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Where Will Amazing Happen This Year? Define "Amazing."

By Sarah Barton


I didn't post on Thursday because I wanted to wait until Game 6 was over and the Celtics had won the series so I could write up a nice little series summary and ponder what would happen to the C's in Round Two.

I didn't post on Friday because my Thursday dreams were shattered.

I am posting now, on Saturday, because I am now finally almost able to coherently put together my thoughts about this series. I can actually sum up my sentiments in four words: I.Hate.This.Series.

On Wednesday, I generated a bunch of questions based on the first five games of the series, ranging from "What does Rondo eat for breakfast and where can I get some?" to "Mikki who?" to "Does Boston have some sort of post-season agreement with David Stern and NBA marketing execs which states that the Celtics must make their playoff series as dramatic and drawn out and 'entertaining' as possible?". Since I can't really answer my first two questions, I will focus on the last one.

All over ESPN yesterday people were debating whether this is the best first-round series of all-time. My vote: absolutely not. Can I come up with a better first-round series? No, not offhand, but I just really despise how this series has played out. Seven overtimes (counting double and triple) in six games? How is that even possible? Sure, I enjoy a flare for the dramatic, but not on a nightly basis. 

The results of my dear friend the ESPN.com SportsNation poll from Friday show that nearly 40% of 307,032 voters think that Game 7 will go into overtime. Four of 10 people are expecting the game to go into overtime! That just doesn't seem right.

I was up late last night doing some calculations*, and I figured that the odds that there have been seven overtimes in the six first-round games are about one-in-10,000. Why would 40% of sports fans so eagerly bet against those odds? There is only one answer: The series is rigged.

(Dramatic pause.)

OK, I don't really think that the series is rigged. I honestly don't think it's possible to have rigged it so that four games went into overtime. Regardless, David Stern has to be smitten with the way things have transpired. Cha-ching! The NBA is making bank off this. All eyes on the Celtics and Bulls! We are all witnesses to the best first-round NBA playoff series in history!

The problem is that I hate this series so much that I have to watch Game 7. It's like watching The Hills: it's so annoying and overdone that once you start watching, you can't help but watch the finale, and when it's over you're secretly a little sad. I was watching Game 6 with a friend on Thursday, and I was so frustrated that I left to go home after the first overtime, planning to check the score before bed, only to get home to see that there were two minutes left in the third overtime. Silly me, assuming that two overtimes would be enough.

Overall, the level of play in this series has been sub-par, but the drama has been through the roof. I truly respect the game of basketball, which is why I am having such a difficult time digesting this Celtics/Bulls series. Amazing is happening in Boston and Chicago, but it's more of a Hills amazing than an NBA amazing. I have a feeling that a fair amount of people would disagree with that, which leaves me questioning the integrity of the game.

At this point, I think there is more pressure on Game 7 itself to be wildly entertaining than there is on either team to win the game. As a Celtics fan, would you feel a bit let down if the Celtics blow Chicago out of the water in Game 7? Will you be left thinking "We went through all that...for this?!?" Hopefully not, but if you do, feel free to occupy yourself with a season of The Hills until Round Two tips off.

* Actually, I spent about 30 seconds finding this article via Google.


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