Archive for April, 2008

Now That’s More Like It
April 30, 2008

paul pierce

Sorry for the late post-game recap… but Chuck and I were immersed in the luxury suite experience.  Free food… free beer… great game… it was very nice.  And I must say… the concubines were a nice touch.  They’re really stepping up their customer service efforts. 

I hope everyone can calm the hell down now that the Celtics got back to doing what they do:  Paul Pierce driving to the hoop… stifling D… and a steady pressure that ultimately leads to a blowout final score.  Yes, it did get tight there in the 3rd quarter… when the team came out a little soft.  And yes, I got some butterflies when the referees decided they wanted some of the spotlight in the 4th quarter.  But unlike games 3 and 4… the Celtics slowed things down when the Hawks made a run… and got a good shot off. 

Welcome back, Celtics. 

Box Score  |  Recap

There Is A God…
April 30, 2008

We’ve all had those life-changing phone calls: “I’m pregnant!” or “The test came back negative.” Today I received a call worthy of this category:

Hey Chuck, it’s John. I got free luxury-suite tickets to tonight’s game. You in?

That’s right….the blue-collar boys of Red’s Army will be hobnobbing with the suits tonight! And we’ll be wearing these green goofy t-shirts courtesy of Reebok.

And leave it to Bob Ryan to calm everyone down. He just posted a great blog detailing several instances where the Celtics were tied 2-2 in a series with lesser teams. Here are the examples:

1972 — 56-26 Celtics tied at 2-2 with the 36-46 Hawks.
1973 — 68-14 Celtics tied at 2-2 with the 46-36 Hawks.
1974 — 56-26 Celtics tied at 2-2 with the 42-40 (Buffalo) Braves
1976 — 54-28 Celtics tied at 2-2 with the 46-36 Braves
1976 — 54-28 Celtics tied at 2-2 with the 49-33 Cavs
1976 — 54-28 Celtics tied at 2-2 with the 42-40 Suns
1981 — 62-20 Celtics tied at 2-2 with the 40-42 Rockets
1984 — 62-20 Celtics tied at 2-2 with the 47-35 Knicks

Thanks Bob…we needed that.

Pressure’s On, Doc
April 30, 2008

This is completely wild speculation based on a scenario that I don’t believe will transpire….

But…. I’m a jerk… so here goes….

IF the Celtics happen to lose to the Hawks here…. would anyone be the least bit surprised to see Mike D’Antoni coaching the Celtics next year?  I mean… there’s no way Doc would survive a first round exit (even though it wouldn’t be entirely his fault)…. and D’Antoni has had reasonable success with a style Danny Ainge likes in a much tougher conference that just so happened to include Tim Duncan every year. 

Now… I fully expect the C’s to not only win this series… but also to win it all…. so I think the point is moot.  But since D’Antoni will be out there… I wouldn’t be surprised if Danny’s thinking about “all the possibilites” that exist for the Celtics.

There… I said it.  We may now resume focusing on the Hawks. 

Not Dead Yet
April 30, 2008

What the HELL is going on in Boston???  Last I checked… this series is tied… although you wouldn’t believe it if you read Gerry Callahan today. 

You don’t need cryptic hand gestures to understand what they’re up against: If they do not win two of their next three games, all of the above will be forgotten and the 2007-08 Celtics will be remembered for only one thing:  The worst collapse in Boston sports history.

Jesus Christ Callahan… why don’t you save the bile for tomorrow… IF its needed at all. 

People around here are acting like winning 2 of 3 is impossible for these guys.  May I suggest that, despite the past couple of games, that the Hawks will have a harder time winning 2 of 3… when 2 of those are IN Boston?  So what if the C’s lost a couple of road playoff games.  Congrats Atlanta… you got hot… you won at home… whoop dee freakin’ doo.

The only thing the Celtics have to realize is that no one can hang with them when they IMPOSE THEIR WILL.  The Celtics have briefly gotten away from doing the things they do best.  Once they realize that sticking to their game plan will win them a title, then they’re fine.  It’s like a boxer who has got a guy on the ropes in the 2nd round… goes for the big, pretty knockout punch in rounds 3 and 4… and gets his bell rung a little.  Bring it back in… start working that jab and getting in your combinations… and start winning rounds again.  Then you let the ref come in to stop the fight when your opponent is a bloody pile of ground sirloin.

But everyone needs to cut the doom-and-gloom crap until its necessary.  Stop acting like mid-80’s Red Sox fans… and start acting like mid-80’s Celtics fans.

Herald:  Champs or Chumps?  |  Celts must get back to their regular season ways  |  Lack of “D” stops Celts  |  KG avoids suspension  |  Surprise!  Hawks hanging around  |  Boston:  From unrivaled to unraveled  |  Pierce’s message still isn’t clear  |  Garnett & Perk escape penalty  |  Breakdown a team effort  |  Rivers wants fuel injection  |  Souza:  Strength in numbers  |  Keeping Cool |  T&G:  C’s need to ground Hawks  |  Patriot Ledger:  Celtics happy to be out of Atlanta  |  Hawks ruffled C’s feathers  |  USA Today:  Rondo keeps stars aligned  |  SI:  Spurs win  |   Dantoni out in Phoenix  |  Hornets eliminate Mavs  |  Rockets still alive  |  Brown to Bobcats

Hawks: The Argument Against Tanking
April 29, 2008

I’d like to thank the Hawks for making my argument (1 year later) as to why tanking is counter-productive.  You tell me what’s more productive for the Atlanta Hawks right now… going toe-to-toe and proving they can run with the Celtics in the playoffs… or sitting there hoping they get a lucky bounce with the ping-pong balls? 

No Fines or Suspensions
April 29, 2008

The Celtics will have all hands on deck for Game 5 Wednesday night. The league did not hand down any suspensions or fines following last night’s battle royal in Atlanta. Here’s the latest from Marc Spears.

The Celtics will have no fines or suspensions stemming from a skirmish during Game 4 of their playoff series Monday night against the Hawks in Atlanta, according to an NBA official.

Celtics forward Kevin Garnett pushed referee Ed Rush off of him during the skirmish. Celtics center Kendrick Perkins and Atlanta forward Marvin Williams also stepped slightly on the playing floor from the bench.

Garnett said during today’s practice he didn’t think he should be suspended and Perkins expressed hope he wouldn’t be. The end result is that both teams will have a full complement of players available for Game 5 in Boston Wednesday night.

Pierce flashes a “gang symbol” and gets fined $25K, but Pachulia gets off free after headbutting one of the best players of all-time. Does that make any sense?

Stern a Gangbanger?
April 29, 2008

Suspensions Coming?
April 29, 2008

Ok… these are the questions we’ve got to ask after yesterday’s “altercation.”

Question#1:  Did KG push a ref? 

It’s at the :15 mark.  He certainly struggles to get free… and he’s not gentle about it.  It was a big debate today on “Mike & Mike in the Morning.” with one vote for a suspension… one against.  This photo doesn’t help.

kevin garnett

 Did Kendrick Perkins come off the bench?

At the 1:04 mark, you see Perk with a foot on the court.  It’s only 1 foot… but some people will say that’s enough.  Now we’re getting into “leaving the bench area” territory.  People will also point to the whole Amare Stoudemire incident last year as precedent.  I don’t think it applies… because Stoudemire had actually passed the bench area… whereas Perk only has one foot on the court.  There’s also the question as to how much of an altercation this was.

Did Zaza Pachulia headbutt KG?

At 1:30… Pachulia steps up to KG… and he instigates contact that results in their foreheads touching.  Gorman and Marshall say its a headbutt… I say (just like every other thing being brought up here) you can go either way on it.  He definitely initiates contact… and he does it from a few steps away.  That’s probably a fine… but a suspension might be pushing it.

Did Marvin Williams leave the bench?

This clip doesn’t show it… but Marvin Williams did what Perkins did.  Just keep that in mind.  If one gets suspended and not the other, that’s crap.  They’re either both gone… or neither goes.

In my opinion… no one should go.  This was a minor dust up.  You can fine KG for putting his hands on the ref.  You can fine Pachulia for trying to instigate… but that’s about it.

These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty
April 29, 2008

All Kramer had to do was deliver a simple line:  “These pretzels are making me thirsty” and he would have had a speaking part in a Woody Allen movie. 

But because Kramer is fake… and Seinfeld had to be funny… everyone over-thought the line… and Kramer’s chance at fame blew up in his face.

Well… these Celtics are making me pissy… because they’re blowing it for the same reasons Kramer blew it.  They can’t just keep it simple.  Everyone is over-thinking things.  The Celtics need to ignore all the dramatics… the over emphasis on the mundane… and just do what they do normally. 

The Celtics got here by playing hard, team defense.  They played it in the third quarter, and they made building a 10 point lead look easy.  But for some reason… they got away from it in the 4th.  They started looking for daggers.  They started shooting 3’s off of one pass… so they could shut up the crowd and maybe throw some more hand signals at the Hawks bench. 

So stop crying about getting an individual defender in there to stop Joe Johnson.  We’re not a 1-on-1 defending team.  We’re about helping each other out… which almost no one did on Joe Johnson last night.  We’re about being patient on offense and finding the best possible shot… which we rarely did in the 4th quarter last night.  We’re about quietly putting together a 7-2 run here… and a 6-0 run there… until the other team looks up at the scoreboard and realized they’re down 20.

(more…)

Celtic Killer
April 28, 2008

Joe Johnson single-handledly beat the Celtics tonight. He torched the C’s defense for 20 points in the fourth quarter (35 total) as the Hawks overcame a 10 pt deficit and won 97-92. After all the taunting and excessive celebration following Game 3, nearly everyone expected the Celtics to bitch-slap Atlanta tonight. But everytime the Celtics made a run (1st and 3rd quarters), the Hawks responded with a run of their own. It was downright embarassing. All the talk about Paul Pierce making Al Horford pay for the taunt? He shot 5-14 FG (4-8 FT) which included one crucial missed lay-up late in the fourth. The Celtics are in serious danger of blowing this series.

Box Score | Recap

The Punk of the Night Award goes to the Hawks Zsa Zsa Pachulia. Let’s see if he gets suspended for that headbutt on Kevin Garnett.