Monday, January 31, 2005


Celtics vs. Rockets (L 94-97)

A kinda-heartbreaker, the Rockets were on the verge of complete implosion in the 3rd after we came back big from a 9 point half-time deficit, but Pierce got into foul trouble and this bitch went down to the wire. Too bad - Ricky was on fire in the 4th, scoring 17 of his 24, Perk had another solid (if brief) outing, and Pierce continued his streak of January games that don’t make me scream “trade that asshole” at the TV. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overcome a lethargic first half and about four minutes in the second half where we couldn’t find an answer for John Barry, aka - “the Barry brother without hair or game.”

On the plus side, Doc made good substitutions and seems to have abandoned the traditional end-of-the-first wholesale lineup change. Also, they twice came back from double digit deficits, no individual Celtic looked that bad, and none of the lineups were complete disasters. Even Blount had a decent game (if you ignore the fact that he only had 2 rebounds) - during the 3rd quarter he hustled, had a big block, and sunk that ungainly 18 footer at least four times in the Rockets faces. This led Tommy to unleash a sentence that has never been before uttered in the history of human language - “They’re playing right into Mark Blount’s game!” There, it's been said! And it never will again.

On the depressing side of things, however, they couldn’t get the running game going in the first half, they had no energy in the first quarter (odd, considering the fact that they were coming off a huge win against Chicago), and we got pounded again on the boards. Still, this wasn’t the kind of humiliating loss you’ll remember on your deathbed as your mind makes inventory of all the time you wasted watching bad basketball games on basic cable.

Despite the anticipation about seeing how the Celtics would respond on their home court after a big road win, many of us felt that this game would be marked primarily by the number of uncomfortable comments Tommy would make about Yao Ming‘s nationality. As always, the T-man didn’t disappoint. My two favorites: “He could be the emperor of Japan… I mean China. .. Or the whole orient.” and “He’s still thinking in Chinese.”

Player of the Game - John Barry for his 17 points on 7-8, all of which were key shots that killed our momentum. What the fuck is the deal with him, Rod Strickland, Juawan Howard, Mutumbo and David Wesley on the court at the same time? I felt like I was watching the 1996 all NBA 9th team.

Worst Celtic of the Game - Waltah, but he was only in there a tolerable 9 minutes. A hugely stupid turnover and an 0-4 are par for the McCarty course, but tonight he gets the booby prize purely for going with the 'fro insead of his “please-trade-me” cornrows.

Quote of the Night - “Ferrrurrreerrrry” - Willie Maye, attempting to pronounce “February” in a sideline report about Chinese New Year. It is only because this team is cursed and God hates all Celtics fans that we weren’t blessed with a Willie Maye, Yao Ming encounter. Even I would be thinking in Chinese after that scene.

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