Sunday, March 26, 2006


Give it away, give it away

A classic loss that contained all the elements of what we know now as "the story of 2005/2006." The mentally anemic Celtics blew a double digit lead in the fourth and gift wrapped the Bulls a one game swing in their quest for the final playoff spot in the East. In a contest that supposedly "meant something" (ie - vague playoff hopes), the Celtics smiled and giggled like a bunch of chicks at the mall, and then choked once the game got close.

It didn't take a mystic to predict that the Celtics would implode, but more surprising was how shitty the Bulls looked for most of the game. They are a fascinating team in that sense - loaded with talent at almost every position, yet they don't really seem all that good. Perhaps it's a function of their youth, or the lack of an identifiable focal point, but I'm thinking they'll be the easiest out in the history of the playoffs should they eke their way into them.

On the (Celtics) player side of things, Perk was probably the only one who came out of this with his dignity intact - his line was great 8/14, 5 blocks, but more importantly he returned to the "difference maker" form that made his entire pre-injury/pre-Gomes season such a cool story. Wally yet again couldn't hit outside shots, but scored via his wince-inducing white-guy drives. Gomes was solid, Inmate 42 was his usual mixture of okay-ness and insanity, and Scalabrine was actually tolerable. Several tittypoints were awarded to the always lamentable Orien Greene who kept jacking up three pointers (all misses) in the first half, while the mysterious upside known as Gerald Green stood alone, wide open and touch free. The second unit should just run some plays for Gerald, because in this season of figuring out roles and "developing" players, I think we already know we don't want Orien Greene taking those shots.

So it was a fitting final chapter for the fiction known as "the Celtics playoff hopes," and one that leaves us uncertain of what can possibly be gained from watching these pussies play out the rest of the season. In the words of David Mamet, "it's going to be what it's going to be."

Player of the Game - Tyson Chandler. I'm no fan of Tyson and his wildly vacillating on-court effectiveness, but the Big-disappointment stuffed Pierce twice in the fourth quarter, including the drive with 33 seconds left that would have tied the game. Also, more importantly to our concerns, he gave a fine post-game interview with Greg Dickerson wherein his surprising eloquence and general friendliness completely belied his on-court semi-psycho persona. All-Gentle Team nominee? Not with the lovably infected teeth of Mike Olawakandi in the way, but perhaps Tyson could one day parlay his charm into a gig as a sideline reporter or a broadcaster. Tyson's "Chickens of Success"? You read it here first.

Hamcock - Paul Pierce. The "Greatest Offensive Celtic of All-Time" was positively Bird-like in crunch time as he missed his final four shots, three of which were actually important - a rushed 18 footer with the game tied, a one-on-four drive that was stuffed by Tyson Chandler down 2, and a bricked three pointer down 4 (which was only redeemed by Delonte West getting the offensive rebound). Even Heinsohn was muttering, CelticsDoom-like, about his shot selection.

Quote of the Night - "Scalabrine's supposed to be really smart." Tommy Heinsohn. On the heels of this blog's 2000+ word savaging of Tommy's grotesque homer-ism (and other things), our man in the broadcast "booth" unleashed a withering critique on (the red-head!) Scalabrine's penchant for "lumbering two-step drives" that always seem to resolve themselves as offensive fouls. Wow, Tommy providing actual critical analysis of a Celtic player, it was like Chauncey Billups leaving his feet all over again. On the topic of the broadcast, Tommy and Gorman seem to have achieved detente in their ongoing war over ref-baiting, and the past two broadcasts have been much more pleasant to sit through (if you can just ignore Gorman's capitulation to the forces of evil with his "Paul Pierce is having a Bird-like season" stupidity). Bonus points to Tommy for criticizing Perk's overzealous put-back dunk by stating, "all he needs to do is finger it easily." Indeed, gentlemen, indeed.

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