Bring on LeBron.A proforma Shank game recap follows with a few more clichés, with all the quality of a mailed-in column.
Isaiah Thomas (29 points) is the Baby-Faced Assassin (*), Kelly Olynyk (26) is Dirk Nowitzki, the Celtics have advanced to the Eastern Conference finals and suddenly, in the immortal words of Kevin Garnett . . . anything’s possible.
Maybe the ping-pong balls, for once, will fall Boston’s way Tuesday and the Celts will have the No. 1 selection in the draft for the first time since their top pick yielded Robert Parish and Kevin McHale in the infamous Red Auerbach swap with the Warriors in 1980.
Maybe the Celts can put up a fight against King James and the World Champion Cavs in a best-of-seven that starts Wednesday on Causeway Street. Maybe the Sons of Brad Stevens can make it all the way to the NBA Finals and win banner 18 several years ahead of schedule.
One more quote, just for good measure:
With the Bruins done for the spring and the Red Sox staggering out of town, it’s a good time for the Celtics to be playing deep into the playoffs. The hard-fought second-round win over Washington buys at least four more games and maybe a couple more weeks of high-octane basketball. The Celts will be going Nike-to-Nike with LeBron and the whole basketball world will be watching. The 2016-17 Celtics season is hereby deemed a success. Anything good that happens now is just gravy.Just a guess - there will be some level of backtracking on this proclamation within the next few weeks.
(*) - Someone hung this moniker on Shank himself early in his career at the Globe, as it became apparent that the subject of Shank's columns were more like assassination targets.