I never used to root for the Celtics. I went with Magic over Bird in 1979 and that choice carried over to the NBA. When Boston picked Len Bias in the 1986 draft, I thought I might come to like his future teammates better. But that future was never realized, tragically. It wasn't until Cal's Leon Powe became a Celtic that I developed any interest in the team. I pulled for them last year on his behalf and Kevin Garnett's, to a lesser extent. Gradually, though, I developed a grudging affection for their collaborators, even Paul Pierce. I like players who come through when their team needs them most. Tonight Pierce did just that, for a severely depleted squad that needed him to be perfect at the end. And I was cheering him on. What a performance! The Celtics may not make it out of the first round and have almost no chance to make the finals. They're playing inspired basketball, though. I can't help but wish them the best.