Celtics pride

Monday night's most valuable commodity? Celtic pride, which was on display in Boston's Game 2 win. ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard details how the Celtics evened this series:

CLEVELAND -- It started out as the celebration of a young phenom, with David Stern handing LeBron James the Maurice Podoloff Trophy and thousands of adoring fans raising "MVP X2" placards.

But after all the hoopla and fanfare, it quickly became a reminder that old champions don't die easily, that contrary to popular belief, the glory days may not be over for Boston's group of proud and feisty veterans.

Oh, and they've got a young phenom too.

Don't count out Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce just yet. They've got warriors' hearts and just as importantly, Rajon Rondo, a slick point guard who's at his best when the stakes are sky high. Though some, including me, penned their epitaph in March, the Celtics appear more poised to seize the moment than the ballyhooed Cleveland Cavaliers, whom they demolished 104-86 Monday night to even the series at 1-1 and steal away the home-court advantage.

Whether the widespread talk of their demise has added to the boulder on their shoulders or not, there's no question that the playoff Celtics are much different than the regular-season Celtics. Either bored or coasting, they played middling .500 basketball over the final four months of the season. But now they're on another plane, crushing Miami in five games and outplaying Cleveland for the better part of the first two contests.

"I'm sure they read it," Boston coach Doc Rivers said of the negative press. "I'm sure they hear it. I'm sure they have a lot of pride."

Click HERE to read the full story in Tuesday's Daily Dime.