Celtics turned season around

Based
on the results in the NBA playoffs up to now it seems the NBA’s regular season
is seemingly irrelevant.

Just
look at how the Boston Celtics have risen from the ashes of their 50-32 regular
season, when they were only a .500 team over the final 54 games. Then consider
the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team with the league’s best record for the last
two seasons is sitting at home scared to death of LeBron James leaving in six
weeks via free agency.

Cavaliers
owner Dan Gilbert seems all but tired of regular season success.

“The
regular-season record and having the best regular-season record two years in a
row is important,” Gilbert said. “But it doesn’t guarantee success in any way.”

Therefore
what a team does in the regular season sometimes has little bearing on what it
does in the playoffs. Especially if it’s got a title or two under its belt like
the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite
their late-season struggles and sometimes inconsistent play while nailing down
the number one seed in the West, the Lakers have proven that championship teams
understand what to do when post-season is on. It seems the Lakers, who lost
seven of their last 11 games, have put that behind them, especially with their
beat-down of the Phoenix Suns at home in the first two games of the Western
Conference finals. Suns coach Alvin Gentry already sounds defeated.

“Every
time you make an adjustment to slow them down, they go somewhere else,” Gentry
said. “There’s a good reason that they’re the world champs.”

Meanwhile
many experts are talking of the Celtics simply going through the motions of the
regular season to get to this point. In spite of a 23-5 start, Boston stars
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have Boston within a game of the NBA Finals.

“The
things that were said about us were probably deserving,” Pierce said. “We
didn’t play well. We didn’t play consistent. So, a lot of flak we got we
probably deserved.”

“We
hit our stride at the right time,” Garnett said. “We’re a veteran team and we
understand when it’s time to lock in as a group. I think we did just that. I
think, if anything, the experience has totally taken over versus anything
else.”

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