Archive for May, 2010

The Little Big Man, or is that the Big Little Man
May 29, 2010

Rasheed Wallace was not 100% and did not score a point. Tony Allen also pitched a shutout. Big Baby was not all the way back from his concussion but manged 6 pts and 7 big rebounds in just 17 minutes. But on this night the Bench made a huge contribution because of the play of the games smallest player. (nice acquisition by Danny the dealer)

5 Foot 8 inch Nate Robinson (he claims he is 5-9 but, sorry, no way) was immense and managed to be immense in just a 9 minute span in the 2nd quarter. Rajon Rondo told me after the game that Nate was the difference in the game because of his play in the 2nd quarter while Rondo was nursing a sore backside after a fall.

In the 2nd quarter Nate the Great was 4 for 7 from the field including 2 for 4 from 3 point land and made 3 for 4 free throws giving him 13 points making him the teams leading scorer at halftime. Not Bad. Robinson told me after the game that good things come to those who wait and he had been waiting, patiently. Robinson’s defense on Jameer Nelson was just as impressive.

Now let’s not forget Paul Pierce. The Celtics Captain had 31 points and 13 rebounds. Ray Allen had 20 points. And the Celtics trademark defense was up to the task especially on Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson.

Now the Celtics get some much needed rest, in fact 5 days until they start the Finals next Thursday night on Channel 5. Rajon Rondo admitted that he needs the rest after taking a hard fall in the 1st quarter. He wasn’t the same the rest of the game scoring just 2 points after the fall after scoring 12 in the 1st quarter. Rasheed needs the rest. Marquis Daniels needs the rest.

Celtics- enjoy a nice restful Memorial day weekend. You  deserve it.

-MD

Celtics-Orlando Game #6
May 28, 2010

All of tonight’s suspects have arrived for tonight’s game. The only question that remains is who will be guilty of not coming thru in tonight’s game and will any Celtic be totally exonerated from a mini 2 game slump by getting a unanimous decision of not guilty of any kind of sub par play

The biggest news is that Big Baby and his concussion have been given clearance to play and Rasheed and his back spasms are going to give it a go. Marquis Daniels is still a maybe so look for Brian Scalabrine to be dressed and hopeful for action.

More to come.

-MD

Has Celtics switched been turned off?
May 27, 2010

Note: Kendrick Perkins 2nd technical foul has been rescinded so he is available to play in Friday night’s game 6. The official announcement came from the NBA as follows.

NBA ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF REVIEW OF ORLANDO-BOSTON GAME 5 OF EASTERN
CONFERENCE FINALS

NEW YORK, May 27, 2010 – Following a review of Game 5 of the Eastern
Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic, the NBA
has announced the following:

   ·    Celtics center Kendrick Perkins’ technical foul with 36.1 seconds
      remaining in the first half has been rescinded.

   ·    Celtics forward Paul Pierce’s foul with 8:12 remaining in the fourth
      quarter has been upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 1.

THE Big question at the beginning of the playoffs was “Are the Celtics capable of turning the “play hard and well” switch on for the playoffs after such a lackluster regular season”. The answer was yes, at least for 15 games anyway.

Unfortunately for Celtics fans it appears that someone might have gotten a hold of that switch 2 games ago and turned it off. Visualize the movie Airplane and the part where the crazy guy pulls the plug on the lighting system of the runway and then says “just kidding”. Except this Celtics turn off is no joke.

SO what has happened? Game #4 Paul Pierce went back to the days of him always trying to be the hero and it cost them. Game #5? How much time do you have. No energy, no fight, no nothing. Disheartening after 13 such strong playoff games.

They have been pushed around, bullied, beat down, even technically knocked out, or have they been. That question will be answered tomorrow night.

Tonight at 6 a look at how they were beat down.

-MD

Greetings from Orlando
May 26, 2010

It is actually a couple of degrees cooler here in Orlando than it is in Boston, right now that is. Tonight though the heat will be turned up inside the Amway Arena for game 5 of the Celtics-Magic Series.

This mornings Celtics shootaround took place with the usual happenings.

-Kevin Garnett did not speak to the media (he kinda hangs with Rasheed on the road)

-Rajon Rondo did speak , and with the usual amount of emotion (none) with which he usually speaks to us. That is a good sign. He says he feels better that he did the other night when he was feeling a little weak and that tonight he will be fine. While he does not say that he is seeking revenge, he couldn’t have helped but  to think a few times about the way he was outplayed by Orlando point guard Jameer nelson who outscored Rondo 23-8.

Doc Rivers was his usual friendly self. What’s not to be friendly about-he is sleeping in his own bed (except that his 2 dogs also sleep on the bed) and his team is on the road where the have won 4 straight games.

I talked to a number of Celtics about the atmosphere (annoying) here in what they call the O-rena (O meaning obnoxious). That story coming up at 5 tonight.  The celtics also have a surprise visitor- that coming up at 6.

-MD

Bring on L-A
May 19, 2010

The gloves have been taken off in this Celtics-Orlando series as last night Dwight Howard took down Paul Pierce on a hard foul to Pierce’s shoulder and face. After Pierce regained his senses he briefly took a step toward Howard but Pierce and the Celtics held their composure and won the game 95-92 but Dwight Howard can expect a very unfriendly greeting Saturday night from the Garden crowd.

So this win puts the Celtics up 2 games to none. Not only have the Celtics never lost a playoff series after winning the 1st 2 games of a series, but the Celtics have Never won the 1st 2 games of a series on the road so there is reason to allow the scouting of the L-A Lakers to begin in earnest.

A Big  reason that everyone is already looking ahead to a Finals between the Celtics and the Lakers(who are only up 1-0 in their best of 7 playoff series against Phoenix)  is because the Celtics and the Lakers have the 2 best players in the playoffs and they are Kobe, of course, and Rajon Rondo.

These playoffs have simply been Rondo’s official coming out party. I thought Rondo would not be able to embarrass Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson like Rondo did to Cleveland’s Mo Williams. I was wrong. Last night Rondo took over the game when he needed to -in crunch time. He was, simply, unstoppable, again! 25 points 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Rondo is putting on one of the greatest individual shows in NBA playoff history.

Yes, there is still some unfinished business against the Orlando Magic. The Celtics might even lose a game, but I doubt it. The Celtics have 4 days to rest before game #3. The Magic have 4 days to think about and hear about how they lost the 1st 2 games. That can serve as powerful motivation. Paul Pierce said last night that the Garden crowd will not allow the Celtics have a left down. See you Saturday night.

-MD

Papelbon
May 18, 2010

Does anyone else think Jonathon Papelbon spends too much time trying to “look” like an intimidating closer rather than trying to “be” an intimidating closer?

I am not overreacting to his implosion last night at Yankee stadium. I have had this feeling for quite some time. He has been a very good closer but what’s with the face. Hey Pap-It doesn’t help.

You were a good closer before you decided to make that face before every pitch. Shut your mouth and pitch, and try not to pitch right down the middle of the plate. It makes your pitches a lot easier to hit. Ask Marcus Thames. Ouch. Journeyman outfielder has career moment at Pap’s expense.

This game had all of the makings of a statement game, on the positive side for the Red Sox. Coming back from 5 runs down, in Yankee Stadium, against their young undefeated pitcher and then Papelbon serves up Home Run Derby in the bottom of the 9th. Ouch. Now 9 games back of Tampa and 6 and half behind of the Yankees.

MD

Championship Contenders!
May 17, 2010

I know, I know, don’t overreact to just one win in this series. But, you can’t disagree with me. I think the Magic is actually a better match-up for the Celtics than the Cavaliers (whose total collapse I still havent figured out-the Celtics just cannot be THAT much better than the Cavs, can they?)

If you are an Orlando fan, you have got to be seriously concerned about your teams chances to win this series with the way yesterdays game went. The Celtics played pretty well- their defense was good but their offense was just alright.

Their are 2 big X-factors for the Celtics that have been unexpected. #1-Rasheed! C’mon who would have thought that he is would now be one of their 5 best players giving a steady effort? After coasting through the regular season? It’s true and Rasheed, yes Rasheed Wallace, is a big key to the Celtics championship aspirations.

X-Factor #2 is the continued consistent play of Tony Allen. This post season Allen has been everything that Celtics management hoped for since the day they drafted him. His energy is contagious. His defensive abilities are unmatched.

And let’s not forget the big 4- KG, Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are playing pretty well. Allen and Pierce, who had an unspectacular game #6 vs Cleveland, were very good in game #1 vs Orlando with 25 and 22 points respectively.

If yesterday is any indication, and I believe it is, you’ve got to be feeling pretty good about the Celtics chances to get to the finals, where anything can happen. It’s a pretty good feeling considering the Celtics finished the regular season at 27-27.

Side Note: I’m watching ESPN’s sportscenter and they’re analyzing game #1 and talking about the Celtics defense against Dwight Howard mentioning Perkins, Big Baby, and Garnett but didn’t even mention Rasheed Wallace!? What game were they watching??

-MD

Celtic Pride
May 14, 2010

Lynchie with Marines Mark and Matt Lupisella of Marlborough before Celtics-Cavs Game 6 at the Garden. We helped them get tickets through the Celtics (special thanks to Heather Walker and Chris Neil) and they got to stop by our live shot location before the game. Matt returned safely after serving in Iraq. His brother Mark is on leave from Afghanistan and heads back for a year on May 22. We appreciate your service to your country – and we hope you had fun at the game! Go Celtics!

Celtics -Legitimate Championship Contenders?
May 14, 2010

Really, who, besides Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers and the members of the Celtics, expected the Celtics to eliminate MVP LeBron James and the Cavaliers? and in a relatively convincing fashion no less?!

So many reasons, so little time to name them all. In honor of tonight’s Bruins game let’s do it hockey-like.

Star #3 -Rajon Rondo. Undoubtedly The #1 star of the series, but in this game the #3 star with 21 and 12 assists and 5 steals he again set the tempo and controled the game.

Star #2 -Tony Allen. He helped hold LeBron under his scoring average and forced the 2 time MVP into 9 turnovers. No single player in the NBA plays LeBron any tougher. Oh Yah, he also scored 10 points and had 3 steals-he set the tone defensively.

Star #1 -Kevin Garnett who looks like he is getting very close to being back to 100% hit his 1st 4 shots on his way to a team high 22 points and more importantly a team high 12 rebounds. Like Rondo he was unguardable.

An honorary star goes to Rasheed Wallace. Rasheed Wallace? Yes, finally he is is showing frustrate Celtics fans why Danny Ainge signed him. He hit a big 3 in the 4th quarter to put the final nail in the coffin. 10 pts, tough defense, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and a block in 23 minutes. Yes, Rasheed Wallace.

Celtics open up their series with Orlando on Sunday afternoon on Channel 5 in Florida. Game #2 Tuesday. Games #3 and #4 in Boston next Saturday and Monday the 24th.

Now it’s time for the Bruins to take care of business tonight against the Flyers and make sure we have our local sports teams in the national spotlight for a few weeks more, at least.

-MD

Turn about is fair Play
May 12, 2010

Who would have EVER thought this would happen? Seriously. The media has a tendency to over exagerate great athletic performances but words just can not begin to describe the Celtics game #5 win in Cleveland over the Cavs.

If I would have told you that Rajon Rondo wouldn’t score a point in the 1st half you would have thought the Celtics would be in big trouble. Instead they led by 6 at intermission (Rondo scored 12 3rd quarter points on the way to 16 for the game).

How about Paul Pierce, given up by many as too old averaging just 11 pts in the 1st 4 games, showing he has something left scoring 21 points.

And then there is LeBron- Not scoring a basket until midway thru the 3rd quarter (3-14 for the game for 15 points). C’mon, really? Yes and in response to the Cavaliers handing the Celtics their worst ever home playoff loss last Friday night, the Celtics returned the favor with a one up, or should I say 3 up bettering the 29 point beating at the Garden to win by 32 points. 32 Points!

Simply put, No one predicted this. In fact No one predicted that this series would be where it is right now-with the Celtics one win away from eliminating the league’s best team in the regular season. But these are the playoffs where winners prove they know how to win and so far the Celtics look like the winners, winning twice on Cleveland’s home court, the 2nd time in a game no one predicted and few can still believe.

What will happen in game #6? No one knows, really. But I can’t wait to see what happens.

-MD