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Celtics fans are delusional

T.J. SIMERS

Page 2 finally hears from the Boston faithful as the series turns even.

June 06, 2010|T.J. Simers
  • Celtics power forward Glen Davis dunks before Lakers center Andrew Bynum can block the attempt in the first quarter of Game 2 on Sunday.
Celtics power forward Glen Davis dunks before Lakers center Andrew Bynum… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

The Celtics stink, and their fans pretty much know it.

They waited until after Game 2 before e-mailing their obscenities and asking, "What do you have to say about Boston now?"

A more confident lot would have e-mailed before the game, but no doubt they didn't think this was possible.

Goes to show you Celtics fans aren't all that swift either, forgetting the NBA motto "where amazing happens," as if there was any way the NBA wasn't going to fix things and stretch this dream matchup out as long as possible.

I know this, it didn't look to me as if the referees were in any hurry to call it a season any time soon.

Now it looks like Game 6 or 7 before it's settled, huge TV ratings, and don't know how the NBA made the Celtics appear younger, quicker and better in a matter of just days, but kudos.

It's best for TV anyway when the home team clinches a championship, so Game 6 or 7 it is.

As for now, I have only one concern: the Lakers.

A few minutes after his postgame news briefing, Coach Phil Jackson hinting the referees were tough to figure in Game 2, I stopped him in the hallway.

"I can't get a read on you," I said. "Are you upset, worried, or based on experience, is this just what you'd expect in the Finals?"

Jackson paused, and then said, "I'll just say it wasn't a surprise."

How could it not be a shocking development after the Lakers looked so good in Game 1, the Celtics so bad?

"Reading my team before the game, I thought this was a possibility," he said.

I don't like the sound of that, Jackson winning all those championships and knowing how difficult it is to put away an opponent, and before Game 2 he notices the possibility his team might lack killer instinct.

That's what bedeviled the Lakers most of the season, especially the last month before the playoffs began.

This should have been Andrew Bynum's game, every write-up beginning with his impressive play and the Celtics done for it, but instead the attention shifts to those missing in action, Ron Artest and Lamar Odom.

Now Boston probably thinks it has a chance, forgetting for a moment that Kevin Garnett is averaging four rebounds a game and will be two days older the next time the Celtics play the Lakers.

Didn't think any of this would be all that interesting, but all season long I've bemoaned the fact the Lakers haven't always acted like a championship team should.

As horrible as the Celtics might be, at least now they know they have to do more than just show up.

IT WAS probably more about son and father being together Sunday in Staples Center than Tex Winter, maybe best known for the triangle offense as well as being a giant in so many ways in basketball, getting another award.

One year ago this last April, Tex suffered a stroke, trying to speak the best he can now, but finding it difficult to be understood.

"When people visit Dad," his son Chris says, "they go, 'Whoa, that's not the Tex I remember.' Sometimes they come back, and sometimes they don't."

MAYBE THE Basketball Hall of Fame will take the hint from Winter's peers.

The National Basketball Coaches Assn. chose Sunday to present the Chuck Daly Award to Tex along with Jack Ramsay for their lifetime achievements in basketball.

Winter, 88, was introduced, along with Ramsay, between the first and second quarters of Game 2, the two drawing applause but most folks probably unaware of the physical struggle it took for Winter to be here.

"It's been a little bit of a trial taking a sick person and traveling, but he enjoyed it so much," said Chris, his father living in Manhattan, Kan. "He's fully aware and understands everything that is going on most of the time, but he can't communicate. And then when he does, it's not quite right."

In a brief ceremony before the game, Jackson sitting in the audience, Tex tried to say a few words before his son, his voice cracking and his eyes welling, thanked everyone on behalf of his father.

Winter's Kansas State tam lost, 90-84, to John Wooden's first UCLA championship team in the 1964 Final Four semifinals. Most of the time he's linked to the triangle offense, Jackson using it to help win 10 titles, much of the time an opinionated Winter in his ear.

But as solid as Tex's resume might be, he's been on the Basketball Hall of Fame ballot seven times, each time falling short.

"It's a little embarrassing," Chris said. "After he had his stroke, I went to his apartment and he had literally rooms full of letters, all asking the same question: 'Why aren't you in the Hall?' "

Chris, obviously a chip off the old Winter block, said it was nice, though, that his dad was honored by his peers.

But then, as Tex might have cracked, he added, "It's not a Nobel prize, but it means something."

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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