“ 'Sucks' and 'great' are the only two ratings people are even interested in anymore. No one wants to hear any other opinions.”
That’s a quote from Jerry Seinfeld’s stand up act, and it pretty much sums up this Celtics season. For the last five months, "sucks" and "great” has been the name of the game. And the game is one giant seesaw.
Jeff Green is great. Jeff Green sucks. Rondo is great. Rondo sucks. “Man, this team is great!” “Well, just wait until the playoffs . . . they’ll suck.”
Regardless of the issue, there are only two perspectives from which to view it, and truth changes from week to week, night to night. Every time it changes, one side of the argument pretends that it will never change again, while the other promises that it will. Once it does change, the two sides swap roles, and the argument goes back and forth forever. Or so it seems.
But last night’s Celtics win is a reminder that forever does have an expiration date. That’s because, with their victory, Boston’s officially back in the postseason. Judgment Day is near. And while we don’t know how far the Celtics will go in these playoffs, we can be damn sure that when the dust settles, we’ll have some definite answers in the Great vs. Suck debates. At the very least, some definitive proof. At the very, very least, a reason to shut down the seesaw for a few weeks and attempt to figure what’s actually going on with this team.
Are they better without Rondo? Is Jeff Green for real? The playoffs may not kill those conversations all together, but they’ll certainly clear things up.
The "Jeff Green is a star" camp won’t have anything to stand on if Green shrinks when everything is on the line. On the other hand, if he keeps up this ridiculous pace, continues to expand his game and impose his will on a nightly basis, then the Green detractors (I was one of them when the season started) will have to seriously rethink their position.
On the next level, if Green succeeds and the Celtics still falter — haunted by a lack of ball-handling and tempo control — then we can score one for the “Rondo’s great” crowd. If Green lights it up, and the Celtics make another run, the “Rondo sucks” camp can take a bow.
Of course, it’s too bad that it has to be that way. In a perfect world, we could just take these players for what they are — all their strengths, all their flaws — and categorize them as something deeper than just great or sucky. But ultimately, that’s the way it is. That’s what we’re looking for. And now that the C’s are officially back in the playoffs, things are really about to heat up.
The truth is closer than ever.
Although if you listen to Seinfeld, the truth is that "suck" and "great" are actually the same exact thing.