When a long-time fan asks us, how do you know whether the Celtics can win the game? We answer (brimming with considerable confidence) after making precise observations and logical deductions.
In the first five minutes, all answers are available.
When Paul Pierce wears the team's green sneakers for the night, it means Rondo must wear the headband. This means both are planning a monster game.
Let's face it, fans. There is a superstitious factor involved with the leprechaun team in Boston. Only one player can wear green sneakers in each game.
Sometimes Rondo wears the green sneakers and does not don a headband. This is usually a sign that he is aiming for a mere double-double.
If Pierce is wearing the green sneakers, he is thinking of a scoring record. And, Rondo wants more assists than the opposing starters.
When the Celtics bench riders are waving towels within the opening seconds, there is a sense of energy.
If Ray Allen comes off the bench early to a standing ovation, you have another augur of positive foreshadowing.
If Kevin Garnett races down the middle of the court to score like a 25-year old, you have a problem in Atlanta.
When Rajon Rondo is making an assist for every score, the opponent may be in trouble.
Of course, it always helps to have an opponent in panic mode, turning over the ball and making stressful mistakes.
We always risk the danger of being called wrong by the end of the game. However, like Sherlock Holmes, we haven't yet missed a Celtic game when the dog did not bark in the night.
There is a Celtics victory in the air. The first five minutes tells us all.