home teams have gone 15-1. And yet the coverage would make you think that the Celtics are uniquely doomed, even though their regular season record has given them home court advantage as long as they stay in.
When asked point-blank whether the Celtics needed to win a road game to win the title, Barkley said point-blank 'no'. And then gave his "boy is that question stupid" look. I like Barkley as a commentator. He doesn't bother to buy into the idiotic narratives that the media create to kill time. Aka Shaughnessy hype.
Part of the problem right now is that this Celtic team appears to listen to the media noise. I miss the days of Bird, who never gave a rat's ass what anybody else thought.
I'm not convinced this team will win, but I am also not convinced they will lose. They are surely a better team than Cleveland. But right now I think the Lakers and Hornets are playing much better.