A Tale of Two Basketball Teams

I follow two basketball teams, the Boston Celtics and the Boston College Eagles, and their fortunes have been very different of late.

The Celtics have now lost 18 consecutive games, a streak of futility that is getting them some unwanted national attention. Last night they lost in an especially cruel way, with Ricky Davis, whom they traded away, hitting the winning basket in Minnesota. Paul Pierce has returned, and he was in good form last night, so that means they should have a chance of breaking the losing run soon. I think it will happen on Wednesday night when they host Milwaukee, another team that has struggled mightily with its star, Michael Redd, out with injury. If they don’t win Wednesday, the Celtics will carry a 19-game streak into a difficult west coast road trip, when things could get even worse.

Meanwhile, the Boston College Eagles are continuing their improbable run through the ACC, winning at Florida State yesterday, 68-67. The Eagles looked to be in trouble earlier this season when star center Sean Williams, the national leader in blocked shots, was kicked off the team. The squad has responded, though, running its record to 9-2 in league play. Last night Tyrelle Blair, probably only in the game because of Williams’s absence, hit the game-winning shot with 3.3 seconds remaining. We’ll find out soon enough how good the Eagles are because they host Duke on Wednesday night, followed by North Carolina on Saturday night (that game is ESPN’s weekly GameDay bonanza).

Finally, while I’m on basketball, why would Gilbert Arenas think it was a good idea to promise 50 points against Portland? All that bragging accomplishes is to motivate the Blazers who, while not a very good team, are still a pro team that can play well when motivated, as they demonstrated yesterday. You don’t see the star players on championship teams making idiotic statements like Arenas did.

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