Monday, March 20, 2006


La La Bland

A characteristic letdown after the Indiana win, tonight the Celtics played dispassionately and got their lethargic asses beat by a Laker team also playing its 3rd game in 4 nights. In an evening that went wanting for any kind of genuine drama or excitement, the relentlessly hyped "Kobe vs. Pierce" matchup turned out to be only a duel of misguided shots and out of control drives, a veritable open exposition for the worst facets of both overrated players. Kobe took a grotesque 39 shots and scored the most underwhelming 43 points of his career, while Pierce was 8-19 (2-8 from 3 point line) and turned the ball over 5 times. And unlike the win in Los Angeles, Ronny Turiaf played no significant role.

The game itself was fairly uninteresting and not worth recounting on a quarter by quarter basis, because outside of a couple runs, the story was basic - the Celtics played bad defense and couldn't hit the outside shot. The Lakers weren't much better, really, but Kobe scored, Odom was effective and Kwame Brown had, for him, a great night. In the end, the Celtics just couldn't get their shit together to overcome the hole they dug in the 1st half, and in the course of a failed comeback they allowed the always mentally fragile Lakers squad to walk out of the TD Banknorth Garden holding the temporary status of "winners."

The only interesting parts of this game were not really related to the score/outcome. There was a bizarre bit of shit talk exchanged between Kwame "Michael Jordan called me a faggot" Brown and Paul Pierce at the end of the second quarter that seemed little more than Kwame trying to shake Phil Jackson's "pussy" appellative (don't worry, you are what you eat Kwame, just ask Greg "Cadillac" Anderson). There were three strange occasions when Kobe Bryant complained to the officials after getting a call in his favor, further adding to his legend as a weirdo. We also saw two twisted ankles, one from Pierce, whose dramatic flops and injury fakery often borders on World Cup-ian in their extravagance, and one from the otherwise stoic Perkins. Both were okay though, so don't you worry.

On the player side of things, tonight saw further positives from Inmate #42 whose 18 points and 4 blocks offset his spastic drives and untimely turnovers. They keep saying he's "got his athleticism back" which is a concept I invite anyone to explain to me. Pierce had a crappy game with lots of ill advised outside shots and a general sense of malaise. Gomes further proved why he's a good player but not our PF of the future (is it possible that he's a better offensive rebounder than a defensive one?). Orien Greene was his usual awful self, Wally was inconsistent, and Gerald Green got his now-expected 4 minutes of meaningless run.

So it was a typical Celtics loss, and one made more disappointing because the specifics of the convoluted Payton trade indicate that we should be hoping for the Lakers to miss the playoffs this year (and thus, a pair of lottery picks for the Celtics), and beating them tonight would have gone some way to making that a reality. Instead, as always, we're fucked. Insert Kobe rape joke here.

Player of the Game - Kwame Brown. Yes, Kwame is a disaster at 8 million a year, but he kind of asserted himself tonight with a solid 11/9/5(!) and looked like he might eventually prove the better "man" in his platoon with Chris Mihm. Unfortunately, his spat with Pierce might lose him his spot on the CelticsDoom "All Gentle" team, this blog's tribute to the soft minded and kind hearted players throughout the league. Kobe had 43 points, as mentioned, but his performance was forced and ugly, and instead of being held in awe, this reporter simply wanted to make Kobe the player/the Japanese beef vs. COBE the COsmic Background radiation Explorer satellite jokes.

Hamcock - Delonte West. The cuddly one looked like total shit again, starting with a blown layup on the second possession of the game and continuing on with lots of the same uninspired post-injury play we've gotten accustomed to. Not all was bad for the Herp, however, because after getting tangled up with Kobe in a 3rd quarter semi-hard-foul situation, the Mamba started cuddling him right there on the the court! Seriously, he was rubbing his head and whispering in his ear, two signs of affection (or precursors to a high profile arrest) that only prove how cutsey-pooh our man Delonte is. Extra bonus information! CelticsDoom is the #1 result (of over 1000) when you Google "Delonte West herpes."

Quote of the Night - "Kobe has these rapier thrusts," Tommy Heinsohn. Either a ghastly malapropism or a moment of true subversion, Heinsohn uttered this gem during the underdiscussed "Tools for hire" segment wherein our man is tasked by the eponymous sponsor to make a pun involving a tool and a key to Celtics victory. That said, it wasn't very clear what "En Garde Kobe" meant, as fencing foils could hardly be considered "tools," but maybe I'm missing something about the entire advertising concept. Nonetheless, any invocation of Mamba and the words "rapier thrusts" is pretty funny. Also, on the topic of the broadcast, tonight featured a much more friendly rapport between Mike and Tommy, who recently have been displaying a level of interpersonal tension on par with a mid-period Ingmar Bergman film. This whole unspoken animosity (stemming from Tommy's insistence on dragging the broadcast down with endless petty complaints about the officiating) blew up last year at the end of the playoffs, a hugely strange moment that defined the phrase "I think we're spending way too much time together." Gorman, in particular, has the tone of an abused spouse who has been taking Yoga classes, feels better about themselves, and envisions a day when they no longer need to deal with that cruel, badgering, unfunny prick who probably smells like hard alcohol and generic-brand salted peanuts. If he explodes on air in a tirade of long simmering resentment and suppressed rage, my sincere hope is that Heinsohn's only response is "now that's a Tommy point!"

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