WALTHAM — While they probably don't realize it because of these seven-game bloodbaths, the Boston Celtics have only two options.
Option 1: They find a way to squeak out two of the next three games against Detroit, which I'm predicting they will, and then they have to do it all over again against the Los Angeles Lakers or San Antonio Spurs.
And then celebrate with a humongous parade through downtown Boston.
Option 2: They lose to Detroit, Los Angeles or San Antonio. And then they run for the hills.
In Titletown, USA, it's win or bust.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, there is still some pent-up anger from the Super Bowl.
The fact that the Celtics were the NBA's version of the Patriots adds pressure.
"I don't have a problem with that," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers yesterday. "I realize what we were getting ourselves into this season. People are very passionate around here. I know the media can be tough sometimes, but the people on the street couldn't have been better.
"I do get questions as to why I'm not playing one player over another, which is funny. People are used to winning around here."
From the get-go, Rivers told the team the goal was a championship.
"I told the guys we were not going to come in thinking we'd need a year to play together and all of that," said Rivers. "The goal from the beginning was to be the best. You have to credit the players. They bought into it from Day 1."
The Celtics have been a pleasure to watch this season. As much as we said it was nice watching the "kids" grow the last few seasons, there is nothing like winning.
And while Rivers says the New Garden has rocked this season just like the original did when he was with the Atlanta Hawks in the 1980s, he isn't buying the "pleasure to watch" theory.