Put it all together, and it comes down to this: There will be no silver linings to this season if the Celtics fail to bring home banner No. 17. There will be no “moral victories” if they don’t win four games in the NBA Finals. And if they don’t win it all, nobody in green is allowed to say, “We still proved the experts wrong,” this because the experts didn’t have them winning it all in the first place.
It's worse than this. It will have been a colossal waste of time. It was fun, yes, but, you know, I spent a lot of time being a fan this year, and spent a lot of money on the Cs. If they don't win it all, I will consider it a poor return on my investment.
I agree that anything less than a championship is a failure. This is their best chance to win it all and if they don't, it will because of their failure to execute. They are capable of beating the Pistons and the Lakers and the Spurs. They did it in the regular season and they did it with defense. Their losses in the playoffs were the result of their own failure to play defense. They won't be beat, but they can beat themselves.