Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Like Saw II, only more pointless

A languid victory in Toronto that did little more than weaken our draft position and prove that even 124-120 games can be boring as fuck. Tonight we saw two teams playing pretty much just to avoid injury, providing the assembled dozens all the intensity of an exhibition and enough sloppiness to include an excruciating 81 free throws (although Toronto went 28-28, which was kind of cool).

As such, this was another game that was hard to really gauge anything from, outside of the fact that even without having to contend with Chris Bosh we could barely beat the fourth worst team in the East. Both teams played something along the lines of Jim O'Brien-ball without the defense, with only Mike James showing any real heart on the Raptors side. At one point the Celtics were up 12 and James almost single handedly accounted for a 13-1 run that got them back in the game. The Celtics shot well, rebounded poorly, and ended up pulling away in the last two minutes on a Ryan Gomes post move against Charlie V that put it into two-possession, make-your-free-throws-and-you-win territory.

On the player side of things, the most noteworthy development was Gerald Green getting, as they say, "a real look," including the last three crunch-time minutes. It was the best he's played all year - active on D, moved without the ball on offense, shot well, pissed off everyone with a last minute dunk, and hit a kinda-pressure-filled free throw that helped win the game. Pierce had a brutal 2-10, 5 turnovers, lots of excessive dribbling, but he went to the line 24 times, and at least that kept Tommy shut up. As far as everyone else, Wally shot well, Raef hit many barely-contested threes, Gomes was solid, and Orien Greene continued to prove that Danny Ainge is wayyyyyy to loose handing out three year deals.

So it was a fairly boring trek through the lower depths of the league's mandatory scheduling requirements. I would be remiss, however, if I did not report the most important development of the evening (indeed, the only thing that really made it worthwhile) - the 4th quarter return of Celtics (semi)Super-Fan Donnie Wahlberg, who announced to us all those six little words we have longed to hear: "I'm going to do Saw 3." Yeah! Donny Wahlberg! That guy's on IMDB!

Player of the Game - Gerald Green. Awwww, I'm being cutesy-pooh, but this was a "I'll want this time back when I die" kind of evening, and Gerald provided the only real interest for the jaded Celtic fan grasping at straws to justify watching the last nine games. That said, as mentioned before, he did look pretty solid, and it remains a wretched example of Coc's stubborn "internal pecking-order rules all" bullshit that he wasn't put out there earlier in the season when we were losing anyway and the second unit clearly needed a scorer.

Hamcock - Kendrick Perkins. In his trumpeted return to the starting lineup, Perk pretty much sucked, providing zero intensity, getting outrebounded by Brian Scalabrine(!) and continuing to turn the ball over like, uhhh, Brian Scalabrine. Worst of all, his subpar play allowed Raef to go for 20/8, all but assuring that L'honkey stiff won't be diagnosed with a mystery ailment for the last eight games in order to let Perk and Al get tons of minutes.

Quote of the Night - "Eric Williams gives Paul Pierce a special hug," Mike Gorman describing a touching encounter at half-court moments before tip off. If anything ever begged for more elucidation in a Celtics broadcast and went wanting, I cannot remember, but unfortunately this encounter occurred off-camera and all we can do is wonder exactly what physical entanglement this "special hug" entailed. Arms slipped under the uni? So-called "eskimo kissing"? A quick finger up the ass? The mind races. Gorman went on to say that it left Pierce "giggling," only heightening the Brokeback Mountain-esque tenor of the imagined proceedings. No word on whether Wally plans to work this "special hug" into his between-free-throw-encouragement repertoire, but we're all hoping Inmate #42 was paying attention, because out in the Yard, sometimes the hug proves mightier than the shiv.

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