Friday, January 28, 2005


Celtics vs. Suns (L 119-128)

First of all, what’s the deal with NBA opponents hugging each other after games? I saw Marcus Banks embrace Steve Nash tonight like they’d just been through 3 overtimes in an elimination playoff game. What‘d Nash say, “Hey great effort man, I swear, I got scared when you guys cut it to 12 with two minutes remaining.” Or maybe, simply, “who are you?”

Anyway, this was the to-be-expected slaughter and our heroes didn’t disappoint in the role of “12 helpless dupes who look like they just learned how to play basketball from a tape they bought off late-night TV.” The first half was a clinic from hell, but the third quarter saw the Suns half-ass it and the Celtics make a run to bring it into “kind of a real game” territory. Admittedly, I was on the phone for the most of the 3rd, trying to convince “the blonde girl from West Hartford” to let me off the phone so I could watch the rest of the game, but it really didn’t matter - the Suns weren’t going to lose this one with or without the TV on mute.

The Celtics couldn’t defend the break, or the perimeter or in the lane. We had no answer for Nash and resorted to bad outside shots (particularly in the first half) instead of going inside. We had no fast break to speak of, and went through large stretches where we didn‘t move the ball. We missed Big Al, but he probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Perk was terrific, Raef disappeared. “Going small” made a return appearance and accounted for a classic “far too little too late” run in the fourth that made the box score look more respectable than things really were. Delonte came in for some minutes in the 2nd half and did nothing particularly impressive. All in all, the night was a fitting tribute to the Waltah Bobble Head doll - lots of frenetic activity and wasted energy while being annihilated by a superior foe who doesn’t respect you. Good thing we activated for Justin Reed for “matchup reasons.”

Player of the Game - Quentin Richardson. Stoudemire had the points and Nash had the assists, but Q made the Celtics his bitch for the entire first half, squashing our momentum with devastating 3-pointers. The guy was hitting nothing but net from 28 feet out, I swear.

Worst Celtic of the Game - Blount. He unleashed the “I’ll lull you into complacency by watching you go to the rim repeatedly” defense on Stoudemire and made a couple fuck-ups in the lack-of-hustle department that had the crowd booing him like he was Ashley Simpson at an all day a-capella festival. Better invest some of that $8 million into a good therapist, Mark.

Quote of the Night - “So are the Suns as good as advertised?” Willie Maye - tossing the ultimate “no matter how badly you just got humiliated, I’m still paid by the home team” softball to Paul Pierce in the post-game FSN interview. I often wonder how much Willie gets paid for his “low man on the very short totem poll” gig, and how I can find similar employment.

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