Monday, March 28, 2011

Delonte West: A case study in what it means to be tough.

Last night Delonte West played a season high 30 minutes. In that time, he logged 8 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. But it's not about the numbers. It's about the fact that he made it on to the court at all. Doc Rivers sat him out at the end of Fridays game against Charlotte because his sprained right ankle flared up again, and he sat out of practice yesterday because of the injury. But with Rondo sidelined by a sprained right pinky, Doc Rivers turned to Delonte to fill in as the starting point guard. Mr. West came through with intense focus, and provided a stabilizing presence so desperately needed by the recently waning men in green. Chris Forseberg eloquently summarizes one of Delonte's notable plays last night:

"...maybe nowhere was that more evident than with 28.9 seconds remaining. With Boston clinging to a three-point lead -- this after the Timberwolves rallied from a 25-point deficit and actually pulled ahead in the fourth quarter -- Kevin Garnett misfired on a 13-foot turnaround. West sneaked into a circle of white jerseys and snared an offensive rebound that prevented Minnesota from having a chance to tie. The Timberwolves ultimately fouled and Paul Pierce sank two freebies to ensure the Boston victory."

The player of the night was probably Paul Pierce (he scored 12 of Boston's 21 4th quarter points), but Delonte deserves immense praise for being so effing tough and playing a heck of a game despite all of the odds stacked against him... Come to think of it, playing and impressing the nay sayers is kind of the story of his whole career. We should add resiliance to the ever growing list of positive things about Delonte West. As many times as he gets knocked down (both literally and figuratively), he always gets back up.  I hope that Doc Rivers is right, and that Delonte will be able to continue playing through all of the injuries plaguing him. I think he's a really important factor for this team, especially come playoff time. 

P.S.- Did you ever hear the one about Delonte West and Vivica Fox? Me either. But when I was looking for a picture of him for this post, I stumbled on the story. Check it out here if you want. If they ever were together it obviously didn't last. If you were curious, she's engaged to someone that is not Delonte West... And Delonte West is married (and now divorced? I'm not sure) to someone that is definitely not Vivica Fox. 

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