My wife and I have been plowing through the fantastic Human Planet series. In the "Grasslands" episode, there is a remarkable scene in which Dorobo hunters from Eastern Africa demonstrate a traditional hunting tactic which basically goes as follows:
1) Find a pack of hungry lions tearing apart a fresh kill
2) Walk up to lions menacingly
3) Take the Lions' meal and walk away
(You can watch the scene for yourself here)
After watching the surprising result of the Heat/Celtics game last night, I couldn't help but think that the Celtics are like those three sparsely-armed hunters marching confidently towards the pack of lions. No one gave these Celtics a chance (especially me). The Eastern Conference championship, once Derrick Rose went down, was the Heat's meal. It was theirs. The only question was how many games it would take.
And yet, here come the Celtics, walking up to Heat, and watching them scatter.
Now, I know comparing the Heat to a pack of 15 lions might not be exactly fair. It would be more accurate to consider them to be two huge lions, one wounded ostrich, a couple three-pointing shooting ducks, and maybe some feisty squirrels thrown in, too. Still, those two lions of freaking huge. And there's no way that mere humans, especially ones armed only with sticks, should ever take their meal away.
And yet, somehow the Celtics are on the cusp of doing just that, and they've done it much like the three hunters. They have an irrational confidence in themselves. They've banded together. They know what they are doing and they've been here before. The trick is simply to be confident, march up, and take the meal like you own it.
In Human Planet, after the Dorobi hunters take the wildebeest carcass, the lions are still lurking and watching, leaving the chance that they will realize that they are bigger, faster and stronger than the hunters, and will regroup and take back what's theirs. That possibility still exists with the Heat, but time is running out. The Celtics have taken the meal. The only question now is whether or not the Heat will let them get away with it.