Is it time for Celtics fans to panic that their team is going to become the first NBA team in history to lose a 3-0 playoff series lead?
That is ironic, because back in 2004 during the ALCS, even after the Red Sox had won 2 straight, it was utterly inconceivable that Boston would actually take the series from the Yankees.
Even now, the safe bet is that the Celtics will find their mojo at home and end all this talk that they are too tired (read: old) to avoid being humiliated.
And yet the dominant storyline is exactly the opposite: That the Magic feel in control. That the pressure is all on the Celtics. That the C's D is faltering and their depth in the post is iffy.
For those of you who believe in conspiracy theories, it's pretty simple: If the NBA would rather see a Game 7 -- and a Boston choke -- than a Lakers-Celtics Finals, Perkins' 2 Ts will stand and he will miss Game 6. The Magic will win, forcing a Game 7 back in Orlando.
If they want a Celtics-Lakers Finals and couldn't care less about the East finals going 7 (and, god forbid, a Magic series win that undercuts the ratings goldmine of Celtics-Lakers), Perkins will play.
The irony is that it still might not be enough.
As I put it in the kicker of today's SN column lead: If you're a Celtics fan and you're NOT panicking right now, you have probably given up on your team already.
More you'll find in today's column:
*Like some sort of deal with the devil, just when the Celtics started to fold, the Red Sox have been unstoppable. Karmic trade-off?
*Even before the Nats battered Tim Lincecum, I would not have traded Stephen Strasburg for Lincecum, straight up, if I was the Nats.
*SN has Alabama as preseason No. 1 in college football. Phil Steele has Oklahoma. I still think that Boise State will win the national title.
*I'm baffled why this Dwayne Bowe "importing" story is a big deal. Athletes use social networking sites to find women to hook up with! And?
*What has to happen for the US men's soccer jersey to just say "Herculez" on the back, rather than "Gomez." Let's think more like Brazil, people!
See the entire column here. More later.