Archive for January, 2008

Everyone Just Calm Down
January 29, 2008

bill waltonWhat the Sam Cassell is going on these days?  Fans around Boston are going nuts about a little .500 stretch over the past couple of weeks… and John Hollinger is wondering out loud about the Spurs ending up in the lottery…. IN THE LOTTERY!

Hey Hollinger… put down the crazy juice and step away from the computer.  In fact… everyone needs to take a hit from Bill Walton’s pipe, have a couple of Twinkies, and mellow the hell out.  If the first part of the season was the Celtics version of going NBA Live on the league… then January is the part where our thumbs got tired.  We’ve got the Heat tonight… who I think we can still handle even though it looks like KG is still out.  What we really care about is KG being ready for Thursday night’s Dallas game.  After we lay the wood on the Mavs (who won’t have Devin Harris) then everyone can stand tall again and recognize that we’re still awesome.

Herald:  Riley-new stars bring change  |  Globe: Posey feels Heat’s pain  |  Miami Herald:  Heat see similarities to Celtics  |   Palm Beach Post:  C’s have aura like ’05 Heat  |  USA Today: Loss doesn’t derail C’s playoff hopes  |  Globe & Mail Canada:  Stoudemire back to Raptors?  |  Cavs Pursuing Kidd….  | …Or what about Dallas?  |  NYTimes:  Uncommon wealth of success in Boston  |  Power Rankings:  #2 on ESPN… |  … and on SI 

And remember that exchange between KG and Al Jefferson that resulted in double techs the other night?  Seems like it was a good one:

When Kevin Garnett emphatically reminded Jefferson of his all-star selections – “11 years! 11 years!” – Jefferson replied with something that Garnett couldn’t top.

“I told him we both have one thing in common – no championships,” Jefferson said. “He didn’t like that too much.”

Ouch.  Good comeback, though.  Might as well get that in while he can.


Now On Barstool
January 28, 2008

The Celtics have hit a little bit of a lull.  The question is why?  Injuries?  Fatigue?  Nope… Chuck says it’s time to point figures… at Doc Rivers:

It’s time to start pointing fingers at the weakest link on this team. Rondo? Nope. Doc Rivers? You guessed it. I just can’t figure out this guy’s rotations. And where’s the rule that says you must sit two of the Big 3 at the start of the 2nd quarter? And why does Pierce always get stuck with the bench guys late in the 3rd? And while I’m in a pissy mood, can we stop mentioning Ray Allen as a potential All-Star this season? He’s not even close.

Interesting.  I think we should take this to the comments section.

Random Thoughts
January 28, 2008

Every once in a while, I have some random thoughts about what’s going on in Celtics-land… but none of them are big enough to flesh out into full-scale posts.  This is one of those days… so here they are:

  • Am I the only one who wondered where Rashard “Max Contract” Lewis was on the last play yesterday?  You’d think they might set a pick or something for the highest paid shooter on the team.  That’d raise my eyebrow if I was a Magic fan.
  • Put me in the camp that thinks Paul Pierce did all he could defensively on that play.  I’m willing to bet KG would have taken Turkoglu if he was playing… to force him to shoot over the biggest guy on the floor. 
  • Props to Doc Rivers for not caving to the pressure from KG.  Doc sees the big picture.  I think it was important for the C’s to figure out what they could do without KG in the lineup.  We need him healthy in May and June.
  • Losing James Posey might hurt us more in some regards than losing Garnett.  The C’s looked completely disjointed without Posey the last few nights.  Yesterday, he hit some HUUUUGE 3’s to keep the C’s alive. 
  • Jason Kidd supposedly wants a trade.  He’s about to be 35 years old.  New Jersey’s not going anywhere.  If I’m running the Nets, I say goodbye to Kidd and accept young talent and draft picks in return.  I also would have let Vince Carter walk.  They didn’t… so they’re kinda screwed for a while.
  • Al Jefferson dropped 40 points last night.  He’s averaging 29 a game in the TWolves current run of 3 wins in 4 games.   And while I don’t believe he will sustain it… I’ll go ahead and publically say that Sebastian Telfair has done a good job for them as a starter.  I doubt he’ll stick around in Minny because they’ve got other plans… which will force him onto the 4th team of his career.  That will be another setback for him… and its part of why I think he’ll end up as a career back up.
  • Why don’t I think Damon Stoudemire will sign with the Celtics?  Chuck laid out a good case for Damon, and I know he can help… I just don’t see it happening.  For the record, I didn’t see Ray Allen or KG happening… so expect Damon to hold up a C’s jersey by the end of the week.

Herald:  No KG, no victory  |  Ab-solutely a safe move  |  Stoudemire’s no sure thing  |  Globe:  Without ticket, C’s punched out  |  Garnett can’t stomach being on bench  |  Slam:  MVP at the halfway point  |  FL Ledger:  Magic win loses luster  |  Turkoglu stuns Celts at the horn  |  Orlando Sentinel:  Celtics not the same without all 3  |  BostonSportz:  Checking in with the Celtics

You’re Kidding Me
January 27, 2008

hedo turkoglu 

(Getty Images Photo)

I hate it when we’re burned by the BS “wait until no time is left, take a crappy shot” play.  When Hedo Turkoglu stood there until there were a couple seconds left before making his move…. I thought we were definitely going to OT.  When he drained that crazy shot from a couple feet beyond the arc… I launched into a profanity-laced tirade that just ended. 

The bottom line in this game:  Dwight Howard killed us.  He blocked just about everything…. and the C’s were so scared about him blocking shots… they refused to take it strong to the hole.  I can’t even count how many times guys drove, soiled themselves, passed it out to someone else who drove… and soiled HIMSELF… and then kicked it out for a jumper.  Without KG, there was no one to challenge Howard, or pull him away from the hoop.  The C’s made their runs when (a) Howard was sitting and (b) when the 3’s finally started falling.

One note about Howard:  My man-love for him has been well documented here… but he’s starting to piss me off.  That wild arm swing that would have knocked Rajon Rondo to the floor if it had connected had better be reviewed by the league.  It was blatant.  It should have been a technical foul… and considering this came down to a buzzer-beater… calling it may have changed the outcome of the game.  I hope the Celtics send that play off to be reviewed, and Howard is heavily fined.

Recap  |  Box Score  |  Highlights

January 27, 2008

For those of you who tuned into the game and wondering what the hell Brian Scalabrine is doing in the game…. this is why.

Kevin Garnett will miss his first game of the season with an abdominal strain today against the Magic, according to Boston coach Doc Rivers. Garnett missed part of the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 87-86 win over the Wolves last Friday with the injury that he said has been bothering him recently. Rivers also said that Garnett could miss Tuesday’s game at Miami. Forward Brian Scalabrine will start in Garnett’s place.

Lets see how this goes

Why Damon Should Pick Boston Over Toronto
January 27, 2008

Damon Stoudamire is about to be a free agent, and according to most reports, he’s narrowed his list of potential teams down to the Celtics, Raptors and Suns. This may sound ridiculous, but I just don’t buy Phoenix as a viable option for two big reasons: Steve Nash and Leandro Barbosa. While Stoudamire clearly wants to play for a winner, how many minutes will he get with the Suns? He can better satisfy his desire for winning and playing in Boston or Toronto. And here’s my case for the Celtics. (I realize I’ve gone on record saying the Celtics should pursue Sam Cassell over Stoudamire. But with the Cassell rumors stagnant, I’m moving on…for now.)

1. The Celtics are better. Eleven games better in the standings, 3-1 against Toronto this season.

2. Kevin Garnett. How could you not want to play with this guy? The comparable star in Toronto is Chris Bosh. A really good player, but not on KG’s level.

3. Weather. On average, it’s ten degrees warmer in Boston. Go figure.

4. We never traded him away. Damon started his career with Toronto and then was shipped to Portland 2 1/2 years later.

5. Better sports town. Red Sox are better than Blue Jays. Patriots better than….Argonauts? Hell, the Bruins even have a better record than the Maple Leafs.

As for today’s afternoon game against the Magic. the Herald’s Mark Murphy has the latest on the injury front:

 Despite the scare Kevin Garnett threw into everyone by leaving the floor with a strained abdominal muscle in the fourth quarter Friday, he showed up for yesterday’s flight to Orlando ready to go.

Garnett is icing the painful area, and is expected to play today.

James Posey, down with a sore right index finger since last Monday, worked out on Friday and may be healthy enough to play today.

Brian Scalabrine, who missed Friday’s game with the flu, and Scot Pollard, who missed the game with a sprained left ankle, were also on the flight.

Today’s Links: Globe – Stoudamire An Option |  May’s Basketball Notes | Al Michaels Loves Doc | Herald – Stoudamire On Way Out | Dog Days Taking Toll On C’s |  Celtics – Magic Preview | More Nets Trade Rumors | Heat End Skid

Wait… Now It WILL Happen?
January 26, 2008

Yeah… so that report from Toronto that the Stoudemire buyout wouldn’t happen… it turns out that its total BS:

The buyout is scheduled to be made official Monday, sources said. After the Grizzlies formally release him, Stoudamire would then have to clear a 48-hour waiver period before choosing his new team. But the 34-year-old is expected to go unclaimed.

Elite teams such as the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns have already registered strong interest in Stoudamire, with the Celtics ranking as the favorite to land him, according to sources.

That just goes to show…. you can only trust Toronto for 2 things:  Good weed and strip clubs.  Unless you’re a movie studio, then you can trust them to provide a passable New York City backdrop for a bargain price. 

Now On Barstool
January 26, 2008

brandi garnettWhat a day it was for KG.  Not only did he come up with the big win against his former team, it was also his wife’s birthday:

So the lovely Brandi Garnett celebrated a birthday yesterday. What did her husband do for her? He pulled a Celtics victory over the Timberwolves out of his ass… after probably scaring her (and all of us) by briefly leaving with some kind of abdominal strain. Actually, he probably bought her something that we all couldn’t afford even if we all pooled our money together…like Cape Cod. But I’ll take the win we didn’t earn.

There’s also a lovely picture of the happy couple in that Barstool post. 

Would anyone else sacrifice the rest of their lives to live one day as Kevin Garnett?  I don’t sound like that bad of a deal.

The Sad Decline Of Gerald Green
January 26, 2008

gerald greenG Money.  The future.  The man who would replace Paul Pierce. 

Gerald Green was called all those things and more.  But by the time this season is done, Green will have gone from being heralded as the successor to a future Hall of Famer… to a free agent hoping to hook on with his third team in four years. 

There are still plenty of Gerald Green fans around here.  A lot of you blamed Doc Rivers.  But now another organization is looking at Gerald and passing.  He’s got a decent jumper.  He obviously can jump through the roof.  But his seemingly flat-out refusal to improve on his fundamentals is going to cost him.  His next contract may not pay him as much as he’s getting in his rookie scale contract. 

The play that sums it up was the play highlighted on last night’s broadcast.  Late in the game… Leon Powe tracked down a long offensive board in the corner.  It worked out that Gerald was covering him.  Then, inexplicably, Gerald left him to find his own man.  Rather than call out his man and tell someone to pick him up… he leaves the man with the ball.  Leon proceeds to get the hoop and the foul…. a key play in a 1 point loss.

Its bonehead plays like that that will ultimately run Gerald out of the league.  I’ll even look past the yapping he did when he went on a little run.  He’s a young kid pissed off about a trade.   The good thing for him, though, is that he’s so athletic…. someone will give him a shot.  Hell, maybe in the right system, he’ll do well.  All I know is that right now… the guy we were so hyped up about here… is on the verge of heading to Europe…. or falling into the NBDL draft.

Globe:  Green wants to go elsewhere  |  Celtics steal a win  |  Perkins, Garnett steal victory  |  Ryan: Great deal of excitement in this one  |  Herald:  Timber!  C’s drop ‘Wolves  |  Perkins comes up big in friendly matchup  |  ‘Toine checks in  |  Big Al glad to be back  |  KG goes to great pains to beat Wolves  |  Proud Papas  |  Camerato’s Courtside Blog  |  Patriot Ledger:  TWolves put scare into C’s at Garden  |  Ex-C’s happy in Wolfpack  |  Where next for Gomes  |  T&G:  Garnett’s reappearance sparks Celts  |  Jefferson turns a page  |  AOL:  Relax KG, you only beat the Timberwolves  |  Minnesota Star Tribune:  #5 a fixture in stands  |  NBA Bloggers give one word to describe European basketball

One other note:  It doesn’t look like Damon Stoudemire will be bought out

My Hero
January 25, 2008

kevin garnett

Thanks to Kevin Garnett’s heart and toughness (along with Corey Brewer’s inability to make a simple inbound pass), the Celtics stole an 87-86 victory tonight over the lowly Timberwolves. Perk’s (21 pts, 3 blks) offensive rebound and put-back with 16 seconds left proved to be the game winner. But it was KG, who picked Sebastian Telfair’s pocket and dove to the floor to grab the loose ball in the final seconds, who made the play of the game. KG did this after leaving the game midway through the final quarter with an abdominal strain. Comcast’s Greg Dickerson said KG was in so much pain, he had to stop and take a knee while walking back into the lockeroom.  Needless to say, Garnett returned and made the big play. I have two questions. How sore will Garnett be tomorrow? And why are the Celtics still playing like crap?

Box Score | Recap

It should be noted that Sebastian Telfair (18 pts, 6 assts) played well tonight. Too bad he ruined his performance by displaying that ridiculous smirk after making baskets. It rivaled Mark Blount’s skipping routine on the “I am a total doucebag” scale.