The Boston Celtics fell one win short of their 3rd NBA Finals berth in five years. But some say that this team has overachieved. I talk to John Karalis (@RedsArmy_John) of Red's Army to briefly break down this heartbreaking loss to us.
One win away from the NBA Finals. With so many injuries and the team being "old", you didn't expect the team to get this far, did you?
Nope. I'm impressed with their fight. I'm proud of them. Sounds hokey, but I am.
Look, human nature trumps money and fame and all the stuff we think "should" matter in professional sports. But they didn't let that get the best of them. They had every reason to quit and they came up about six minutes short.
Was there one thing you wished the Celtics did going against the Heat that could've swung the series in their favor?
Besides magically get healthy?
Doc Rivers always says "this is a make/miss league." Everything could have gone the exact same way but if Mickael Pietrus makes a couple of shots in the 3rd quarter of Game 6, the Celtics go into the fourth quarter down single digits. If he makes a couple of shots in Game 7, the Celtics maybe hold off the Miami charge and win. And don't get me started on the mental errors in Game 2 that should have prevented overtime.
But in the end, these things happened because the Celtics weren't good enough to make them NOT happen. Such is life. I know Rondo got pissed the guy who said they overachieved, but all things considered, they really did.
So what is next now with the Celtics in terms of personnel? Is this really the end of an era?
Everyone points to Ray Allen as being gone, and he might be. But I think he has as many reasons to stay as he does to go, and that ultimately, family will break the tie and keep him here. I also think KG comes back for another year. But that doesn't change the fact that, yes, an era is ending. Even if they're all back, Ray is a bench player now, Garnett's minutes must be limited, and Pierce's should be limited, too.
This is Rajon Rondo's team now. They will, and should, build around him and his strengths. They will try to get younger, more athletic players who can run with him while still executing Doc's plan.
The Big 3 era is over, no matter who comes back.
PHOTO CREDIT: Issac Baldizon/Getty Images.