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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Pierce’


When you know you’re going to be up late the next day because you are going to an NBA game and driving 90+ minutes to get home, the last thing you want to do is not sleep well. Guess, what I did? Yes, I was up around 3 am with my mind fully engaged considering the next couple of sermons.

So I spent the wee hours blogging, reading and preparing breakfast before we all headed north to Phoenix. By the time we left, I had had 2 mugs of tea and been up about 7 hours, and was wiped out. I was not looking forward to a day at Ikea and then a basketball game.

But first, CavWife had a last minute doctor’s appointment in Phoenix. We both sort of but not completely remembered how to get there. Of course neither of us slept well. That doesn’t make for the best combination. Thankfully, we only made 2 wrong turns. This was good, because the tea, well, … you know.

While she met with the doctor, I read to the kids. First was a Powderpuff Girls story for Micah. Then the same Scooby Doo story I read Eli every time we go to this doctor. The doctor’s wife, who was in the office, really appreciated my character voices. The PP Girls book was missing 4 pages, and had some bad grammar (using adjectives when an adverb should have been used). So there were comedic side remarks throughout both stories.

Finally we were off to Ikea. Once again, there was a wrong turn. Since it was after noon, we started with lunch (thankfully we didn’t have the meatballs) . It wasn’t too busy, to the kids actually got to sit at a kids’ table leaving us to actually be able to have a conversation. Then we went to drop off the kids in the play area. But they were full and short staffed. So, we entered the Ikea maze with 4 kids, uncertain of what we were looking for in addition to new shelves. I forgot our stash of breadcrumbs. I was a zombie trying not to run over people who stopped inexplicably while on their cell phones. I think one woman was a serial offender. While getting out of someone’s way, I backed into a some merchandise nearly tripping over it. This was not fun.

One the way out we noticed a hammock. If we get our porch extended, I want one (if CavWife reads this, it is a hint for Father’s Day). I tried to get a nap, but at no point did I have few than one child on top of me. CavWife missed some really good photo opps, but it is okay, she was tired too.

We made the short trip to Dunkin Donuts to grab some caffeine and a snack. I, of course, missed the turn into the parking lot. After they headed back to Tucson, I stayed in the parking lot in a shady spot to take a nap. My snoring kept waking me up. Around 4 I decided to sit in one of the chairs outside the DD’s. It was nice in the sun. Still in a daze, I made a quick turn and impaled my Vanilla Chai on a chair. My stimulant poured out on the pavement. This wasn’t going well.

Around 4:30 I headed toward the arena to meet a friend. I didn’t notice any event parking set up yet, so I settle for the parking garage next to Chase Field. It exited on Jefferson, the road that would take me back to I-10 and home. I got a great spot so I could pull straight out and onto the exit ramp. There was a small amount of functionality left. I waited for my friend there since I was driving him back to Tucson and he had stuff to put in the car. Thankfully I caught a 2nd wind.

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Who’d of thought he’d be such a huge loss?

Since I can’t find my copy of Four Views of the Book of Revelation in order to cover the 3rd view, I’ll consider sports. I’ve been meaning to work on this post for a few weeks, but haven’t had the free time and mental space. You may think I still don’t have the mental space for it.

I want to consider a similarity between the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Celtics: injuries. The point being how injuries have derailed the last few seasons for both teams. Sports teams are really fragile things. There are times when teams can survive and even thrive during a rash of injuries. The Green Bay Packers did this to win the Superbowl in 2011. Those instances are rare. Most often, the depth of a team is tried and then depleted. Hopes vanish and dreams are squashed.

The Celtics won the NBA title in 2008 and seemed poised to win a few more before the New Big Three fell apart. But injuries have continually derailed that hope, and Celtics fans are disappointed. In 2009 it was Kevin Garnett’s various injuries that left them depleted. Without him they nearly beat the Magic to advance in the playoffs, but it was not to be. A healthy KG, and the Celtics go to the Finals. The next year, KG was not healthy, but was playing. They made it to the Finals against the Lakers. Then, in Game 6, Perkins blew out his knee. His presence in that abysmal Game 7, the film of which should be burned for the sake of both teams, may have made a significant difference. We won’t know. But the Lakers did triumph.

Then there was last year. KG was healthy, but there was the big trade that sent Perkins packing for 2 players. He was still not right, but the emotional toll on the team seemed too big. Both O’Neals had injury problems. Until the playoffs. They put it together after their late season skid. They made it to the conference finals against the arrogant Miami Heat who hope to win 7-8 titles in their imaginations (Father, may it not even be one- oppose the proud!). In a painful moment caught on film, D-Wade pulled down Rondo while falling. Really cheap play, and their series this season against the Pacers shows they are inclined toward the cheap plays. Rondo’s dislocated elbow sunk the Celtics. He valiantly tried to play, but with only one functioning arm, his defense was a liability. That moment dashed the Celtics hopes.

We felt his pain.

The Red Sox are in a similar state of affairs. They won the World Series in 2007. Despite injuries to Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, the Red Sox made it all the way to the AL Championship against new rivals the Rays in their first ever play off appearance. Beckett pitched, but was a shell of himself. So close, but they fell in 7 to the Rays who would get handled easily in the World Series. Oh, for a healthy Beckett or Lowell. Just one would have tipped the scales enough. Just one.

2009 was just a mess for the Red Sox. It is a blur of injuries in the last few months that sunk a promising season. I have erased it from my memory.

2010 looked so promising. In the opening weeks they lost Ellsbury and Mike Cameron for essentially the season. Beltre not only provided power to the line up but single-handedly destroyed the outfield.  The only remaining starting outfielder was J.D. Drew, and we all know he’s good for a few trips to the DL. Daniel Nava and Darnell McDonald came out of nowhere to provide some spark. But then the injuries began to mount up- Youkilis, Pedroia, Martinez. So many injuries to key players- there were done. D-O-N-E.

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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.

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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.

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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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It has been an interesting off season for the Boston Celtics thus far.

The first move was an obvious no-brainer: tending an offer to Glen “Big Baby” Davis making him a restricted free-agent.  This allows the Celtics to match any offer, which they will most likely do unless that offer is outrageous.  Big Baby showed some maturity and ability to perform consistently in the playoffs with both KG and then Leon Powe injured.  He rose to the occasion.

It was not a Celtics’ move, but one that helped the Celtics.  Eddie House picked up his player option, staying with the Celtics.  He’s been a great player for them, and his contract is quite reasonable.

The third was one that disappointed most Celtics’ fans, and players.  Leon Powe was not tendered an offer.  This does not rule out a return by Leon Powe, but means they don’t have the right to match any offers he does receive.  Many think it inhumane since Leon was injured during the playoffs and is currently recovering from surgery.  I’m sure Leon will be on someone’s roster come January, but perhaps not until he proves the knee allows him to play his game.  This was the whole reason he slipped to the Celtics in the draft in the first place.  He has displayed lots of guts and grit.  But having 2 under-sized c/pfs on the team was too much.  Big Baby gets the nod as the player most likely to be a big contributor for years to come.

Fourth, offering Rasheed Wallace a contract for the full MLE (for 2, possibly 3 years).  I’m not sold on this move, and Celtics Blog’s Jeff Clark is trying to talk himself into it.  He hasn’t talked me into it yet.  I’m not sure ‘Sheed will stop being bored and play hard for 20 minutes each night.  I’m not wild about 6’11” guys who love to shoot the 3.  That’s what we pay Ray Allen and Eddie House to do.  I want a big man who will take it to the hole, create contact, draw fouls and create space for the outside shooters.  IF Wallace accepts, I really hope it works.  But I won’t be convinced until it does..

Fifth, the Celtics are trying to woo Grant Hill.  He was productive with the Suns, and could provide some good punch off the bench so Paul Pierce doesn’t have to play 37-42 minutes a night.  P Squared was absolutely exhausted in that Magic series (oh, and we win by Hedo heading north, the Magic are much weaker defensively now).  On the other hand, the Celtics could start looking like the Lakers’ failed attempt to win the title with aging players like Malone and Payton.

Other rumors?  Tryrone Lue.  Please, he hasn’t impressed me at any stop he has made.  Save the money for Big Baby, Pruitt is a cheaper guy who will play about as well.  Danny is also talking about how Walker and Gliddens are competing for 1 roster spot.  This doesn’t bode well for one of them, and maybe us.  I’d rather have them both continue to compete and develop until one of them shows themselves as worthless as Tony Allen has.  Now there is a guy we should dump.  Yeah, who would want him at this point.  But maybe he and Scals’ expiring contract can get a 2nd round pick in 2015, and open up a roster spot for someone who can actually play.  And who knows what will happen to Lester Hudson.  This week’s summer league in Orlando will be telling.

So, thus far a mixed report card for the Celtics.  But keep in mind, an old Shaq does not a champion make of Cleveland.  They will play the slower game that the Celtics like and King James really doesn’t.  I see Phoenix Part 2 taking place in Cleveland, except there is no Amare to be a fearsome inside presence when Shaq is sucking wind.

Update: It would appear that ‘Sheed has committed to sign with the Celtics for 2 years.  I really hope they are a good 2 years.

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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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