Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Notes to the Academy

In honor of tonight’s probable loss against the Wizards, I would like to once more plug the Wizznut, who is the finest and funniest basketball blogger ever. For obscure August Strindberg jokes and flat out weirdness, no one beats the work of the pseudononymous Darvin and Dana Ham. www.wizznutzz.com. Catch the Bacon.

In other news, Peter May had a piece in the Globe arguing for what most of us here have been saying all along – tank the season and get lower in the lottery. Whether or not this draft is deep or not, which is open to much debate, it would behoove us to get a stab at picking up some decent talent, rather than narrowly miss the playoffs and get a crappy late lottery pick. The more minutes Gomes, Green, Perk and Al Jefferson get on the floor from here on out, the less painful the process of finding a rotation will be next season. Yes, much of this seems obvious, but remember there are those who think that with a healthy Wally Z, we can go deep in the playoffs.

Coc has been off the hot seat of late, which goes to show what a handful of wins can do after everyone has written you off as a shameful embarrassment. The fascinating story, and one which this blog will attempt to delve into in greater detail at a later date, is how a GM handpicked his dream coach, and then had to trade away a third of the team simply to get “his guy” to play the players they had supposedly agreed were going to be developed. Doc is almost a fair/decent coach now by default, simply because he has no choice but to shorten up the rotation and make everyone hew to their role. This highly disturbing for those of us who were counting on Doc taking a bow at the end of the season.

Bonus Coverage – due to an unforeseen ISP software meltdown over the weekend, this bit of priceless wimsy regarding the Indiana game was nearly lost to the caprice of the internet gods. We present to you here for your consideration. “But Celticsdoom,” you might ask, “What’s the point of journalism four days after the fact? Do you think you’re H.L Menken and people will want to read your opinions on issues long ago decided?” Oh no, no, no, not at all. This, bon amis, is merely to Fill Up Space…

A squeaker against the remains of a team once known as the Indiana Pacers, but nonetheless an enjoyable game and a good win. Both teams displayed a level of commitment to defense similar to, say, Tom Sizemore’s commitment to sobriety, and so it came down to the wire in one of those deals where the last team to score wins the game. In tonight’s case, it was a banked in Paul Pierce 3-pointer that did the job.

These Pacers are a vastly different enterprise than even the decimated squad that humiliated us last year in the playoffs. Peja and Stephen Jackson form an uneasy Pierce/Wally-esque duo, while marginal players such as Fred Jones and David Harrison fade in and out of the game to varying degrees of effectiveness. It's a testament to Carlisle that any of this translates into winning basketball, but one cannot help but get the feeling that even with a healthy Jermaine O'Neal, the Pacers have jumped the shark big-time.

The Celtics, on the other hand, continued a series of strong games on the offensive end of the court. Lots of ball movement in the first half, and outside of a disastrous bench-induced meltdown in the 3rd quarter, they kept things close simply by continuing to score. The 4th quarter found them pulling ahead momentum wise with a couple great defensive plays by Delonte West and Pierce that led to layups on the other end.

On the player side of things, Paul Pierce had a 30 point night, and although he slew the Pacers with a bank shot 3 and some great mid-range game, he still lapsed into some bad decision making in the 4th quarter that made this reporter nervous. Delonte was great, Gomes was huge, and Raef continued his stealth-rebirth. The bench demonstrated its usual collection of grotesque and fascinating examples of how not to play the game, including a total choke job by Orien Greene at the free throw line, missing two big ones after making a great effort to grab a key offensive rebound. But I guess since we won, so I shouldn't bitch. Orien did, however, provide a great broadcast moment in the first half when Tommy unleashed some classic blather: "One dribble and Orien can go up as strong or stronger than 90% of the guards in the league." Uhhm, okay.

Player of the Game - Raef LaFrentz. Raef's post-Blount rebirth has been a great story for those of us who appreciate his professionalism and somewhat limited contributions, but tonight was some serious above and beyond shit that saw our fave honkey kinda-stiff come through with an impressive statistical oddity of 11/11/7. Raef and Gomes bring a similar chilled out, unforced game to the floor that has been key to this recent 8 game turnaround, and both are making a valid argument for staying together in the starting lineup when Perk and Al get back.

Hamcock - Wally Szczerbiak. Shut him down. He can't shoot and he's just killing us out there. I assume the dude's knee is what's what as far as his plummeting production is concerned, so if we're really not going to be super-competitive anyway, we might as well shut him down and get him ready to go for next November. I like Wally, I truly do, but it's just sad to watch.

Quote of the Night - "Paul Pierce says you're the next Usher!" Greg Dickerson interviewing Chris Brown. The worst yet in the ongoing series known as "Greg Dickerson - my career is a desperate embarrassment." Tonight found our man attempting to make journalistic kissy-face with this lamest of all noveau RnB "stars," the musically forgettable and forgettably named Chris Brown. The convergence of two guys who will most likely no longer be working in their respective fields in three years made this a particularly laughable display, but I suppose it's par for the course when considering the mediocrity magnet that is the TD Banknorth Garden. Speaking of, bonus points to the cameramen for locating a possibly drunken Donny "I'm the unfamous" Wahlberg, Celtics superfan, mugging for the cameras during a timeout. Sadly, one is forced to assume that if Donny is at the game, then pre-production on Saw III has stalled.

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