Sweet Jesus! Was that a game or what?
I don't think I could've asked for anything more on what turned out to be a PERFECT night. Definitely one of the top 10 moments in my life...maybe even top five.
My dad got down to my house around 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. We enjoyed a few beers and watched the final six plays of the "Larry Bird's 50 Greatest Moments". It was a good way to get us geared up for the game.
We then headed into the city nice and early to take in the scene and, of course, have dinner at The Fours. We got a great parking spot and motored directly over to the Pro Shop to buy some Finals swag.
I had to go with the classic "Beat LA" T-shirt, while my dad opted for a "Beat LA" hat. With our new gear, we then made our way over to The Fours.
After dinner we went over to DJs at the Garden where Jamie and Moody would meet up with us. When we walked into DJs they were handing out raffle tickets for two tickets to the game. When the bouncer handed me my ticket as I was walking in, I turned around to let him and my dad know that the last two numbers on my ticket were none other than 86!
Of course I thought this was an omen and that we were destined to win the tickets. When Jamie and Moody showed up, my dad and I gave them our raffle tickets so they could increase their odds of winning the tickets since they didn't have any.
We participated in some Celtics trivia and then they pulled the raffle ticket. The tickets had six or seven digits and like usual they were dramatic in calling the numbers...taking forever in between each number. It was something like 4-1-6-1-8...
When we got to that point, we had a 20% chance of winning the tickets because I had 86 and my dad had 87. Then, they called.........5. Damn! We were one freaking number off from winning two tickets to the game. I can't even explain how pumped up we were. Even though they didn't get the tickets, it definitely got our adrenaline going and with that we headed over to the Garden.
Before we went in though, we had to stop for a photo op at the HUGE Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy (see above and right). It might look kind of corny, but it was actually pretty cool.
As we walked in the building, you could already hear the "BEAT LA!" chants. The place was electric from the jump and I knew we were in for a treat.
James Taylor sang an awesome acoustic rendition of the National Anthem (pictured left). I felt that having JT sing the anthem was a good sign because he also sang the anthem at Game 2 of the World Series game that I went to back in October, which the Sox won.
The Celtics intro and lineups had such a party feel to them and like usual included pyrotechnics. It's not the best quality video in the world, but I wanted to capture the scene of the intros and whatnot, so at the bottom of this post is an uncut clip of the whole thing. Pretty cool...I apologize for screaming like a school girl at times, but I couldn't contain myself.
I could probably write 5,000 words on the game itself, but I'm just going to assume that everyone watched it...and if not, please refrain from reading my blog in the future. I will note a few key plays and moments though...
- Pierce did his best Willis Reed impression. When he went down, no one in the building really knew how bad he was injured. They didn't show a replay and we didn't see him get carried off the court either. But, right after the play I got text messages from a few friends saying it didn't look good. Without having seen the play though, I just said, "He's fine" and I'm so thankful that ended up being the case. When he came running out of the tunnel, the place went nuts...it was awesome.
- I know the entire fourth quarter was really close and there were some big plays, but I think two of the biggest plays happened with about a minute to go in the third when Pierce nailed back-to-back threes on consecutive possessions.
- Does Eddie House's son go to school? A game ending at midnight has to be past his bedtime, right?
- Garnett had two HUGE plays. One was when he saved the ball from being a backcourt violation, which led to a Sam Cassell (I think) jumper. The other big play yielded the loudest, craziest scene that I've ever been a part of at a sporting event and that was his follow dunk. Good lord was that sick. Not only was it one of the most powerful dunks and athletic plays I've ever seen, but it was the nail in the coffin. It made it a three possession game with just over a minute to go. The only thing I can compare it to was in 2004 when I was at Game 3 of the Red Sox Division Series versus the Angels and Big Papi hit a walk-off homer to sweep the series. Definitely worth the price of admission.
- The Larry O'Brien trophy floor logo is absurd. Red is rolling over in his grave.
- I don't think I've ever hated a Celtic as much as I hate Sam Cassell. Why on earth he played 13 minutes and took nine shots is beyond me. The most maddening play of the night though was when he actually had an open look with the shot clock winding down, but hesitated and then opted to make an extra pass as the shot clock expired.
- PJ Brown is awesome. I can't believe how much of a key factor he's been in the playoffs. He just does the little things right without doing anything wrong. He's the anti-Cassell.
- Phil Jackson is an idiot for not fouling right away at the end of the game. The Celtics would've won anyway, but when it's a three possession game and the C's have the ball with under a minute to play, he's got to foul. I'm sure Red was looking down with a smile on his face then.
What a night. Thanks so much for going with me Dad. I know you had to get up around 3:45 this morning to go to work, but I hope you think it was worth it. A dream come true type of night and now the C's are three wins away from a title. I can't believe it!
BEAT LA! BEAT LA! BEAT LA!