Archive for May, 2008

Showtime Is Here!
May 31, 2008

Paul Pierce found his game in the fourth quarter last night, and because of that, the Celtics are headed back to the NBA Finals for the first time in 21 years.

Now we have Kobe Bryant and the Lakers coming to town for what is sure to be a war. The Lakers are a much different team from the one the Celtics swept during the regular season. The bruising Andrew Bynum is out, but Pau Gasol is in, and Lamar Odom has never played better. Plus, they have an excellent, young bench with a familiar face, well at least, we’ll recognize his father (former Celtic Bill Walton’s son Luke, is a key contributor for the Lakers).

Channel 5 is the ONLY place you can see every game of the NBA Finals. Our pregame coverage will begin every night at 8:00, with tip-off coming right after 9:00. Here’s the schedule (note the switch to a 2-3-2 schedule… one less trip, yay!):

Thursday, June 5 @ Boston
Sunday, June 8 @ Boston
Tuesday, June 10 @ LA
Thursday, June 12 @ LA
Sunday, June 15* @ LA
Tuesday, June 17* @ Boston
Thursday, June 19* @ Boston

Rip-In, Rondo-Restless
May 30, 2008

Not that it should come as a surprise to anyone (except Bill Belichick, who would have never released this kind of info until the very last second)- Rip Hamilton has pronounced himself ready to go for tonight’s game 6, tho maybe not quite 100%.

I saw him at practice this morning where he was shooting around a little trying to work out the kinks from his right arm. He had his elbow bent back at the tail end of game 5 when he was nearly choking Ray Allen (hey, that’s what he gets). Pistons coach Flip Saunders said that Rip will shoot lefty if that’s what he needs to do to get up shots. He’s probably as hurt as Chauncey Billups was last game from his supposed sore hamstring. Billups had 26 points.

Meanwhile on the Celtics front, Rajon Rondo told me today that last night he started to feel some jitters for tonight’s game and wanted  to play it asap, but still managed to sleep well. He, along with most of the Celtics, last night watched the Lakers celebrate winning the Western Conference which hit home as to what the Celtics are so close to doing here in the East.

Kendrick Perkins still sounded like the kid from Denton, Texas showing no ill affects of the other night when the ghost of wilt Chamberlin took over Perkins body for a 18 point, 16 rebound performance. Celtic fans can only hope that Wilt/Perk has a few more encore perfoermances in him/them.

I Love L.A.
May 30, 2008

Really! Who wanted to go to San Antonio anyway?

Kobe Bryant proved he is the top dog in the NBA right now, lifting the Lakers over the Spurs in Game 5 and sending them back to the finals. Of course, the talk today is about Sasha Vujacic’s 3-pointer as time expired to give the Lakers a 100-92 win. The Spurs, who were not contesting the shot, were not too happy, and I’m sure a lot of people in Vegas weren’t either. The Lakers were favored by 7.5.

So now it’s up to the Celtics to seal the deal, preferably tonight on Detroit’s home floor. Do we really need another Game 7? The Lakers haven’t been pushed hard at all, while the Celtics have been fighting for their lives the whole way. It has to catch up with them at some point.

Fighting To The Finish
May 29, 2008

(1:19 remaining in the 3rd) After another 3 by Ray Allen, a Celtics steal leads to a scary sight: Big Perk leading the break! Thankfully, he was fouled, and made both free throws. Even though Posey was wide open on the wing, you just knew there was no way Perkins was giving up that ball. He now has 18 points and 16 rebounds. Quite possibly his best game as a pro. 83-67 Celtics. Is that Gino I sense?

(9:48 remaining in the game) Big 3 by James Posey to quell a mini-run by the Pistons that had brought them within 8. I still don’t get why Perkins isn’t on the floor. He’s not in foul trouble and he’s playing out of his mind. Kevin Garnett is making my point moot by drilling a jumper after a Pistons offensive foul. But Rip Hamilton comes right back with a 3 to make it 91-81 Celtics.

OK, 6:42 to go, and the Hoosiers speech is on (91-83 Celtics). I’m a bit nervous about some technical issues so it’s time to head downstairs. Look for a wrapup after the game!

Breezing Through the Third
May 29, 2008

(10:49 remaining in the 3rd) The Celtics just went up 10 on a beautiful back door pass from Garnett to Pierce for the layup. The Celtics are starting to get some calls and Detroit is having a hard time getting into their offense. James Posey seems to be coming onto the court a lot cheering and bantering with Rasheed Wallace. I wonder how long the referees are going to let that continue. 56-46 Boston.

(7:21 remaining in the 3rd) Big 3 by Ray Allen to put the C’s up 12. But I can’t get over the game Kendrick Perkins is having. 16 points, 16 rebounds right now. When he is in the game, the Celtics are dominating the paint. With only 1 foul, it really makes you wonder why Doc left PJ Brown in for so long. Another 3 by Ray Allen (where has this been?) makes is 68-54 with 6:50 to play.

(2:50 remaining in the 3rd) Can a 12-point lead not be safe? I don’t think so but the crowd still seems a little nervous. The rejuvenated Ray Allen is keeping the Celtics up in this one despite the best efforts of Rodney Stuckey and Chauncey Billups. Time out with 1:55 left and the Celtics up 77-65… if I say we’re going back to Detroit with a chance to clinch, will I jinx it?

Angry Perk!
May 29, 2008

Everybody’s favorite big man already has a double double (1o points and 10 rebounds) with 5:40 to play in the half. It’s a good thing he’s back in too, because PJ Brown was getting lit up by Maxiell and Wallace. Doc mercifully gave him the hook after Tayshaun Prince put one down in his face. The Pistons are really racking up the dunks here, which is not par for the course when the NBA Defensive Player of the Year is on the floor. 38-35 Detroit… timeout on the floor.

(3:11 remaining in the 2nd) Well, that was fast. Back to back threes by Pierce and Allen (on a sick looking pull up) have helped the Celtics regain the lead. 44-42. Allen looks like he’s trying to be more aggressive tonight, and as long as the shots are falling, that’s a good thing.

(1:10 remaining in the 2nd) That was ridiculous. With the shot clock about to expire, Garnett launched a prayer that hit glass and went in. Insane circus shot. ‘Sheed matched him down the floor with a 3 of his own. A few plays later, Perk rejected Rip Hamilton on a layup and then had words for him coming back up the floor. Easy big fella, don’t give a guy who’s won a lot more than you a reason to get mad and fired up.

A late run in the second quarter by the Celtics has pushed back Detroit for now. 52-46 as we head into the halftime break. I would say that’s too close for comfort if you are the Celtics, and a bit disappointing if you are Detroit, considering they controlled the game most of the way.

Revving Up
May 29, 2008

The Pistons are starting to turn it on, with another vicious alley oop to Jason Maxiell, and tenacious full court defense on the Celtics, leading to a travelling call on Garnett. With 9:38 to play, the Pistons again try the alley oop to Maxiell, leading to a questionable call on PJ Brown. 31-25 Pistons.

Key moment just a few seconds later, as a questionable call on Maxiell leads to his 3rd foul. He’s been single handedly pushing the Celtics around, and now he’s got to sit down. He was killing PJ Brown, so there could be a momentum change here.

Or not, because Rasheed replaced him and just threw down a monster jam with 8:40 to play in the 2nd. Shows what I know. 33-27 Detroit.

Tedy Time
May 29, 2008

Once again the Celtics choose to mess with karma by moving Lucky’s Dunk Show to the break before the 2nd quarter. Tedy Bruschi gave the assist for those of you keeping track.

Funny moment after PJ Brown delivered a hard foul on Jason Maxiell on a fast break. While the referees conferred, Sam Cassell challenged Rasheed Wallace to a game of one on one, and they actually faced off jokingly. PJ did get called for the flagrant, and Maxiell made one of two to give Detroit their first lead of the game, 26-25 with 10:28 to play in the second.

Windex Time
May 29, 2008

(5:02 remaining in the 1st) Perk is a beast! Kendrick Perkins has been very active in the early going clearing the glass. He’s already put up 8 points, 2 on a monster slam, the rest coming on offensive rebounds. That’s a good sign, although the Celtics are playing with a lot of energy and the Pistons are still hanging tough. 17-13 Boston.

(2:07 remaining in the 1st) Weird moment during the Celtics possession… Perk and KG collided and it looked like Perkins shoved Garnett away. After a Pierce layup, the two high fived each other on the way back down the floor, so it looks like all is well. A Jason Maxiell layup just made it 21-18 Celtics.

The Pistons just won’t go away. Rasheed Wallace seems to have brought more energy tonight and Chauncey Billups is looking more like his normal self. The Celtics are dominating the stat breakdown, especially points in the paint (12-2) but we’re tied at 23 after one.

Welcome To The Jungle
May 29, 2008

Welcome to the TD Banknorth Garden for Game 5 between the Celtics and Pistons!

Not that you’d notice, but Tony Allen is out tonight with a sprained achilles suffered at practice. Scal is in uniform and ready to light it up tonight (hey, a fan can dream, right?).

Ray Allen is pulling an Iverson and wearing a big white sleeve on his left arm.

Funny moment when Rip Hamilton went diving for a loose ball and landed right in John Havlicek’s lap. You do not spill beer on Hondo… ever!

That sleeve doesn’t seem to be holding Allen back, he just hit a big three to give the Celtics an 8-5 lead. Paul Pierce just added a layup to make it 10-5. Timeout Pistons, and the Garden is rocking!