Wednesday, February 28, 2007

C's/Knicks - Preview

Predictions and Stuff I just wanted to point out:

- Boston looks to avoid going 1-11 for the month of February. Although 2-10 is little consolation.

- Right now Boston leads the season series (2-1), while both teams have failed to defend home court advantage. In this fourth contest the Celtics look to avenge the beating they took at the TD Banknorth Garden (101-77) back on November 24th.

- One of my favorite non-Celtics, David Lee, comes to town.

- We get to watch the Lucky commercial in which he prank phone calls an irate New York Knicks secretary. While it is by all accounts unspectacular, there is an Isiah Thomas sexual harassment joke in there somewhere.

- Finally the C's look for their first win streak since December (9th-16th).

- Grande and Maxwell will make numerous Eddy Curry fat jokes unless they are feeling politically correct after the whole Violet Palmer incident.

- Steve Francis might have to, gasp, play as Jamal Crawford is out for the season.

- There's an outside chance that I might decide to drive down from New Hampshire and catch this one live. If not I'll catch one soon. I've got a fever and the only prescription is the Celtics live.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Three-Man Booth

Bill Simmons updated his blog today and it's a good read all around. Some good insight on Oden, things to consider as March Madness and ultimately the draft approach, and a fantastic dunk contest from YouTube as well. Definitely check it out. And towards the end he rails against the three-man booth:

"ESPN keeps trying a three-man booth with Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery. … Since when did we decide we needed three guys to announce a two-hour college basketball game? After actually attempting to provide color for two games (we're running that column Wednesday on Page 2), I can't even fathom what it would have been like with a third guy in there. What's the point? I like Bilas on his own, and Raftery remains one of my favorite color guys ever (in any sport). Why team them together? So they can accidentally interrupt each other for two hours? These are the things I don't get."

- These are the things I think about (scroll down) when Donny Marshall is announcing Celtics games. It's as if the people at FSN wanted to make this season as miserable as possible. Are they trying to drive down ratings? What is their angle?

Monday, February 26, 2007

C's Win!

- I can't root against this team. I guess I'm no Bill Simmons. I'm excited. And there is only one thing to do at a time like this...

Why Some People Hate the NBA

The Rockets are beating the Celtics right now the half. Ouch.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

C's/Jazz - 2/24/07

- So that happened.

- Once again I got sucked in when Boston pulled within 4 (52-56) in the second half. I can't say I was disappointed by the loss because in some sense disappointment involves surprise. Right? But Paul Pierce was feeling it and the Jazz were without AK-47 and Mehmet Okur.

- In case you were wondering the Celtics are now at the point where other teams don't take them seriously at all. Losing 22 of 23 will do that.

- Tommy Heinsohn definitely does not enjoy Donny Marshall's presence.

- Where did Marshall go to college and did he play in the NBA?

- No close games in the NBA last night. Teams lost by 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 31 points.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

C's/Lakers - 2/23/07

Al Jefferson Layup, Paul Pierce Jump Shot, Brian Scalabrine 3, Andrew Bynum Dunk, Jefferson Hook Shot, Ryan Gomes Lay Up. – 2 minutes and 16 seconds into the game the Celtics were up 11-2 and I was feeling good about the game. Foolish me. Little did I know that Kobe Bryant would score 22 in the first quarter, 38 overall, and dish out 9 assists for good measure.

The crazy thing was that the Celtics pulled within 2 (54-56) with 1 minute and 46 seconds to go in the first half. And then Smush Parker hit a lay up, Ronny Turiaf knocked down a couple of free throws, Turiaf caught a Kobe ally oop and threw it down, Parker hit a lay up, and Kobe hit a free throw after The Truth’s technical foul. All of the sudden it’s halftime and the C’s are down 11 (54-65).

How do I continue to get pulled into these games? It’s a testament to my insanity.

Paul Pierce (16 points on 33% shooting, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 turnovers, and a technical foul) did not have the monster game that I predicted. In a related story, I hate Kobe Bryant.

The C’s went 0-10 this year against the Pacific Division. When it’s all said and done there will be any number of ways to measure how bad this team has been.

Finally, what is Donny Marshall doing court side? Never mind the fact that he’s not particularly good at analysis. And I’m not even talking about the quality of what he says. Let's just say that often times the message is lost in the delivery. The bigger issue is this is basketball. When does the viewer need a three person announcing team? It’s like buying a 3 Liter bottle of soda. You better be poor or vindictive if you unleashing more than 100 ounces of a mysterious red liquid called Big Fizz on a group of unsuspecting people, especially if they are children. Now I know what you’re thinking. When is it okay to be vindictive to children? If you have kids or work as a teacher you understand.

But back to Marshall. This really is not a criticism of him. FSN is to blame. Mike Gorman handles the play by play. Tommy Heinsohn is the color commentator. Occasionally Bob Cousy will join the team. And you know what? It doesn’t work. It stifles Tommy and the Couz only knows a baker’s dozen of current NBA players. However, Cousy is a Hall of Famer, one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players, and an Auerbach guy to boot. He can do whatever he wants in my book. And yes that includes butchering international players’ names. We're all getting to know Donny Marshall. And he’s know Bob Cousy. No offense. Consider the following exchange.

“He planted him. He smushed him you could say.” – Mike Gorman
“He did smush Smush.” – A giddy Donny Marshall in a tone reminiscent of Ashton Kucher’s character from That 70s Show.

Meanwhile Tommy isn’t happy either. Last night he complained about not having time to give a Tommy Point. When he’s sick, recovering from surgery, or no longer able to do the job then bring in another guy. Until then let us enjoy Tommy’s referee hating, Celtics loving, old man ways.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Prediction for the Game


- That was fun. Who doesn't like Rocky? Well besides the Australians. But seriously. Paul Pierce is going to have a huge game.

- Wally Szczerbiak was sent home.

- Smush Parker has started every game for the Lakers over the last 2 seasons. I did not see that coming.

Dennis Johnson: 1954-2007

I spent 6 hours in a car last night driving to and from Vermont. Between that and needing a break after all the hype surrounding the trade deadline I simply walked away from the Internet for a night. So I was shocked when I sat down to the Boston Globe for breakfast and learned that Dennis Johnson was dead. I was too young to truly appreciate the Dennis Johnson era but people who know basketball have raved about him for years. Here are just a few thoughts.

1. Whatever Antoine Walker’s legacy is, it has to be hurt by the fact that he feuded with Dennis Johnson during the 1996-97 season.

2. Johnson is a classic “you can throw the stats out the window” type of player. And while I'm on the subject here is one thing that kills me about sports. Fans, coaches, and management always preach team work and winning. However, to a certain extent guys who buy in suffer when it comes to contracts and the Hall of Fame.

3. According to this website DJ made a little over 6 million dollars from 1979-1989. That really was a different era. Heck Vin Baker is making over 5 million from the C’s this year.

4. Everybody has already linked to it. And in no way does that make me feel like I should not. Enjoy for the millionth time.

5. Bill Simmons wrote one of his best pieces in quite some time on DJ. I love it when he compares him to other players:

“An all-defensive team for the past 30 years cannot include anyone other than these five guys: DJ, Payton, Pippen, Ben Wallace and Hakeem. Nobody else qualifies.”

“DJ will be remembered by everyone who was there as one of the best big-game guards who ever played. Basically, it's Clyde Frazier, Jerry West, Sam Jones, Reggie Miller, Michael Jordan and DJ on the list.”

And a Simmons concept that I am fascinated by, “He's on the all-time 'We'll never see this guy again' team along with Barkley, Bird, Magic, Maravich, Gervin, McHale, Kareem, Adrian Dantley and wholly unique players from NBA lore. There's never been a guard like DJ before or since.”

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Get Better or Else

From Chad Ford's chat on right now:

"Tony (Brookfield, CT):
Why are the Celtics not actively shopping Pierce? Isn't it time to really throw in the towel in Boston and completly start over?

SportsNation Chad Ford: (12:12 PM ET ) I think Danny Ainge should listen to the podcast today. Pierce is also represented by Jeff Schwartz, Kidds agent. While he maintains that Pierce's desire is to retire a Celtic, he's growing impatient and thinks that i if the Celtics don't get a lot better soon, the scales will tip and Pierce will want a chance to play on a team that has a shot at a championship. My guess is that the deadline is this summer. I think Ainge is trying to make a big deal, he just doesn't have a lot of takers."

- You kind of had to see this coming. With all that has gone on - the epic losing streak, Wally Szczerbiak's terrible health, Pierce's earlier comments about trading the draft pick, and the fact that he's not getting any younger - I'm surprised it has not come up earlier.

C's/Suns - 2/21/07

- I do not believe in moral victories. Or I believe in them to a point and this Celtics team has passed that point. It's nice that Phoenix had to play their starters until the end but it would have been a great game to win. And the C's played well.

- “There’s Nash ready to check back in and I’m sure Doc will make an adjustment.” – Donny Marshall in the 4th quarter. I was not as sure.

- Big Al put up 23 and 17 while Amare notched 32 and 12. You can't fault Jefferson too much though because the Suns personnel and system make it a lot easier on Stoudemire.

- The Suns are a very different team with Amare. I don't think they can go all the way without him. However, he seems to be the only Phoenix player that has his own agenda. When that agenda leads to stats like last night who cares? But you can see how he could possibly be detrimental to the team if he was getting time and was not healthy.

- At some point last night Sebastian Telfair had to think to himself, "Wait all they do is run, pick and roll, throw ally oops, and shoot 3s?"

- I saw Mike D'Antoni on TV a couple of months ago and he said that Leandro Barbosa's rise as a player was only a matter of time. He works hard, can shoot, and has blazing speed. That will do it.

- I may be the only one but I enjoyed the fact that Doc got a T.

- Paul Pierce does not look quite right yet.

- After a wildly unsuccessful Beat L.A. day of posting that led to Kobe Bryant dominating the C's and Gerald Green I should have retired that concept. But I'm going to bring it back for tomorrow. The Truth is home, the Lakers have lost 6 in a row, and the C's are going to steal one on the road. They're bound to win more than 5 away games right. Why not now?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

C's/Kings - 2/20/07

- I used to play sports and I have a pretty substantial injury history. So I feel for Wally Szczerbiak when he gets hurt for seemingly the millionth time. That said would anybody trade for this guy now? Other GMs watch games right? They must keep up with injury reports at the very least.

- Ron Artest is downright frightening at times. So it's either encouraging to see that Paul Pierce has the guts to talk trash to him or we should all be worried about The Truth's well being.

- The Celtics have not won at Arco Arena since 1996. Although it did not seem intimidating as a place as it was during the first half of the decade.

- Welcome back to reality Gerald Green.

- You could be encouraged that the C's lost by 3 out west or you could accept the fact that the Kings are not that good either.

- I like Kevin Martin's game a lot.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Check out the Pistol

- Courtesy of Yahoo!

- I've often dreamed of mixing Green Day and Oasis. What you haven't?

- Fantastic Red Auerbach cameo.

- The Wizards current, atrocious alternate uniforms would fit right in with some of the stuff those guys wore back then.

NBA Notes

- I never thought I would see Robert Horry, Michael Finley, and Jacque Vaughn together on the court in 2007. But that's just me. How are the Spurs a feared team when outside of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker it's a crap shoot? Oh right Duncan.

- A lot of people can't stand Charles Barkley. Many of them are currently in the NBA as Jack McCallum pointed out so well in Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin' and Gunnin' Suns. I'm not sure I could hate him even if he criticized what I do for a living. Tonight he said, “If I had a body like Dwight Howard I’d just go around the country and beat the hell out of people. Like an ultimate fighter." Now that's comedy. And he makes a good point.

Going to Sacramento

- It's good to have the Celtics and fantasy basketball back in my life. I enjoyed a brief break but needed a fix last night.

- As the 2nd half picks up I pledge to stay up for all of the west coast games.

- Speaking of that 5 game west coast trip. Tonight might be Boston's best chance at a W. Sactown Royalty puts it this way, "Put away the popcorn and grab the puke buckets: Kings basketball is back!" Now that should be in the media guide.

- I think the C's might actually pull this one out.

Wrestling & the C's - Powe through West

Leon Powe is a ferocious competitor and rebounder. He uses his aggressiveness to make the most of limited playing opportunities. For example Powe only played 1 minute and 23 seconds in the C’s recent win over the Bucks. However, as the seconds ticked away he was the only Celtic still playing defense, desperately trying to prevent Milwaukee from cutting into the 20-point deficit. His overall attitude and approach embody one of the greatest names in the history of wrestling – the Junk Yard Dog. And just as Leon had to overcome several knee operations, JYD battled through his blinding at the hands of the Fabulous Freebirds. Finally, JYD was always a popular face, particularly with children. Similarly everyone seems to like Powe based upon his attitude and what he’s been through.

Theo Ratliff was an excellent defensive player in his prime. According to he blocked 262 shots and in one three month stretch averaged 4.2 blocks per game in 2002-03. Unfortunately Ratliff’s career has been plagued by injury, which includes losing the current season to a back ailment. In picking a WWF comparison I wanted a guy who had his own devastating back injury. I settled on Mr. Perfect, Curt Henning, who lost nearly 3 years in his prime. Furthermore, just as Ratliff excelled at defense, Mr. Perfect had a specialty as well – technical wrestling. Finally, while both Ratliff and Henning were definitely above average, they were a step below two men they will forever be associated with – Dikembe Mutumbo and Bret the Hitman Hart.

Heading into February 12th Allan Ray was shooting an abysmal 19% (10-51) from the field at home versus an excellent 50% (31-61) on the road. Mike Gorman is completely mystified by this development. I recognize that he did drop 22 on Atlanta and 20 against the Wizards 5 nights later. However, Ray is currently a jobber. If he’s getting big minutes it is trouble for the C’s. So for now I’m comparing Ray to one of the greatest jobbers of all time, Duane Gill. Hopefully, the former Villanova standout will develop into a 3-point assassin and become a real rotation guy. Until that happens he will be a jobber with a very similar name to an established superstar, just as Gill is most remembered for his infamous Gillberg character.

Rajon Rondo is one of the most exciting Celtics rookies in quite some time. Despite the fact that he is not a great shooter, something anyone who writes exclusively about basketball for ESPN contractually has to point out, he’s got a ton of potential. This is due in large part to his big hands, great motor, rebounding ability, willingness and ability to run, and the fact that he appears to obtain that X factor. I won’t compare him to Bob Cousy. However, The Truth has gone as far as to say that Rondo has top 5 point guard potential. In honor of every bold prediction ever made about Rondo I’m going to go out on a limb here and dial up the Ultimate Warrior. Just as Rondo has many aforementioned strengths The Ultimate Warrior had the theme song, the energetic approach, strangely effective mic skills, and the fan following. Unfortunately the Warrior lacked technical skills, dedication to his craft, and reliability. He never fully put it together as this DVD explains so well. So I’m hoping that Rondo is like the Warrior right around the time he defeated Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI. On the verge of something great. But I never want to watch The Self Destruction of Rajon Rondo with commentary from David Stern, Marc Stein, Ric Bucher, David Thorpe, and the immortal John Hollinger.

When I started this activity I got a call from Tom Heinsohn and he made one demand, “You better make the wrestling equivalent of Brian Scalabrine a red head or else this whole thing is a farce.” Thankfully Bob Backlund was a perfect fit. And not just because of the hair:

1. They both had significant accomplishments in college – Backlund won the NCAA Division II wrestling championship while Scal played at USC.

2. Backlund was not a flashy wrestler. Rather he was praised for his technical ability just as Danny Ainge, Tom Heinsohn, Mike Gorman, Doc Rivers and others frequently highlight Scal’s mental approach to the game.

3. Finally, would there be a more appropriate wrestling move for a guy nicknamed Veal than Backlund’s crossface chickenwing.

* Important note – I’m not talking about Backlund’s first run in the WWF when he held the title. Rather I’m looking at his second stint during the 90s where he feuded with the younger generation. While Scalabrine seems to get along with the young C’s, he is one of the elder statesmen on this Celtics squad, despite not being that old himself.

Wally Szczerbiak – I’ve got it on good authority (any woman I’ve ever talked to who has seen a Celtics game) that Wally is a good-looking guy. He has clearly emerged as the team’s heartthrob, edging out Delonte West in the process. Similarly, there was a time where Ravishing Rick Rude was the WWF’s resident sex symbol. I’m not comfortable enough to dive into that comparison any further so I’ll move onto their respective skills. Wally has been a very good player in his NBA career. He made the All Rookie team (1999) and even one All Star Squad (2002). However, he is by no means a superstar like teammate Paul Pierce. Meanwhile Rick Rude was an accomplished wrestler in his day. But he generally competed for the Intercontinental belt. He wasn’t in Hulk Hogan’s class. Finally, for some unexplained reason I think Wally would be a great heel.

Sebastian Telfair – It’s important for me to note that I like Sebastian Telfair. I’m not entirely convinced that Doc Rivers is ruining the young point guard but he does not seem to be developing him either. Furthermore, I have a hard time evaluating Bassy because of all of the hype that surrounded him before he even played a minute of pro ball. Unfortunately if there is a heel on what is by all accounts a likeable team it is probably Telfair. First there was the infamous “Get over here and take care of it” incident. He was never charged but it did not sit well due to the gun incident from Portland. There have also been some rumblings that Bassy is not well liked in the locker room and I thought his commercial was weak. So Telfair is…drum roll…The Million Dollar Man. Vince McMahon gave Ted DiBiase a ton of cash upon his arrival in the WWF. The same happened to Telfair as he received $5 million from the Blazers and possibly $12 million from Adidas. However, just as the Million Dollar Man could not buy the championship belt from Hulk Hogan, Bassy’s money has not led to a consistent starting spot. Also when Telfair leaves the C’s via free agency for the Knicks next season it will be just like when DiBiase joined the WCW. If you’re scoring at home Portland has to be the equivalent of DiBiase’s start in Mid-South Wrestling.

There are a lot of different ways I could go with this Delonte West comparison. There is the fact that the C’s have been yanking him around about his position in his first three seasons. The numerous flip flops between shooting guard and point guard are reminiscent of a wrestler getting alternating between heel and face too often. As a player Delonte has a solid basketball IQ and has shown flashes of excellent shooting between bouts with injuries. At best he is probably a 3rd or 4th guard on a good team. So maybe he calls to mind an unsuccessful contender for the Intercontinental Championship Belt. However, I’m going to focus on Delonte’s mic skills instead. His epic wire hanger commercial and “I’m just a playa. I’m a playa Greg. And I just play with whatever they put and you gonna play with a sock you gonna pay with a sock” are right up there with Rowdy Roddy Piper’s “Just when they think they've got the answers, I change the questions." In fact it’s time for FSN to scrap the Marshall Plan and replace it with West’s Wing, an interview show loosely formatted off of Piper’s Pit. Can you imagine West turning on old friend Jameer Nelson prior to a Magic game just as Piper turned the tables on Jimmy Superfly Snuka? The possibilities are endless.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Is it a tumor?

I thought I would take a break from the Celtics and focus on a developing story about another Boston team. It's days like this that I'm happy to be out of Massachusetts and not listening to WEEI. They might drag 3-4 days out of this story. I digress. Apparently Manny Ramirez will not report to camp until March 1st because of concern over his mother's health. Julian Tavarez reports, "He's been going through a tough time because of his mom; they told her that she had a tumor and it wasn't a tumor, but she had surgery between her ribs and she's home right now recovering and Manny's out there with his mom."

When I read this story I thought 4 things:

1. I hope Manny's mom is okay.
2. Manny being Manny?
3. Does Manny own a phone?
4. So is it a tumor or not? This trailer would lean towards no, particularly around the 1:20 mark.

Wrestling & the C's - Allen through Pierce

You knew this was coming. Just last week I posted, "As the All Star game approaches and the losses mount I have begun to think about my next big gimmick. So if anyone can think of a wrestler from the 1980s or 90s that reminds them of a current Celtics player..." Maybe this is not your cup of tea. And it's a little played out at this point. But I spent more time on this last week than I did my job. Enjoy.

In his 3 professional seasons Tony Allen has become a bit of a tragic figure. He’s been derailed by 2 knee injuries and lived with the uncertainty of a looming assault trial. However, the former Oklahoma State standout has shown flashes of brilliance. His energetic approach is reminiscent of Koko B. Ware who formed one half of the tag team High Energy. Sadly Koko B. Ware never reached the apex of the WWF although the jury is still out on Allen. Finally, if any current Celtics player is going to show up for a game with a macaw it is Tony Allen.

In the WWF wrestlers on the rise often competed for the Intercontinental Title before getting their shot at the World Championship. Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior are two of many who followed that career path. However, not every wrestler makes the leap from the Intercontinental level. Similarly, it goes without saying, but not every player in the NBA can be a star. Ryan Gomes is a role player instead of a star. He has had some excellent stretches of basketball in his 2 pro seasons. This is in spite of the fact that Doc buried him on the bench for half of his rookie season and that he now hangs out on the perimeter even though he has a nose for rebounds and an effective post game that relies heavily on pump fakes. Gomes is reminiscent of an underrated WWF wrestler – Ricky Steamboat. Steamboat was a face for almost his entire career mainly because he was so likeable. Who doesn’t like Ryan Gomes? Outside of Jim Calhoun that is. Just as Steamboat was effective despite lacking the athletic prowess of some of his peers (Randy Savage and Jimmy Superfly Snuka) Gomes gets it done even though he is a tweener.

Even before Tony Allen’s season ended on a dunk gone wrong, Gerald Green had established himself as Boston’s resident high flier. And recently Green's reputation spread further through the Sprite Slam Dunk competition. Since I’ve been focusing mainly on the early 80s and 90s I have to compare Green to the highest flier of that era. With apologies to Randy Savage, it has to be Jimmy Superfly Snuka. This is thanks in large part to his Superfly Splash off of a steel cage in Madison Square Garden in October of 1983. You know what I’m talking about. But here’s the thing. Despite the way he is remembered Jimmy Superfly Snuka was never a major star in terms of bookings and championships. He had the potential but struggled with real life controversy and limited promo skills. Similarly Celtics fans are wondering what is in store for Gerald Green. He has all the potential. But is he more Harold Miner than Kobe Bryant? So while I’m fired up about Green’s dunk championship I hope it’s not the crowning achievement of his career.

Though he only started playing basketball at age 17 Michael Olowokandi joined Pacific’s squad, made one NCAA tournament, and skyrocketed to the top of the 1998 draft (some guy from Kansas went 10th). Unfortunately the Kandi Man never quite justified his draft position. Similarly Giant Gonzalez never lived up to big expectations. Though best remembered for his bizarre hairy muscle suit, there was a time, albeit a brief one, where he was a legitimate force in the WWF. I can still remember all of the hype surrounding his SummerSlam match with the Undertaker. However, the phenom easily dismantled Giant Gonzalez, effectively ending his career in the process.

It’s hard to remember now but there was a point where Doc's refusal to play Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins at the same time was a point of contention amongst Celtics fans. The argument against the pairing was that Jefferson benefited from playing with Ryan Gomes who unlike Perk did not have to play in the post and therefore could spread the defense. Numerous injuries and one epic losing streak later this seems like ancient history. And Big Al and Perk have actually seen some time together. Unfortunately the results have been inconclusive at best. This is due in large part to the plantar fasciitis that has dogged Perk all season. In fact Perkins has become one of the biggest question marks on the squad, as people are reluctant to evaluate his game without knowing how hurt he actually is. Regardless I’ve decided to stay positive here. I’m calling Al and Perk the Legion of Doom. Granted it’s probably foolish to compare the two Celtics big men to one of the greatest tag teams of all time. However, Perk and Al are still young – 22 and 21 respectively. I like to think they’re always hanging out, lifting weights, working on jump hooks with Clifford Ray, playing video games, hitting clubs, and so on. If they can improve defensively, grow more comfortable, and get a better understanding of the game they could be a pretty feared duo. Meanwhile, with Ratliff out and the Kandi Man sitting on the bench, Scalabrine is the other big man in the rotation. Think of him as the Droz of the group. That’s not a compliment. Finally, when the Knicks come to town on the 28th and Nate Robinson attacks Gerald Green (could happen) it would be great if Perk and Al took care of the former Washington star with the Doomsday Device.

I thought about this one for a week. In my wildly popular Celtics/Nintendo piece I argued that Pierce would be more Christian Okoye from Tecmo Super Bowl than Mario until he took the C’s to the next level. Obviously by the “next level” I meant the NBA finals and not an epic losing streak and altogether terrible year. Much of that has to do with Pierce’s foot injury, which has made it difficult for me to change my evaluation of Pierce. However, how many superstars can really do it on their own? Michael had Scottie. Larry and Magic played with several Hall of Famers. Shaq had Kobe and then Wade. Meanwhile Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, and a host of others have struggled to do it on their own. Long story short Pierce is legit and might need a little more help. So I’m going to compare The Truth to the Rock. Think about it. Pierce came into the league with a bit of a chip on his should after falling to 10th in the 98’ draft and won over Boston fans. He surpassed Antoine as the guy and eventually dragged the C’s to the Eastern Conference Finals. Overtime the team’s ceiling was evident, Ainge traded Walker, and it became somewhat difficult to be a fan of The Truth from about 2003-2005. However, in the 2005/2006 season Pierce turned it around and remains the centerpiece of the franchise. Similarly the Rock started out a face, turned heel in the Nation of Domination and later the Corporation, and ultimately became a face again before taking off to shoot movies. Furthermore, The Rock turned out to have a great sense of humor (think SNL and numerous promos for the WWF) just as Pierce has shown on FSN. Finally, while neither are the greatest stars of their respective industries, they’re both pretty damn good.

Powe through West tomorrow.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Champ

"It's quite flattering. It's the breakfast of champions, and when I'm in my egotistical mode -- which I am most of the time -- I think of myself as the ultimate American champion. And this sort of seconds the motion. So I'm really appreciative of it. I guess I'll have to continue to eat Wheaties." - Bill Russell in the Boston Herald.

- You have to love that confidence.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Gerald Green Victorious

- It says a lot about Gerald that he can do a windmill over a table and I'm somewhat disappointed.

- Time for Nate Robinson to retire from dunk contests.

- Charles Barkley: "Michael Jordan has lost his mind." Earlier the Chuckster said that Big Baby must have been stealing all of Tyrus Thomas' food at LSU.

- I think the judges punished Thomas for his comments about getting paid.

- Dwight Howard got screwed.

- Everyone noticed that Dick Bavetta started bleeding after that dive right?

- I'm already tired of the "It's good to see the Celtics win something" jokes.

I Love the Dunk Contest

I’m tired people criticizing the Dunk Contest. Yes it’s unfortunate that technology did not advance fast enough for us to freeze Dominque Wilkins and Michael Jordan from the mid 80s and trot them out every year. However, have the dunk contests really been that bad? Let’s take a look at the often criticized 2000s:

2000 – Vince Carter. He's considered one of the greatest dunkers of all time. The evidence? Exhibit A.

2001 – Danny Ainge was one of the judges. That’s almost entertaining enough in and of itself. Personally I could watch Baron Davis dunk all day. But I understand that people don’t love this edition. This is where I have to use the old dunk contests are like pizza and sex argument. Even when they’re bad…

2002 – If you’re going to say something bad about Jason Richardson and his dunking prowess get the hell out of here. No really. This video is one of my favorite YouTube clips of all time because:

- Richardson is awesome.

- Desmond Mason is a worthy adversary

- The brief Gilbert Arenas dance at the 4:04 mark.

- The music is catchy.

- Gerald Wallace doesn’t quite belong and gets way too much time in the clip. It’s funny to me. Speaking of Wallace. He’s doing some great things in fantasy basketball right now.

- Richardson’s last dunk is epic.

2003 – The Jason Richardson rule from 2002 still applies. Let’s go to the video.

- I told you Mason was a worthy adversary.

- Can anyone else besides Jordan pull off the beret? I don’t even think Boris Diaw, Johan Petro, or Michael Pietrus can. And they’re French! Maybe Tony Parker.

- Richardson pulls out a ridiculous dunk to win after most people thought Mason had it in the bag.

2004 – Watch out for the language in this one. You don’t know me like that!

- I respect Richardson for going for a 3 peat.

- 2 words: Birdman, Fly.

- Fred Jones has a pretty legit dunk, which they freeze frame the hell out of in this clip. People don’t care about Jones because he’s not a name. But he has to be bringing something to knock off Richardson.

2005 – Josh Smith. Enough said.

2006 – I don’t care what Nate Robinson did. I have never seen anything like this.

2007 – LeBron says dunk contests are bourgeois. Vince and Kobe are retired. Who cares? Gerald Green is going to bring it.

Some final thoughts and questions:

- Gerald Green is a deceptive 6 foot 8. He doesn’t get marked down for his height as some guys do and is very smooth. You don’t need a name to be a great dunker.

- Tony Allen famously got hurt on a dunk. But has anyone ever gotten hurt in a dunk contest. It’s like when I say that I’ll do the grocery shopping because I like the ride and I have an innate understanding of ripe fruit. Everyone knows I’m just going because I love buying the chocolate chip cookies with the ice cream inside. If you don’t want to dunk just say it.

- I always thought Dee Brown’s Reebok routine was contrived and over the top. Sorry Dee. I hope Gerald doesn't fall into that trap.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Celebrity Game

- Carrot Top is in it.

- WNBA players are in it? That’s absurd.

- Michael Clark Duncan is taking this really seriously. He high fived a cheerleader incredibly hard. You had to see it.

- The crowd went crazy for Nelly. You want to know why? Because he’s a lover not a fighter.

- There’s going to be a Rush Hour 3? I did not see that coming.

- Jamie Kennedy and David Arquette were both billed as an actor, writer, producer extraordinaire.

- The funny thing is that I just assume that Reggie Bush is good at basketball. I have nothing to base this on outside of his incredible athleticism.

- Jim Gray did a quick interview with Jaime Foxx asking about his show comedy show, which apparently is planned for this weekend. Gray prefaced in by asking him to keep it clean. Foxx, with a glimmer in his eye, said he would discuss all of the issues that have been going on. Emphasis on all of the issues. Somewhere David Stern immediately regretted not doing some screening and applying the Tim Hardaway treatment to other celebrities.

- Wayne Newton is a creepy dude. I said it.

- There was a brief period of time in my life where I confused Greg Anthony and Kenny Smith. I apologize to anyone who was hurt by this.

- Imagine if Bush and LDT were hurt in this.

- Why would anyone be surprised that Bush out jumped Michael Clark Duncan?

- The announcing is terrible.

- I quit after the first quarter and stumbled upon it in the third long enough to see Bush roll his ankle.

Trouble Brewing

The other Celtics Dancers have to hate Courtney for all of the free stuff she's getting.

Blogger Violation

My blogger license may be in jeopardy as Valentine's Day has come and gone and I forgot to link to this. It's just plain inexcusable.

"Sit down and have some dinner, some shrimps and steaks, keep it nice and breezy. Pop some bottles, some Moet Rose. The red Moet, we ain't popping no Kristal, it tastes like urination." - The Delonte West

Thanks to reader PNH91 for the heads up.

Friday - YouTube clip of the week

This is currently my favorite commercial. I'm tempted to buy something from Starter just to reward their efforts. Although I've got the old Homer Simpson complex where I will stop at a Wendys if only because I just saw one of their billboards. The low point for this type of behavior occurred during my sophomore year of college when two friends and I spent an afternoon playing Mario Kart and watching TV. Around 3 P.M. we desperately wanted to find someone to drive us to buy Burger King's new Shaq Packs, as we had just seen a commercial about them. Yes it was 3 in the afternoon and none of us felt that we could legally drive. Now I get angry when the copy machine won't hole punch. Such is life.

But back to the commercial. "This is how pick up games are won!" and "Did you download the plays that you sent me?" are staples of my day now. Granted only 3 or 4 people know what I'm saying and most just look at me funny. And in no way is that depressing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Boston College

BC is getting taken behind the shed by Duke. It's so bad that Dick Vitale has negative things to say about the Eagles, "They're not competing." This is the same guy that speaks highly of Saddam Hussein, "Sweet jump shot unless it was one of his stand ins."


Would run this picture on its website if it was DeShawn Stevenson and not LeBron? How about Ruben Patterson? Hey I ask the hard questions.



I did four things to celebrate this victory.

1. Watched the Delonte West commercial from above. Almost goes without saying.

2. Warning - Fat Person Moment: Ate some Teddy Grahams with some leftover Rainbow Chip frosting (I recommend this frosting for Funfetti cake) in an ode to the Dunkaroos of my youth.

3. Thought about going outside. Then I came to my senses. It's way too cold outside.

4. Considered adding Gerald Green for the third of fourth time this season for my fantasy squad.

Should have mentioned this earlier

The Celtics Dancers celebrated Valentines Day by dressing like strippers. Andrew Bogut is Australian, which apparently is a synonym for cheater. Brian Skinner might get punched before the night is over.

Couple of Issues

- Apparently I have worn the SLAM headband. As it turns out I took it out of the package, tried it on, and sent pictures of me whilst I was wearing said headband to friends asking "if I looked cool." So I'll need another prize. I'll think of something.

- C's just took the lead. The above picture can only help. Can't believe I didn't post that earlier.

Early Returns

- I did not see that coming. Well the Bucks came out and shot 65% from the field in the first and built an 11 point lead. Word on the street is that the following was taped up in the Milwaukee lockerroom.

- If I were a GM in the NBA I would definitely sign a player that looked like Earl Boykins and try to make Boykins legally change his name to Mini Me.

- Wally Szczerbiak just hit a 3 to close the lead to 8. I'm excited he and Paul Pierce are playing together again. But let's all relax. They didn't just reunite Michael and Scottie.

- Brian Skinner is easily my favorite guy with an Anthrax like beard.

- "Off the pick, into the shot, into your hearts..." - Tommy on Gerald Green.

Inaugural Celtics Bandwagon Caption Contest

It's hard to tell but I'm estimating that my readership numbers around 10. And that may be optimistic. I've decided to push ahead with this contest. I'm accepting entries until next Monday. Pretty simple stuff. Come up with the best caption for this picture from The winner gets a SLAM headband. It's never been worn and if I could pull it off I'd need another prize. Good luck.

Timeout from the NBA for a moment.

Jim Mora, Herm Edwards, Jim Calhoun, Dennis Green, and everybody else have agreed to waive the waiting period and welcome Dan Hawkins. "IT'S DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL!"

This is freaking awesome. If I can find the Mr. Hoops commercial that has lines like, "This is how pick up games are won!" and "Did you download the plays that I sent you?!" my whole night will be complete.

Celtics Will Win Tonight

ESPN has a pretty good look at the current 18 game losing streak. It includes what Doc should say in his pep talk, major sporting events that occurred during the streak, a Bucks/C's preview, and some other stuff as well. Check it out. Meanwhile, I haven't done this in a while (I think I'm 0-1 on the season) but I'm calling a Boston victory. You want some in depth analysis to justify my reasoning? Okay. Here's 3 points:

1. Why not?
2. Short shorts and Bradlees.
3. Your mom.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tanguay's Take

FSN's Gary Tanguay comes to the defense of Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge. He recognizes it's not the best assembled team but argues that the injuries and youth can not be ignored. Tanguay goes on to say, "Doc and Danny have never had the chance to see what they can do with a first, second, or even third pick in a Draft."

I'm not sure I buy that argument. Look at the Dallas Mavericks. Granted Mark Cuban likes to throw his money around. And they absolutely fleeced the Milwaukee Bucks for Dirk Nowitzki, a rare talent who went a spot ahead of Paul Pierce in the 1998 draft. But over time they built the right team around him. They acquired veterans Jason Terry and Jerry Stackhouse via trades to fill roles. They added the often criticized Erick Dampier (overpaid) and DeSagna Diop (not a world beater) who free up Dirk from taking a pounding.* And lets not forget about Josh Howard, an All Star in his 4th season. For the record he went 13 spots after Troy Bell who the C's traded for Kendrick Perkins.

More importantly I'm worried the C's are turning into the Memphis Grizzlies. They collected assets for years, are now battling the C's for rock bottom, and their GM is selling his house. Also all of the injuries obscure the fact that Doc does not manage a rotation well, is not developing Sebastian Telfair, may or may not have a zone offense, seems to fear the pick and roll, and struggles to come up with sound plays at the end of close games, particularly coming out of timeouts. In fact if Boston was out of timeouts and trailing by one with 5 seconds left the opposing coach might be best served using one of his own timeouts to see the comedy that ensues.

* It is just me or is there something inherently funny about the phrase "
they free up Dirk from taking a pounding"?

Bill Walton is Type Crazy

There are some things I'm not prepared for: grocery checkouts completely void of humans, watching the C's break the NBA record for losses in a low and a complete Bill Walton podcast. This one reinforces my belief that Walton was lucky his playing career came to a close well before 2000. Anyways if you can wade through it there is a pretty good Larry Bird story. I don't want to ruin it but it involves Hubie Brown. It's times like these that the former UCLA standout needs a fact checker. And of course he insults Michael Olowokandi.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Holding it Down

The last spot on Marc Stein's rankings that is. This really isn't news. However, Stein's comment leads me to believe that he is a regular reader of Celtics Bandwagon. Compare his comment, "Uh-oh: 23 straight L's is the single-season record. If Celts don't beat Bucks on Wed., they'll take a 19-game skid into a five-game trip out West after the break." to the end of my post from January 27th. I've been worried about that "five-game trip out West" for weeks. Furthermore, the idea that the Celtics could go into the All Star break with a 19-game losing streak is nothing new. I'm sure it's only a matter of days before Stein plugs my blog.

Free Delonte

Regular readers of Celtics Bandwagon know that the comedic emergence of Gilbert Arenas has made life difficult for me. Like a lot of bloggers Agent 0 has captivated me with “Hibachi!” and “My swag was phenomenal”. However, when he wore a boxing robe to the Wizards home opener and dropped 44 on the Celtics it hurt. And yet his blog is consistently brilliant. If you haven’t caught up on his recent competition with DeShawn Stevenson, do so now. I loved the following,

“It wasn’t that I cheated … (of course I cheated) … everyone’s seen me cheat, everyone’s seen it … it’s the fact that I made 73 with one hand.”

That’s right up there with Animal House’s “The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests - we did.”

But now I have a solution. Give Delonte West his own blog. That would instantly solve everything, as the funniest NBA blog would belong to a Boston Celtics player. Although I have an even better idea. But you’ll have to check out my Wrestlers/Celtics post in a week or so. Stay tuned.

Gimmick Time

As the All Star game approaches and the losses mount I have begun to think about my next big gimmick. So if anyone can think of a wrestler from the 1980s or 90s that reminds them of a current Celtics player please post a comment. If possible try to stay within the WWF (take that Wildlife people). So far I'm feeling very confident about my choices for Tony Allen, Michael Olowokandi, Leon Powe, Allan Ray, Brian Scalabrine and Wally Szczerbiak. Meanwhile, Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins are not as set in stone. And yes this exercise would be much easier if the C's had a villain and an over the top foreign guy.

The Edge

I will never question Paul Pierce’s toughness. Quite simply he’s having the greatest career ever for an NBA player bouncing back from a near fatal stabbing. Meanwhile Wally Szczerbiak always tries to come back from injuries too soon. Ultimately this hurts the team as the already slow-footed Szczerbiak is even more of a liability on defense, is not sharp from the field and usually gets hurt again. However, I admire his misguided willingness to fight through pain. Furthermore Al Jefferson is learning to play hurt and Delonte West always does his best to stay on the court. And let’s not forget about Kendrick Perkins who has been battling plantar fasciitis all season. I’ve questioned this team’s coaching, defense, experience and other aspects as well, but never it’s toughness.

However, the 2006/2007 Boston Celtics do seem to lack an edge. Who is this team’s enforcer? Perk has the potential but is so focused on developing his game and avoiding foul trouble. Leon Powe walks around with a homicidal glare but spends most of his time on the bench. Brain Scalabrine is nicknamed Veal. Theo Ratliff can’t stay on the court. Ryan Gomes is too even keeled. Al Jefferson has too much else to worry about. Sebastian Telfair is far more menacing in street clothes with his entourage in toe. Pierce is the star of the team and that is not really his role. Wally is probably too good looking. Rajon Rondo, Gerald Green, Delonte West and Allan Ray lack the personality and appearance for the part. When Michael Olowokandi gets upset he ends up on the wrong end of a stun gun. However, when Tony Allen gets upset people get shot. Allegedly. Maybe it’s because he appears to black out when he dunks. Or maybe it’s because he’s a little unpredictable at times. Or maybe it’s his high energy. Heck maybe it is because he’s the only guy on the team that has been arrested for aggravated battery. Whatever it is the Celtics appear to miss the edge that Allen brought. I’m not saying Allen would have prevented Ricky Davis from hitting the game winning shot or embracing Mark Blount in their awkward man hug in front of the C’s bench. I’m just saying it might have been interesting when the Timberwolves came to town on March 4th.

As it stands I’m dying to here someone say, "Before (insert Celtics player) hit Ricky Davis, the Timberwolves were just running across the street whenever they wanted. Now they stop at the corner, push the button, wait for the light, and look both ways."

The odds might be in my favor if Tony Allen were not currently immobilized.

C's/Timberwolves - 2/11/07

Ugh. Ricky Davis had a huge second half (24 points) and Mark Blount put up some nice stats (20 points) as the C's dropped their 18th in a row. This was one of the more difficult losses of the streak due to the close final score, the last second jumper and the play of Davis and Blount. However, make no mistake about it this game was about Kevin "freaking" Garnett (26 points, 11 boards, 10 assists, and a back breaking steal). There were a few positives:

1. In 35 minutes Blount grabbed 5 boards. Keep in mind that's he's still 7 feet tall. Long story short I'm not wishing he still played in Boston.

2. Paul Pierce looked more like The Truth.

3. Take a second look at that picture. Doesn't it look like Davis is going to grab Blount's junk? This picture was prominent on Take that.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Laying Low

I'm battling some sort of demon stomach virus. This explains why I've been out of commission for about a week. I do vow to come back with a vengeance at some point. Until then, good luck to Paul Pierce as he tries to get back into game shape.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hello Mainstream

The Super Bowl is over. NCAA basketball is only big for the die hard fans, which has been made easier by the fact that Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are always on. Jerry Jones and his quest for a new coach are only so interesting. The NHL is the NHL. So yesterday the C’s became one of the biggest sports stories. They were the leading feature on Outside the Lines:

“They’re not just bad. The Celtics are historically bad…” – Bob Ley as C’s highlights begin to role.

“This team is playing hard and tanking.” – Guest Jackie MacMullan

“They’re trying to win. They’re just not good enough to win.” – More MacMullan

“I think they’ve totally overvalued a lot of these players.” – Guest Tim Legler explaining that none of the young Celtics are franchise guys.

“There is no possible way you can turn down Kevin Oden as the number 1 pick.” – Legler went on to correct himself and explain why Greg Oden is the consensus #1. He then immediately explained that, “Having said that Kevin Durant is a much better player.”

You can catch the footage of MacMullan and Legler here while catching up on a story that will lead to more conspiracy theories despite Mike Gorman’s best efforts.

3 Final Points about OTL:

1. For the record growing a beard does not make you old. Oden looks old because of his size and resemblance to Robert Parish.

2. Is anyone considering Joakim Noah as the #1 pick? I guess stranger things have happened.

3. There is a part of me that would find a ton of humor in Oden, Durant, and Noah staying in school. It would be funny in a Texas knocking off USC in the Rose Bowl after ESPN spent a month proving how the Trojans would have run roughshod through the best teams of the last 25 years kind of way.

- The Celtics also got some run on the 6:00 Sportscenter last night. And not for good reasons.

- Finally ESPN should have named today’s Daily Dime the Celtics Dime. I wonder if the C’s had won that Hawks game and had now lost 20 of 23 and only 6 in a row would they be as big a story? Either way I hate to see them get this much negative press. Although it charts like the one to the right that make C's fans care less.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

C's/Pistons Preview (Using the term preview loosely)

- This is the first time the C's will see Chris Webber in a Pistons uniform. I'd love to see him try and guard Big Al in the post.

- No team seems to toy with the C's quite like the Pistons. And in any number of ways that is depressing.

- I always look forward to seeing if the young guys are developing. On top of that I have a Chauncey Billups trade offer on the table in fantasy basketball and I'm interested to see how he looks live. So yeah, big night.

- I've purposely avoided jumping into the Rajon Rondo hype fest after his strong showing against the Clippers. I'm looking for some consistency tonight.

Dunk You Very Much

1. There is a decent chance that a Gerald Green victory in the Dunk Contest could be the first Celtics win since Friday January 5th.

2. There is no doubt in my mind that he'll do some kind of a windmill.

3. A lot of people have no idea what they are in for with Gerald. So just in case any casual fans are stumbling across my blog I urge them to check out his career highlights.

4. The coming draft has made up for a lot of the C's losing. But if Gerald gets robbed the way Andre Iguodala did I may have to take action. And by take action I mean eat tons of pizza and post snarky, borderline illiterate rants.

5. I don’t think anyone believes Dwight Howard can win this thing. I tend to agree. However, the expectations are now too low. I think he'll make some noise.

6. James White can do some dunks that I have never seen before (no sarcasm). I say let's put him in the dunk contest. Can they get the 720 guy too (tons of sarcasm)?!

7. Months from now we'll look back on "Dunk You Very Much" as the post title that marked the beginning of the end for Celtics Bandwagon.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Cheap Seats

I have begun to write for the Cheap Seats section of Celtics Blog. I'm not sure how regularly this will occur. Regardless I posted for the first time over the weekend. Check it out.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Hype

Bob Knight gets into the Kevin Durant hype.

Elias and the C's

Elias got into the act this morning to talk about how the Celtics are historically bad:

"The Celtics' 100-89 loss to the Clippers in Boston was their 14th straight loss (establishing a franchise record) and their 11th straight defeat at TD Banknorth Garden. Boston's home losing streak is the longest for any NBA team since the Hawks lost 11 in a row in Atlanta in the spring of 2005. No team has lost 12 straight home games since the 1996-97 Sixers."

Also the Celtics are now 2-20 without Paul Pierce.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Agent 0

I feel like you need to know when Gilbert Arenas goes on a blogging spree. I found the following particularly interesting:

"I Lost a Tooth vs. Boston
One of the young boys elbowed me in the mouth and smacked my tooth out so I had to go have a veneer put in.

It’s part of the game, so, it happens. I ain’t upset with it. Thanks to the NBA you have a great dental plan."

Meanwhile there is funny, there is hilarious and then there is this. I know it's already been on TrueHoop but it's too good to pass up.

- Is it odd that the C's are trailing by 8 and I'm excited by their play?

Friday - YouTube clip of the week

This week's clip actually has nothing to do with basketball. Although I used to play an audio version of it back to back with MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" back when I played NBA Jam religiously in college. However, I'm posting it for a different reason. Can anyone tell me where Mike Tyson says he is from. I just can't make it out. It's right up there with who stole the bus driver's nameplate during that epic 1996/97 Celtics season. Enjoy and please post answers if you can make out what the hell he is saying.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

C's/Lakers - 1/31/07

Okay so that did not go exactly as planned. On to the highlights:

- Kobe Bryant going out of his way to take it to Gerald Green, particularly as the 4th quarter wound down. It was as if Bryant heard Tommy Heinsohn say that Green had similar potential. I hate Kobe. You hate Kobe. But he was pretty impressive. On that reverse dunk he seemed to rise when he should have been falling. To his credit Green did not back down and showed some pretty impressive moves of his own.

- At one point Heinsohn said a priest friend let him know that the refs were favoring the Lakers greatly. Later Tommy said he hasn't criticized the refs that much this year but they were horrible. Gorman could only laugh.

- How about Jerry Buss and the attractive chick who appeared to be his lady friend? That guy is like an under the radar Hugh Hefner Lite.

- Al Jefferson needs to get the ball regularly.

- Kendrick Perkins came out of the gate on fire and showed his love for the jump hook.

- Wally Szczerbiak set up Kobe's outrageous three with one of his awkward running turnovers.

- Brian Scalabrine had the game of his Celtics career from a scoring stand point.

- I do not know how to develop NBA players. That said I feel like the C's approach with Sebastian Telfair is not quite right.

The Atlantic

Today's Daily Dime on ESPN is all about the Atlantic Division, with a chunk devoted to the C's. Check it out. Also great job by Kiki Vandeweghe picking up on the following Mike Gorman quote: "Back to Scal, he's got the hot hand . . . he floats in a runner."

There are several reasons why I have not been able to post about last night's game yet. And that is one of them.

Look at the C's

I'm not ready to discuss the Lakers game. In the meantime Chris Mannix touches on the C's in his "There's Always Next Year" piece:

Projected draft number
: 2

2007-08 committed salaries: $61.9 million
What they need: Size, veterans, depth
How they are going to get it: It should be Oden or bust for the Celtics. Durant could be the next Scottie Pippen, but Boston has made a commitment to Paul Pierce and is grooming Gerald Green to be his sidekick. Trading down with someone like Charlotte could be an option, as is packaging the pick with Theo Ratliff's expiring contract for Pau Gasol, who would be the ultimate prize, a legit low-post threat for Pierce to play off and another bona fide superstar for Boston. With Pierce and Gasol in the same lineup, Boston's youth would be allowed to develop at a significantly slower rate. And in the East, a Pierce-Gasol tandem might be enough to make a run at the NBA Finals.