Saturday, January 29, 2011

Recap: Oops. I'm glad that's over.

Be afraid, Steve Javie. (Picture jacked from Chris Forsberg's twitter page)

The Celtics spent the entire first half standing around doing two things: 1) Watching the Suns do pretty much whatever they wanted offensively and 2) Looking at the refs, waiting to be bailed out. Granted, there were some calls/no-calls that I found questionable... But they do not account for the butt kicking the Suns put on the Celtics in the first half.

The first quarter started with two quick Celtic turnovers. Shaq picked up two personal fouls in the first minute and a half of the game, so Perk came off the bench really early. Perk picked up two quick personal fouls of his own, and they both came before the 6 minute mark... The highlight of the beginning of the first quarter? A great quote by Bill Walton. Channing Frye was all over Perk at the free throw line, provoking Bill to say, "Channing Frye a grabbing, hacking foul on Kendrick Perkins at the free throw line? What's he thinking? If he was thinking at all. That's where you want him to catch the ball." Hilarious. Gortat drained a three as the first quarter ended and put the Suns up 14.

Nate was on the floor at the beginning of the second quarter, and forced a turnover, subsequently connecting at the rim on the other end. That was a good sign... Too bad nothing good came after that. The Celtics continued to stand around and watch the Suns play like they wanted to win. Von Wafer came in. He was supposed to provide a spark, and I guess he did as good a job as that as you can with minimal support from your teammates. He forced a steal, made the outlet pass to Paul, and Paul couldn't connect on the lay-up on the other end. Then Glen Davis fell down on defense, and Mickael Pietrus got an easy lay-up, putting the Suns up 15. Midway through the second quarter, Paul was shooting 1-7, Ray 1-4, Davis 1-5 and Rondo 0-1.... 10-31 as a team. Eek!! Doc Rivers got ejected during a timeout midway through the 2nd. He is an OG and I love him. He high fived Celtics fans in the stands on his way out. With 4:33 left in the 2nd, the Celtics were down 17. They went in to the half 14, with nobody in double figures.

The Celtics showed some fight at the beginning of the third quarter. KG connected on a couple of short jumpers and made it a 10 point game. The Suns called timeout and Bill Walton proclaimed that the Celtics were back in the game, "They're right there. They're right there. It doesn't matter where you are, if you're playing Phoenix, and you're down 10... You're right there." Too bad Phoenix went right back up 15 coming out of the timeout. Paul Pierce down the lane to his left and couldn't get the roll. Paul went down the lane again on the next possession, connected, but was unable to complete the three point play. Paul trooped back on defense, stripped Dudley and made the outlet pass to Ray. Ray put up a three and missed. Pretty much the story of the whole game. The Celtics weren't able to get the lead back to 10, let alone single digits, and the Suns went up 16. Then Pietrus caught on fire. I was just kind of shaking my head at this point. I mean what else is there to do? Many consider the Celtics a team that's built to win a championship. Few, if any, consider them built for back to backs. They didn't get in to Phoenix until 4:00. This is what happens. Is that an excuse? I don't know. I'm not going to use another Bill Walton quote here (but I will in a second), but he said it best when he said that back to back games on the road need to be won early. The Celtics dug themselves in to a hole early, and spent the whole game trying to figure out a way to claw back. Not a good look. Now on to the next fabulous Bill Walton quote. Perk came out with 6.7 left in the third and Bill said, "Perk looks tired, look at him slouching. Stand tall, be proud, you're a great champion." If I had the discipline to have a mantra for myself, like one I could say to myself every morning in the mirror while I got ready, that'd be a great one. And Bill is great for saying it like he meant it from the bottom of his hippy heart.

The Celtics made a run in the 4th, and then Steve Javie tossed KG from the game with 4:07 left and the Celtics down 11. Nate got one, too. Oops. After that, everyone just wanted the game to be over... And to be honest, it was already way past my bedtime anyway, so I was glad to call it a night as well. Baby did not play in the second half, after straining his right hamstring. *crossing fingers that he's okay*

P.S. I still think Paul Pierce should not have played in this game. Not that it matters now.
P.P.S. The Lakers just lost to the Kings. Not that anybody's thinking about Sunday.

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