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It's hard For Newly Weds Like The Celtics and Duke to Succeed

I am a proud Duke grad, so it is not surprising that I am also a proud Duke fan. Yet, I am a different kind of proud Duke fan. While “fan” is short for “fanatical,” I am not part of the fanatical element of the Duke fan clan. Believe it or not, I actually like and respect the Tar Heels too (not as much as the Blue Devils, but still…)

I believe my rather unique status as a Duke fan allows me to make some observations other blue face painted Cameron Crazies can’t. Here goes:

The Fabulous Judester and I have been married for close to 30 years, but that ain’t nothin’ compared to my parent’s run of 62 years.

Over the years, some things inevitably happen rather organically that simply aren’t possible for newlyweds who have been hitched for just a year or two. You start to understand each other better. You become very familiar with the preferences of your mate, and discover idiosyncrasies you didn’t know existed before the romantic stupor days wore off. You finish each other’s sentences, and you put-up with quirks that may have driven you crazy in the earlier kissy-kissy face era.

In other words, the longer you are together, the more effective you are as a team. You just “get” each other.

Using this lens to support my thesis, the reason Duke lost recently to the Tar Heels is because they haven’t been “married” to each other long enough. They are starting four “one and done” freshmen most nights.

Sure, they are great to look at, and they are romancing us often with fancy dunks and dribbles. But they are only newlyweds.

On the other hand, the NC Tar Heels have been married for a spell. They’ve got junior and seniors on their team that said “I do” a while ago-long enough to know each other better, discover what makes each other tick, and how to get through the rough spots.

Seems to me the Celtics are in the same spot.

Sure, they’ve been together for a couple of years, but don’t forget-Mr. Irving and Mr. Hayward were not part of the honeymoon last year, a season that surprised the hardwood experts. But now these two have been inserted into this on-court relationship, and they’re having a hard time figuring things out.

And sadly, the way both college and NBA hoops works these days, players may not get a chance to work things out with each other. *Sigh*

Here’s to almost 30 years of marriage, and bravo to those of you, like my folks, who’ve been at it for over half a century. You’re quite a team!

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