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Posts Tagged ‘Doc Rivers’


With General Assembly over, I could have a relaxing morning getting packed up. Check out time was 11 am so I enjoyed a cup of tea and did some reading. One of the other pastors asked me if the Paul Tripp book I was reading was new. Indeed! With some time to spare I called old friend Dr. Chris Probst to see how life in St. Louis was going. And I refrained from abusing him since the Red Sox are in first place.

Leaving Flat Rock took longer than anticipated for CavWife. You know how goodbyes can go. So they showed up a little late at the hotel. It was nearly time for lunch after I squeezed the burdened bags (all the free stuff and my notebook for GA were heavy), so it was off to Chick-fil-a for some lunch. Sadly, there was no play area at this C-F-A. But I enjoyed a reasonably healthy salad after all those not very healthy meals during the week.

We then made our way to the home of a childhood friend of CavWife’s. We enjoyed their hospitality, including crashing on the hammock in the backyard. My friend Eddie and his family joined us for a rather large dinner. We eventually put the kids to sleep in the room we were staying in. Yes, all 6 of us were in the same room- on a bed, on a futon and on the floor. After more conversation, and a phone call to an elder back in AZ I was ready to go to bed later than expected. We had an early morning coming.

Thanks to the white noise we used to help the kids sleep, a rain storm, I kept waking up having to go to the bathroom. It was a restless night and 6 am came way too soon. By 6:30 we were dressed, packed up and ready to head back to Atlanta for our flight up to NJ. This time it was a largely uneventful ride into Atlanta … until the airport. I found the signage inadequate again. But we figured it all out and returned the van. We had to re-arrange some things and rebuild the boxes for the booster seats. It took awhile with 4 kids continually finding a way to be in the way.

There were a number of differences between the rental Town & Country and our Town & Country. I enjoyed the improved fuel economy (5-6 mpg more than ours!) and the video when you are in reverse. I was not wild about the new placement for power supplies and shifter. But it served us well. And so did the car seats we left behind. Yes, they were set to expire so I didn’t have to lug them around anymore. My knuckles were thankful. New seats awaited us in NJ.

Now we had to make the trek to the tram, then ticketing, then the tram and the gate. All went well, and soon we were on our way to Chicago. This time we had a good layover so there was no rushing around. I was able to make a few calls. And then we were off to Newark- the flower of New Jersey. Thankfully another uneventful trip.

Dan picked us up in Mike’s Denali. Apparently the new Denalis have less storage space and more leg room. That was not the equation I really wanted. While CavWife properly installed the car seats I played puzzle with the luggage. We all fit in for the ride to Newfoundland. After passing the infamous Hibernia Diner, we got to the Hric home in time for some dinner.

After putting the kids to sleep, Dan and I tried to watch the Bruins’ game. They have Apple TV so there was no live network TV. Soon we found the NBCSports App to download so we could watch the game on my iPad. Good game, lousy outcome.

I had a rough night’s sleep on the Tempurpedic due to the heat and humidity sans a/c. We went to worship in the church CavWife grew up in. Of course it is much bigger, and different. The worship has changed considerably since the last time we were there about 10 years ago. Gone was the organ trying to play more contemporary songs. They had a worship team, and had a low or free worship style (pick your term) and some of the songs were new to us. Good, but new to us (and easy to learn). The sermon was from a series on Galatians, so that is always good. It was not a very long service, and we also enjoyed seeing some old friends.

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I'm Excited, But It's Early

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.

My congregants know I’m a Boston sports fan from my childhood.  As part of pastor appreciation in October, I was given 2 tickets to the Celtics-Suns game when the Celtics made their only appearance in Phoenix (unless both teams inexplicably end up in the the Finals).  The long-awaited day finally arrived.  The night before I watched the Celtics play a tough game in Portland, and expected them to come out flat.  I couldn’t have expected what unfolded.

Around 3:30, the guy who lives with us (henceforth known as CavFriend) and I departed Casa Cav for Phoenix.  He grew up in Phoenix, so I was glad to have him as navigator.  It was pretty much smooth sailing on good ol’ I-10.  While driving, CavFriend finalized plans for us to have dinner with some of his family members.  We were going to meet his dad at Tom’s Tavern at 6:30.

We arrived into town a bit early and drove around trying to find parking.  Plenty of open meters to choose from.  But, unlike anyplace I’ve ever been the meters were operational until 8 pm.  While we could have moved the car after the 2 hour limit (7:30), we didn’t have enough quarters to get us that far.  So, we bit the bullet and paid for the $8 event parking in a garage a few blocks from the arena.  The closer garage was $10, and the closest was $15, so a good move.

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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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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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