Short-term memory loss for C's
When the similarities of the two series were brought up at Saturday's practice, Boston players acted as if they had amnesia.
"I don't even remember last year, I don't know," said Celtics captain Paul Pierce. "I know we didn't win the series."
The Celtics might not remember the specifics -- and you can't blame them for trying to forget -- but they remember the unceremonious end. Point guard Rajon Rondo had dislocated his elbow in a Game 3 win and was hindered the rest of the way. The team could never get center Shaquille O'Neal and his bum Achilles back on the floor. Pierce missed a key shot at the end of regulation in Game 4, then turned in a quiet Game 5 effort. Soon their season was over.
Does that drive the team this time around?
"I don't remember last year," barked Kevin Garnett.
OK, so what does Ray Allen remember about last year?
"Nothing," he said.
Nothing? What about being in a similar position this time around.
"I don't attribute anything to this year from last year," he said. "I just know that they beat us last year and sent us home. So right now we know what the game plan is for this team. That's where my focus is."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked about the loss and said, "I know we lost. I think that's the game Rondo got injured."
Actually, that was Game 3, Coach.
"Yeah, it was Game 3," he said. "I don't even remember. That tells you what I remember. I know we had opportunities, clearly. We had a couple of great shots. I think we had a terrible possession, now that I think about it, before overtime, our last possession, if my memory serves me correct."
Was the amnesia wearing off? A reporter confirmed Rivers' memory, noting Boston spoiled a chance to win it before the extra session where Miami raced away.
"Thanks for bringing that up," Rivers cracked. "I thought you were better than that."
One thing is clear: After last year's Game 4, the Celtics hope they are better than that.
Play Podcast NFL Films' Greg Cosell talks about the Ravens' improvement, the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, the Broncos' pass defense, whether Kirk Cousins is a better QB than Robert Griffin III and more.
Play Podcast Mark Schlereth talks about which outcomes could surprise him this weekend between the Patriots and Ravens. Why the Chiefs defense isn't as great as we thought it was, if Mike Shanahan could be throwing his final games in Washington and much more.
Play Podcast Ravens QB Joe Flacco talks about his health, Baltimore's win over the Lions, his team's four-game winning streak, preparing to face the Patriots, the keys to success in December and more.
Play Podcast Super Bowl XXXV champion Brian Billick dishes on Tom Coughlin's future with the Giants, the state of the NFC North, Patriots-Ravens and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Jeff Saturday dishes on what Peyton Manning is like, Patriots-Ravens, the Cowboys' game management during the Packers' comeback and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski weighs in on Packers-Cowboys, the scrutiny of Tony Romo, Marc Trestman's decision to start Jay Cutler, Patriots-Dolphins, the Chiefs' offense and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter covers the criticism of Tony Romo after the Cowboys' loss to the Packers, the Giants' struggles, Tom Coughlin's future in New York, the state of the AFC and more.