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I was biting my nails, metaphorically, during the final minutes of last night’s Celtics-Magic game 4 as it came down to the wire.  CavWife tried to tell me something, but I reminded her- last minute of an important playoff game.  Considering that we didn’t watch most of the game, I thought I wasn’t asking too much.

I was surprised that Paul Pierce didn’t force the last shot, choosing instead to pass off to Big Baby Davis, who was the only Celtic to hit a FG in the last 6 minutes of game time.  He drained it, and in his exuberance raced down the sideline, bumping into a ref, and then into a young courtside fan who was close to the action.

I hope I am never this kind of parent:

Orlando Magic fan Ernest Provetti, whose son, 12-year-old Nicholas, was nearly run over by Glen Davis after his buzzer-beating, game-winning shot last night, is demanding an apology from the Celtics forward.

According to a report at Orlando Sentinel.com, Provetti sent an e-mail to the NBA League office this morning, saying that Davis crossed the line and embarrassed his son. Provetti said his son had to dive into his courtside seat to get out of the way, though that does not appear to be the case in the video.

In the e-mail, Provetti said Davis conducted himself like a “raging animal with no regard for fans’ personal safety.”

In a telephone interview with the Sentinel, Provetti said, “How do you like to be a 12-year-old and see a raging lunatic coming at you?”

He said noted that Davis should never have been so close to the fans in the front row.

Apparently this man has never seen an NBA.  It’s the NBA: Stuff Happens, including players diving for balls, and celebrating significant last-second victories.

But, this man’s son is embarrassed.  CavWife notes that is a common emotion for 12 year-olds.  This adult is trying to teach his son the wrong lesson.  The world will not bend to our embarrassment, it does not revolve around us.  Yet, this guy is trying to make it all about his son.  E-mails to the NBA office?  Demands????

Nor is an excited, happy, delighted man who accomplishes something he has yet to do qualify as a “raving lunatic.”  I suspect he has the wrong “raving lunatic”.  This parent is the one acting irrationally.  Davis was not angry, violent or dangerous.  No harm was intended to his son- even embarrassment.

When you sit courtside, the action may get a bit too close for comfort.  If you can’t handle that- don’t sit there and put your son “at risk”.  But a good parent will teach his son to enjoy the game, remember that the unexpected can happen, and that you’re on national TV so don’t sweat it.  Teach him to have fun rather than be self-conscious.  Teach him to calcuate risk and act accordingly.  In short- teach him about being a man.

Oh, and may the media should pursue such silly stories….

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The Celtics didn’t do much near the trade deadline.  They basically created roster spots by shipping out Sam “I Am” Cassell, aka The Alien, and the seemingly useless Patrick O’Bryant.  I don’t think Sam suited up for any games, but probably spent time talking with Rondo about leading a team.  Patrick O’Bryant played some, but when Kendrick Perkins was out, he didn’t gain significant minutes.  He didn’t work hard enough to convince Doc to play him.

To fill those spots, the Celtics watched the waiver wire.  First, they got some more of 7-footer Mikki Moore.  He was on the Celtics roster for a short time back in 2003.  He adds size and experience.  With the presence of the real stars, he can thrive- maybe.  They are not counting in him to be a big time player, but a sub who can help them win another title.  He might.

Then, today we learned that Starbury has been bought out and should sign with the Celtics when he clears waivers.  I’m not sure about this one.  The guy has proved himself to be a pain.  But, with a short-term contract he just might behave himself and add some punch off the bench.

I’m not overly impressed with either pick up.  But we didn’t need a star.  We needed some reliable veteran players to stabilize the bench, provide some depth for the playoffs and not poison the locker room.  Not a tall order.  Hopefully they can deliver, and enable the Big 3, Rondo, Perk & House to win another title.  Just like Lays’ Potato Chips, you can’t have just one.

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Danny, please smile.  You brought home #17!

This is a happy occasion, let's not quibble about who voted for whom.

I really love this picture.  Like many a Celtic fan, I’ve been frustrated from nearly 20 years.  When I grew up, the Celtics were expected to prevail, and the Sox to fail.  Then the world turned upside down- slowly. 

This seemed so unlikely after the draft lottery fiasco.  But Trader Danny (why the glum face, Danny?) was able to work his plan by trading those chips he’d accumulated into KG and Ray Allen.  Suddenly he had free agents wanting to come to Boston for a chance to be part of something special.  This photo is for all of us who suffer all those many years.

From a CelticsBlog interview Wyc said this:

8. Do you have any untold, behind-the-scenes stories to share with us?   Perhaps something about the KG trade or the Italy trip or even the playoffs?

The first time I saw KG carefully examine each of our 16 championship banners, I knew we were going to likely hang a 17th one. Then he turned to me and promised me we would get number 17. That was unforgettable. Then, I saw KG, Paul and Ray running wind sprints at 8:30 am in early September last year…they were already bonded together and focused. It is a great feeling knowing you are the favorites to win a world championship.

The main players still have the same attitude.  They are working hard already rather than being satisfied with a taste of success.  Go for 2!

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The Celtics did what I didn’t think they would do: re-sign both Eddie House and Tony Allen.  And they gave them 2-year deals.  They buy some security, but don’t create long-term salary cap issues.

I’m glad Eddie House is back.  He was a nice change of pace for Rajon Rondo, and was able to spread the floor with his 3 point shooting.  He was an important part of that playoff run.

The jury is still out on Tony Allen.  His injuries have inhibited his progress.  We really haven’t seen what he can and cannot do.  This next year his knee should be completely healed, and he should have learned its limitations.  He can be that dogged defender that James Posey was.  But can he keep his head in the game sufficiently to be that 6th man the Celtics need?  Only time will tell.

Either way, the team that will defend the NBA championship is beginning to take shape.  There are still rumors that Devon George may be of interest.  Good defense, and that’s about it.

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The Boston Celtics made a free agent signing today.  No, it wasn’t James Posey.  Or any other big name.  It was the one and only, utterly amazing Patrick O’Bryant (now that’s a good Irish name, me boy).

Bryant was the Warriors’ first round pick (#9 overall) in 2006.  He’s a 7 footer out of Bradley weighing in at 260 pounds.  Apparently he didn’t overwhelm Don Nelson and company.  But, due to the amazingly Irish name, he’s good for the Celtics as a back up to the oft injured Kendrick Perkins.

In his career, he has averaged 1.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 5.5 minutes.  Oh, he’s a keeper, a trooper and a difference maker.  He was sent to the D-League on March 10th.  I am estatic about this signing!

I’m more estatic after reading Don Nelson’s comments regarding Mr. O’Bryant:

“I told him if he goes down to the D-League and isn’t a dominant player, there should be red flags all over the place, and he should be the first to notice. He’s not only not dominating, he’s not playing very well. He’s a long-term project. I really liked him the first week of training camp, but I assumed there would be great progress. He hasn’t gotten better one bit.”

HT: Celtics Blog

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It only took 22 years, which is nothing compared to 86 years.  But that is still a long time when you are a life-long Celtics’ fan.  In the 80’s we had a sense of entitlement.  The Celtics were champions or contenders nearly every year that decade thanks to Larry Joe Bird, the Chief, McHale and all the rest.

It seemed nearly anti-climatic.  The Celtics just blew the Lakers out.  It reminded me of Game 7 against the Knicks in 1984.  I was there.  It had been a tough series, and Bernard King was lighting the Celtics up.  But in the 2nd half, the just ran over the Knicks for a dominating win.  KG finally showed up, and helped the Celtics dominate Kobe and the Lakers.  The Lakers had the best player, but the Celtics clearly had the better team.  And it was one of the largest point spreads in an NBA Finals game.

This was a team that I thought wouldn’t do it when the trade rumors were circulating last summer.  But Danny Ainge put together a great supporting cast for the 3 stars.  He, not Larry or Kevin, is the first player from those glory years to put together a championship team.  He had an assist from Kevin.  Danny was much maligned, but now he should feel vindicated.  The “plan” worked perfectly.

Paul Pierce should feel vindicated too.  Many people wanted him shipped off.  There were trade rumors all the time.  People dismissed him.  Not being on a team that was able to compete, he was asked to do too much and his defense suffered.  This year he showed he could play defense.  The Captain led this Celtics team to a championship.

Ray Allen should feel vindicated.  Earlier in the playoffs he was written off as D-O-N-E.  But he had a great series, breaking the record for 3 pointers in the championship series.  This despite worrying about a sick child, and having Odom rake his face.

Doc should feel vindicated.  He was accused of being a horrible coach who should have been fired long ago.  He carried the stigma of never winning a playoff series as a coach.  Now he has coached a great Finals.  He outcoached the man wanting to surpass Red.  Danny didn’t give up on him, and he proved Danny right.  He was the right man for this team.

Indeed, how sweet it is.  Now, how about 18!

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In the first half of Game 4 of the NBA Finals I was discouraged and disappointed.  I figured we still had a shot at Game 5, but the Lakers were going to win Game 4.  Afterall, Lamar Odom showed up and the Celtics were playing no defense.

They sort of gave me a glimmer of hope as they cut the Laker lead to 12 just before the Lakers put on a mini-run to push the lead back up at the half.  Ray Allen was the only one who looked like he hadn’t been replaced by an alien look-alike.  Pierce, KG, Rondo … anyone you named- horrible!

Doc needs more credit than he gets.  He didn’t panic, and he assessed the situation well.  He and his coaches did  a great job.  They worked to spread the floor and give their guys room to run the offense.  Paul Pierce gets tons of credit for 1. volunteering to guard Kobe and doing a fantastic job, 2. reminding guys to play and not look at the score, 3. leading the charge offensively in the 3rd. 

The Celtics returned to playing defense, and shut down the Lakers.  I love that the Celtics didn’t give up, which would have been very easy.  But they kept going.  Leon Powe bought KG a few minutes of rest.  Pierce was utterly exhausted when this was over.  It is a testament to Ray Allen’s conditioning that he played the whole game and still had something left for that final layup on the isolation to basically seal the victory.  He was moving all night long and had increased ball handling responsibilities with Rondo on the bench during the stretch run.

(more…)

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