The intensity of the rivalry was encapsulated in the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals. The winners were to face the Lakers, and after it became clear the Celtics were going to lose to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Garden crowd erupted into chants of, "Beat L.A.!"I was in my sophomore year at UMass at the time, on my way to flunking out. I moved to Boston for the next five years, spending one year as sports coordinator for WMBR - Community Radio at MIT; obtained Garden press passes for the '83-84 season, including the playoffs, although not for The Finals as the demand from the national media was too great. But the Boston bar scene was teeming with crazies in any event fersherr. Good times indeed! So the upcoming series comes with it for me that little extra buzz.
P.S., Went back to UMass in '87 and graduated in '90, in case you were worried.