You know how you know if you care way too much about your sports teams like I do? It’s when you’re actively rooting hard for every game that has even a .0001% chance of significantly affecting your team.
That’s how I felt tonight as the Celtics faced off against the Suns. Around the NBA, there were 7 games that could affect the Celtics from a seeding or draft pick stand point, and there were only 9 games on the NBA’s Friday Night slate. The Celtics narrowly missed going 7 for 7 in these games, which would have been an awesome night… if anyone other than me noticed something as ridiculous as this.
First, we have the 2 most obvious games: The Celtics game and the Nets game. The C’s won easily against the Eric Bledsoe-less Phoenix Suns, who are almost as bad of a team right now as Robert Sarver is as an NBA owner. (MILLENNIALS SUCK!!!) The Nets faced off against Portland in Brooklyn, and this has been the kind of game that the Nets have been stealing ever since their horrible 0-7 start. Luckily, the Trail Blazers handled their business and pulled away in the 4th quarter.
Then, we have the games that only a maniac like me would care about. The Wizards mopped the floor with the Pacers, which is good because the Celtics are below the Pacers and above the Wizards in the standings. I’ll trust that the C’s stay ahead of the Wiz in the standings as long as Boston doesn’t revert to the horrible 7 game stretch that we just saw and as long as the Wizards don’t turn into that fearsome Paul Pierce-led team from last spring. It was better for the Pacers to lose that game simply because they’re higher in the standings right now, and also because the Wiz play the C’s tomorrow, so maybe they’ll be a little too cocky after a 14 point win on the road? Yes, I know I’m reaching. Told you I’m a maniac.
Next, the Bucks beat the Hawks in overtime, and this one is a little more clearly in favor of the Celtics. Milwaukee doesn’t have a realistic shot at catching Boston, but the Hawks and Celtics could duke it out for playoff seeding down the line. Thanks to the Greek Freak for posting the incredible stat line of 50 minutes, 28 points on 10-18 shooting, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Now, here’s the one that seems ridiculous but is actually a huge deal. The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Hornets by 2 thanks to future-Celtics-trade-deadline-acquisition Ryan Anderson’s 32 points off the bench. Why does this matter? It’s not because the Hornets are in the East and have an outside chance at being in a seeding battle with the C’s. It’s because it was the Pelicans’ 13th win on the season, and the Nets have 11. It’s imperative that the Nets finish with the 2nd or 3rd worst record in the league, and it helps a ton when the Pelicans win.
Now, here were the pair of narrow misses for the Celtics. First, the Mavericks beat the Bulls in Chicago, which wasn’t a huge surprise because the inconsistent Bulls barely won in overtime last night. But the Bulls were winning in the 1st half of the game, and the contest was tied at one point in the 4th quarter. The Mavs only won by 6 in an ugly game because both teams played last night, and it could have gone either way. Too bad the Mavs couldn’t drop this one and improve the C’s draft pick ever so slightly.
Finally, the Denver Nuggets collapsed against the Miami Heat after having a big lead in the 1st half. The Heat won by 3, and they were up 2 when Danilo Gallinari missed a 3 pointer with under 10 seconds to play. If that falls, then one of Boston’s chief opponents in the Eastern Conference standings would have lost in an upset.
All in all, I’ll still take tonight, because the Nets losing and the Pelicans winning (not to mention the Celtics winning, of course) is a huge deal for the C’s draft pick, whether or not anyone realizes it. But the C’s were very close to a perfect 7-for-7 sweep in tonight’s NBA action. You’re welcome for being insane enough to realize that.