Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘KG’


When We See This Again

It is incomprehensible that the Bruins are still playing and the Celtics are done.  Both the Celtics and Patriots were sent packing earlier than expected, and the Red Sox can’t seem to break .500.  The Bruins?  They just defeated long-time foes the Canadians and Broadstreet Bullies (who derailed the last few seasons for the Bruins by putting key players out of commission).

So what went wrong with the Celtics’ season?  Lots of things actually.  Danny Ainge, in a WEEI interview today, admitted that one of the key mistakes he made was letting Tony Allen leave for Memphis.  There he has found more playing time (now that Rudy Gay got hurt) and they are still playing though not for long.  That was an important decision, and they could have used Tony to defend the Heat on the perimeter.  While Tony has issues, he was an important piece for the last few seasons.

Instead of Tony, they initially relied on Marquis Daniels to spell Paul Pierce.  This probably wasn’t the wisest thing since he was injured much of the previous season.  He actually played very well, until the injury that ended his season.  The stage was set for a perfect storm.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


Yes, I’m about a week late on this.  But I wanted the dust to settle instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to the trades made by the Boston Celtics.

You have to keep the context in mind to understand what went down.

  • The Celtics had no available roster spots available.
  • The Celtics were over the salary cap.  The new CBA may have a hard cap, we’ll have to see.
  • The Celtics have been crushed with injuries.  They had been able to weather the injury storm okay until Marquis Daniels was injured.  There was no legitimate back-up for Paul Pierce.  The aging Paul Pierce who has been enduring some less serious injuries.
  • Kendrick Perkins had rejected a contract extension offer by the Celtics.  He didn’t want an unreasonable amount of money, but it was more than the Celtics could commit.

This put Danny Ainge into a difficult position.  He had to find some suitable replacements, particularly for Daniels.  This set up the perfect storm for 3 trades that reduced salary and opened up some roster spots while also providing 2 healthy players at key spots- center and small forward.  They also picked up a few draft picks as they look to the future.

(more…)

Read Full Post »


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!

Read Full Post »


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…)

Read Full Post »


My small consolation from Game 3 was that Pierce played horribly, and KG was sub-par.  And the Celtics still could have won that game.  It was ugly basketball.  The play is physical and the refs are inconsistent. 

The disconcerting question is what is wrong with Rajon’s ankle?  That could be a series altering injury.  Or, he could be perfectly fine in 2 days.

What I do know is that the Truth needs to return from Jet Lag City.  If he plays like he did in the first 2 games, the Celtics put this baby away, and quickly.  But if he struggles in LA, they are in big trouble.

Kudos to Ray Allen who was the only Celtic who seemed to have a good game.  He’s recovered from his slump, and that is good news folks.

Read Full Post »


One of the stranger nights in Boston sport’s history started in Fenway Park last night.  Forgetting that they moved up the start time, I missed the most explosive part of the game.  It began Wednesday night when Coco Crisp slid hard into 2nd base.  The Rays, about to fall out of 1st place, were not excited about the play, calling it dirty.  Coco expected payback.

In the 2nd inning, it came.  Shields hit him with a pitch.  And then came the brawl.  Seems like old times.  In the late 90’s – early 2000’s these 2 teams did not like each other.  A brawl led to bad blood and Brian Daubach was vilified by Rays’ fans.  That feud didn’t die until Daubach left the Sox.  The odd part was that the Rays weren’t very good at the time.

Now they are fighting for first place, and bad blood is back!  Makes things interesting, though I’m not in favor of brawls in sports.  In this go round, Gomes is playing the role of villain.  He is the one who pounced on the pile and threw cheap shots at Crisp- which is what Daubach is accused of doing.  This fight may be the catalyst the Sox needed to pull together in the midst of injuries to key players.

With Crisp tossed, Ellsbury moved to center.  It was the 4th inning when all Boston held its breath as he came up hurting after catching Longoria’s drive.  He would leave the game with only a strained wrist, but it was scarry.  With Coco possibly getting suspended, the timing is quite unfortunate.

But it got stranger as Youk and Manny had to be pulled apart between the 4th and 5th innings.  No word about what the fight was about.  Could be Youk was not wild about playing in the outfield.  Who knows.  But the Sox prevailed 7-1 to take a 1.5 game lead in the AL East.

The Celtics-Lakers game was looking good, though mundane.  It was exciting, but in the 3rd period it got scary as Boston again held its collective breath.  Captain Paul Pierce went down holding his leg.  Scary.  Carried off the court.  Scarier.  Brough to the locker room on a wheelchair.  Level 9 anxiety attack for Celtics Nation.  The guy is finally in the Finals and this is how it ends?????  Are our chances shot????

Next thing we know, Derek Fisher falls on Perkins’ leg after a free throw attempt.  Now he’s limping off the court and heading to the locker room.

Pierce pulled his best Larry Bird impersonation.  Like Bird he would emerge from the locker room to a thunderous applause and entered the game to lead his team to victory.  He showed leadership and courage, and the Lakers couldn’t stop the Celtics despite lots of horrible shots by KG.  It was Pierce who didn’t just play but drained shots and hustled.  While Garnett owned the first half, Pierce owned the second half and the Celtics came up with an exciting win.  This is what Lakers-Celtics is all about, folks.  And somewhere David Stern is rolling on the floor with delight- the string of less-than-interesting Finals is OVER.

Read Full Post »


I was ready to lose my mind during much of the first half of Game 5 between the Celtics and Pistons.  Horrible, horrible calls.  The inconsistency was maddening.  I still can’t believe they called a flagrant foul on P.J. Brown, but one was not called on Billups for taking a shot at Perkins’ head on his break away.  And so was the Celtics inability to hang on to the ball.  It was not looking good for my boys in Green to be sure.

But they regained their composure.  Perkins was a beast: pulling down rebounds, blocking shot and pouring in shots (18 pts. 16 boards 2 blocks, 2 steals).  Ray Allen finally came to life, draining 3-pointers (5-6, 29 pts).  And all this was not a second too soon as ‘Sheed started hitting from behind the arc too.

In the 3rd period the Celtics defense was cranked up a notch as they created turnovers to open up a double-digit lead.  I find Rick Hamilton to be quite annoying.  He consistently over-reacts in the attempt to draw a foul.  Antics like this is part of why Brent Barry didn’t draw a foul at the end of Game 5 of the Lakers-Spurs series.  He didn’t over-react (flop).  They need to start penalizing the floppers.

In the 4th quarter, the Celtics began to settle for the 3-pointer and the Pistons slowly began to close the gap.  It was a 1 point game with 1:05 to go.  Ray Allen hit a 2 to get a 3 point lead.  Billups missed a lay up, and KG missed a too-long jumper at the buzzer.  But Stuckey hit 2 FTs to pull within a point with 8.2 seconds left.  This is just too close for my liking.  So the Pistons put Ray Allen to the line to hit 2.  Stuckey returned to the line (good strategy, boring basketball), and he missed his first FT forcing the Celtics to guard that glass.  But he hit the FT instead.  Garnett was the next Celtic to head to the line, and hit bothto ice the game.

KG rebounded from a sub-par Game 4 for 33 pts and 7 rebounds.  It was barely enough for Gino to dance to the Bee Gees (seriously, a new tradition is needed).

Read Full Post »


I heard the analysts and commentators.  They seemed to forget that despite their lousy road record in the playoffs, they had a great road record during the regular season.  They seemed to forget that they Pistons have not defended their home court in the playoffs this year.  They pronounced the Celtics D-E-A-D.

Hmmmm, the Celtics took Game 3 in Detroit to regain home court advantage.  They had a double digit lead most of the game.  Their bench players played some good basketball.  They played defense.  They won 94-80 even though Paul Pierce (11 points) and Ray Allen (14 on 5-16 shooting) didn’t have much offensive impact.  Perkins had a very good game, hitting his first 6 shots to pick up a double-double.  Garnett had 22 pts, 13 rebounds & 6 assists to lead the Celtics.

Read Full Post »

Considering Game 7


I had to do some pre-marital counseling after church today, so I didn’t get home until after 2 pm.  Well, the game was basically OVER.  I came home to see Rondo lying on the court after having been thrown down by his good friend, Marvin Williams.  With friends like that….

I feel almost as good as KG.  Maybe the utter demolition of the Hawks will quiet some of the whiners and complainers, doubters and deniers.  This is an excellent team.  I didn’t see a bunch of heartless slackers in Atlanta, like some people claim.  I saw guys who weren’t allowed to compete due to the constant refrain of the ref’s whistle.

Now it is Cleveland, and more whistle-blowing.  But if they play this kind of stifling defense, they should prevail though it may take 7 games again.

Read Full Post »


The vaunted Celtics’ defense showed up last night.  And they once again put a major league hurtin’ on the Hawks.  Whenever the Hawks made a good run the Celtics amped up the intensity and extended the lead.

The series is getting pretty chippy.  Most of that chippiness seems to involve Horford.  He could be the next Tree Rollins (who bit Danny Ainge, not the other way around as people erroneously recall it) or Bill Lambeir.  That he didn’t understand the Flagrant Foul rule is amazing to me.  He didn’t go for the ball, but a takedown.  Don’t get angry about it.  And there were plenty of angry Hawks near the end of that game.  This could get ugly soon.

The person who should have been angry was Paul Pierce.  Kudos to Paul for maintaining composure despite a series of bad calls and non-calls.  He couldn’t catch a break from the officials who seem determined to send the Hawks to the line 3-4 times as often as the Celtics.  I’m not buying the line the Czar (btw- could they forcibly retire him?) is selling.  “The Celtics are a jump shot team.”  Okay, during the Chris Ford era that was true.  But did you see how many times Pierce and Rondo penetrated?  Did you see how many times KG, Powe and Perkins took shots in the paint (drawing contact)?  There was no logical, sensible reason for the FT disparity.

In light of all that- what was KG doing on the floor with 3 minutes to go????  Is Rivers trying to get him hurt?  With that kind of lead the bench should have played the last 8-10 minutes.

Pitching.  I am amazed at this string of pitching performances by Buchholz, Beckett, Lester and Dice-K.  The Red Sox offense has been on vacation, and squandered Clay and Josh’s stellar performances.  Thankfully they provided just enough for Papelbon to get the wins with walk-off hits.  Suddenly the Sox pitchers are going deep and holding teams to almost nothing.  5 runs in 4 games I think.  This is the staff we expected heading into the season.  Is this just a fluke, or the real deal?  The latter I hope.

Read Full Post »


For me it was unthinkable for the Celtics to lose to the Hawks, again.  Well, it was nearly unthinkable for the Sox to be swept by the Rays, and that happened.  But the Celtics had dominated the Hawks this season, and in the first 2 playoff games.  The Hawks looked utterly horrible!

Game 3 was different.  It was like a completely different team showed up.  The Hawks could apparently do no wrong.  This despite working in a bargain basement setting.  In the second half one of the shot clocks on the goal post didn’t work.  So they turned both off and had the announcer say “10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and a whistle indicated that time had elapsed.

Surely, I thought they Celtics would figure out their defensive rotations, the technical crew would fix the shot clock and the Hawks would regress to the mean of mediocrity.

Well, the shot clock worked.  But the buzzer didn’t so they time keeper used an air horn.  What is this, Middle School?  David Stern, who was there, had to be cringing since this was part of the national TV doubleheader.  Doc helped the Hawks with some strange rotations.  In a time when they needed a lockdown defender, Eddie House was in there instead of Tony Allen or James Posey.  Huh?????  This helped former Celtic Joe Johnson do his best Michael Jordan impersonation and totally dominate the 4th quarter so the Celtics actually LOSE.  Arrrggghhh!

Worse, ESPN keeps playing the little scrum that erupted.  2 players (Perkins and Marvin Williams) left the bench area and might have to sit for game 5.  KG was going ballistic, so focused on Pachulia that he flicked the ref off of him.  Since the ref didn’t toss him, I’m hoping that the league doesn’t decide to help the Hawks some more by tossing KG for a game or 2.  Of course they fined Pierce for making a gesture that they claim is a gang symbol.  Looks more like flicking something off your finger or going “okay”.  I don’t know.  Apparently it means “blood, sweat and tears” and he does it at the beginning of every game.

So, this series should be over, or at least on the verge of being over.  Yet, we are tied with a far inferior team.  Welcome to the joys of the playoffs.  Now, can the Celtics make the necessary adjustments?  Will they continue to give Bibby wide open looks?  Will they lose players for Game 5?  Have they noticed that the Magic finally WON a playoff series (it’s been more than a decade folks)?

Read Full Post »