Monday, January 30, 2006


Timber, indeed

A ghastly experience, less a like watching a basketball game and more like witnessing an epic emotional flogging. The amount of baggage in play tonight rivaled a Kevin Federline Father's Day celebration, only in this case we also had to endure the sight of Mark Blount skipping down a basketball court. The Celtics looked like fools and soft-headed pissants, they made it seem as if in trading away four malcontents they lost their heart, their balls, their desire to win, and their basic understanding of team basketball. It was embarrassing as a fan, even one who expects the worst.

The ominous tone was set early as our heroes fell behind 10-nil. They managed to climb back and get it down to 30-28 at the end of the 1st quarter, but the old adage "you can score a lot of points but still play bad offense" has never been more true. For the entire game all we saw was shitty perimeter shooting and lots of disjointed one-on-one, most particularly from the Captain. The second unit was even worse, demonstrating that while it is painful to watch Pierce try and take over on offense while four other guys stand around, it is even worse when he's off the floor and now all you have is five guys standing around not knowing what to do.

The Timberwolves, on the other hand, were energized, battled for every rebound and loose ball, and got huge nights from all of the former Celtics. There were the to-be-expected one-upmanship battles, all of which were decisively won by the new Timberwolves. We had huge amounts of shit talk from world-class NBA talents Mark Blount and Justin Reed. We saw Marcus Banks annihilate Delonte on a play where he head-faked and left the Herp in the dust on route to completing a three point play. Only Ricky seemed to have an off night, but he should be credited for moving the ball and getting the Wolves offense working in the first quarter.

On the (Celtic) player side of things, there was nothing positive to report. Orien Greene was an utter disaster, Perk provided zero energy, Tony Allen made a good case for being traded for Flip Murray, and Pierce reverted to last year's "can't shoot, tries to take over too much" form. As for Wally, he gave us what we should expect - outside shooting and little else that is helpful. At one point the phrase "Blount grabs the offensive rebound over Scalabrine" threaded a Gregorian knot of confusion and dread in the hearts of Celtics fans everywhere.

With all of the subplots going on in this game (nicely annotated by the eminently readable Celticsblog), it is a real bad indicator of this team's heart that they had such a poor showing. To put it simply, we have a serious problem with a second unit that cannot score, two non-point guards playing point guard, and no real sense of urgency from anyone. Blow it up Danny, blow it all fucking sky high.

Player of the Game - Marcus Banks. We all know this idiot will come crashing back down to earth very quickly, but I admire that he had the balls to come into the game essentially as an afterthought and still proceed to destroy his former team. The move he put on Delonte had to be immensely satisfying for this dumped-on jerk-off after sitting in the golden boy's shadow for the past 1 1/2 seasons. Marcus has many flaws and I am glad he's gone, but for one night at least he seemed to establish a lease on NBA life for himself, and as long as it's not on the Celtics, that's all well and good for me.

Hamcock - Kendrick Perkins. One of my heroes is Keyser Soze, so I have no problem hurting the ones I love in the name of greater truth, and the truth is that tonight Perk sucked hemmoroidal ass. He was certainly not alone, Scalaburine, Orien Greene, Pierce and Tony Allen all were contenders, but Perk was particularly disappointing because his lack of energy, hustle and desire allowed dumbfuck Mark Blount to humiliate him. If ours was a team of samurai, there'd be lots of fingers and tongues being self-amputated this evening, but in Perk's case he'd have to remove an eye for being so cowardly. Maybe this will be the precursor to Pierce making good on his threat to kill him, but most likely he'll bounce back and continue being CelticsDoom teachers-pet.

Quote of the Night - "It's great to be wanted, it's great to be part of a team that's about to become championship level team, and I'm one of the pieces of it," Mark Blount. Early nominee for quote of the year, this gem from the Timberwolves center revealed that within his pee-brain there is a process at work fueled by helpless self-delusion and the mean stupidity of a lonely, wounded animal. Apparently he went on to say that he was glad to be the "focal point" of this very same trade that could only be characterized in that sense if there is an understanding that "unloading overpaid sluggish cancer" is what's meant by "focal point." Of course, he went out tonight and "proved" something to Ainge, et al about his efficacy as a ballplayer, but I guarantee 10 months from now there will be laughter in the East and many, many hurled epithets coming from the Timberwolves faithful. It ain't my money, but if earning it were the thing, then it wouldn't be his either.

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