It’s May 23, 2017, and the Celtics just won a road playoff game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Bruins are out, and have been since Game 6 of the first round against the Ottawa Senators.
I don’t know about anyone else, but this seems like bizarro world. When I think about these two teams in my head, I see two opposites; I picture the Bruins who won (2011) and made it to the Stanley Cup Finals (2013), and I picture the Celtics who got old and withered into mediocrity these past few years. And that just goes to show how biases work, because I am (was?) a bigger Bruins fan than I am a Celtics fan. But I think that’s changing now, and I’m going to explain why.
I can do that in one sentence: It seems like the Celtics care about winning much more than the Bruins do. Simple.
I mean, the Bruins lost to the Ottawa Senators, the Ottawa Senators. Sure, so did the Rangers. But it’s the Senators, they have a relatively bad roster (with the exception of Erik Karlsson), and play a trap. Just play better. Throughout the season the team would also go through spells of simply not caring, or not trying, or at least seeming like they didn’t care or want to try. Shit happens, but it’s really awful, as a fan, to see a team consistently going out onto home ice not putting out a full effort. GM Don Sweeney and President Cam Neeley consistently said they were comfortable with their roster, but even when they weren’t getting results nothing changed. For a lot of time this season, they were losers. I’m being harsh, but that’s because I’ve been watching the Celtics, and the Celtics are winners.
These past few years, I overlooked the Boston Celtics. They seemed like a roster of players who could play, but not great. I just didn’t care enough to watch or pay mind to them consistently. Ironically, this was during the same timeframe when I was watching the Bruins lose games and miss the playoffs – not great.
I’ve now realized something. From 2014 until now, it seemed like both the Cs and Bs were mediocre. Well, they were. But the Celtics were being very productively mediocre, while the Bruins just further cemented the fact that the front office has no clue.
While the Celtics were losing, they were building. Players were getting better (Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart), good players were being acquired (Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Al Horford) – basically, the team actually REBUILT. They got good. And here we are, in the Eastern Conference finals, having taken a game from the dominant Cavs, who were undefeated previously. Oh, yeah, and they have the #1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Things are looking very, very good for the Celtics.
Conversely, the Bruins might have gotten worse. The players they acquired (Jimmy Hayes, Matt Beleskey, David Backes) flubbed. Their veterans showed their relative age (Chara, Krejci, Bergeron) with injuries and fatigue. It doesn’t seem like they have gotten much better at all. Sure, they now have McAvoy and Carlo, and some good gritty fourth liners to build around – all positives. But they haven’t shown they can win. They lost to the Senators in the playoffs. The Celtics beat the Cavs.
Let’s go Cs!
Written By: Bob Rice @bobricebobrice