Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nick Young helped hide Gilbert Arenas from his pregnant fiance for a month before Agent 0 was traded to Orlando. For this, I think that the Celtics need to make Nick Young have a crappy game tonight.

Here's what happened:

Gilbert Arenas is (or was? not sure) engaged to the pregnant mother of his 3 children, Laura Govan (her sister Gloria is on the VH1 reality show "Basketball Wives" and is engaged to Matt Barnes. Busy famiky). Arenas and Govan have been publicly off again, on again, even though Govan has gotten pregnant by him once a year for the past 4 years. Most recently, Govan was rumored to be having an affair with our very own SHAQ-TUS!! The scandal!!! Can you imagine?? Engaged to Gilbert Arenas and having an affair with Shaq!! It's too much. Anyway, Govan and Arenas deny that there was any truth to the affair rumors, even though emails between Govan and Shaq leaked. See below, and also check out the link to see the rest.
Arenas and Govan got engaged, Govan got pregnant again and everything was supposedly merry. 
....Until Arenas was traded to the Magic at Christmastime. Then it comes out that Arenas and Govan had been on nonspeaking terms since Thanksgiving, and Arenas had stopped supporting her financially... And by his extension of that, had also stopped providing money for his children. It turns out that Arenas had been living with teammate Nick Young from Thanksgiving until the time he was traded at Christmas. Govan claims that she was left with no money to buy food or Christmas gifts for her children.  Gilbert seems to think it's okay to act this way, because when he was traded, he made this statement to the Washington Post: 

He told The Post after his Dec. 20 debut with the Magic that he was so eager to move that he bought a same-day ticket to Florida the minute he'd heard about the trade: "I went to the airport and left. I didn't have a chance to say bye to anybody. I didn't even say bye to the kids. But Arenas also said that Washington would remain "in my heart" because "that's where I raised my kids and have my family")

Sir, your behavior is unacceptable... But so is Nick Young's, because he was the one harboring the fugitive. He should have told his friend to go home and face up to whatever messy situation he and Govan were in, instead of letting him hide out at his house. TISK TISK!!! So with that said, I hope that the Celtics are gunning for him tonight. 

Girls talk sports: looking ahead to Celtics-Wizards

First off, there will be no Shaq-tus tonight. The big man will remain in Sudbury, nursing a sore right hip. I wish him a speedy recovery!

The Celtics play in Washington tonight, and are looking to extend their win streak to 6 after thrashing the Jazz in a a blowout last night. The Wizards also played last night, and lost to Phoenix, 109-91. When you consider it's the Wizards we're talking about, they've actually been pretty decent at home this year, posting a 12-9 record. Too bad they're 0-20 on the road. Whoa.

The last time these two teams played, Boston won 114-83. Rondo was the team leader in minutes, at 30, followed by Ray Allen (27)- but after that, no starter played more than 25 minutes. The Celtic bench performed well in that game, extending a 20 point Celtic lead in to a 37 point lead. You go bench mob, I'll take another one of those type of performances tonight.

Both teams will look a little different this time around. For the Celtics, there will be no Shaq or Delonte, both of whom played last time. As for the Wizards, they've shipped Gilbert Arenas off to Orlando, and picked up Rashard Lewis. John Wall was absent from the lineup last time, but will be active tonight.

So how do the Celtics get a repeat performance?

-Move the ball: During the last match up, the Wizards had 12 assists as a team, in comparison with Boston's 32. By moving the ball around and getting everyone involved, the Celtics should get some easy points.
-Rebound: The Wizards have several effective rebounders in McGee, Blatche and Thornton. Like I always say, the Celtics need to limit the amount of second chance points that they allow. 
-Contain Nick Young: He was the Wizard's leading performer during the last match up (20 points, 1 rebound), and has been playing solid basketball as of late. John Wall has been struggling offensively (Washington has lost back to back games and he shot 7-24 from the field), but this seems to have made some room for Young to excel. Over the course of the last 6 games, Young has averaged 26 points and has shot 50 percent from three point range.

The headlines will probably all be about the Rondo-Wall match up, and rightfully so... But I'll also be keeping an eye out for Garnett-Blatche. There's some history there:

“Saunders said the Wizards looked ‘discombobulated’ down the stretch, even failing to be in the right position after timeouts. He also was upset with Blatche for engaging in some fourth-quarter in trash talk with Garnett, which helped turn the game in the Celtics’ favor. ‘We beat ourselves by getting them energized, which got their crowd energized,’ Saunders said. ‘Dray is wolfing the whole time at Kevin Garnett. You can’t do those kinds of things. When you’re coming up and establishing yourself, you don’t take a guy that’s been defensive player of the year and is probably the best power forward and get that guy juiced up to play against you. You got no chance.’ Blatche was noticeably upset and appeared to hold back tears as he explained his encounter with Garnett, which nearly got heated when Garnett approached Blatche and tried to wrestle the ball away from him. Blatche appeared to throw an elbow as Garnett continued to taunt him. Blatche later flung Garnett into a cameraman and sent him to the foul line for two free throws. Garnett smiled as he was helped off the ground. Reserve forward James Singleton said Garnett used his ‘veteran senses’ to needle Blatche and get under his skin.” via Slam online

Friday, January 21, 2011

The CBBG after dark: I'm trying to decide if the Pacers would rather be known for the brawl with Detroit in '04... Or for stiffing prostitutes and not paying them.

Sigh. Poor Indiana. They tear the whole team up and trade almost everyone away after the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl in 2004, in an attempt to turn the page and create a new team image- and they've had marginal success in this venture. They have a solid coach in Jim O'Brien, big time talent in Danny Granger, and some young prospects in AJ Price, Darren Collison, and big man Roy Hibbert.

Too bad Pacer rookie Lance Stephenson doesn't seem too on board with the idea of improving the Pacer image. First, he was arrested for domestic assault, after allegedly pushing the mother of his child down a flight of concrete stairs. And now Media Takeout reports that Stephenson employed the use of a prostitute and failed to pay her for her err... services. The link contains a video. I didn't feel the need to post it here.

Recap: The Celtics cruise by the Jazz.

From the get-go, the Jazz never looked particularly interested in winning this game. The Celtics came out of the gate aggressive and kept their foot on the gas for pretty much the whole game.

The Jazz were whistled for fouls on the Celtics first two offensive possessions. Within the first 4 minutes of the first quarter, Deron Williams was whistled for 2 personal fouls, and the Jazz found themselves over the limit. Paul Pierce scored 9 of the Celtics first 11 points, also within the 4 minute mark. Rondo attempted a pull up jumper at the elbow at around the halfway mark of the first. He missed... but I'm glad that he's started to take those shots. He is actively working on strengthening that aspect of his game, and these past couple of games have been the only stretch of time that I can think of where he's consistently put up them up. They will start to fall more consistently. Why? Because he's Rondo.

Speaking of him, he came up limping and appeared to have tweaked something. Nate Robinson subbed in for him, but not before Rondo came flying in from out of nowhere and tipped an offensive rebound to Paul Pierce, who buried a three, making the score 24-12. Once Nate was in the game, he connected on his first field goal attempt of the night, a three. We learned that Tommy is not a fan of "the bird thing" that Nate does after making a three. I read that it's not actually "a bird thing," but rather Nate "letting the three's fly." I'm pretty sure Tommy doesn't care either way. Anyway, at the end of the first quarter, the Celtics were up 30-19, pretty much setting the mood for the rest of the game. Shaq tweaked his right hip and left 6 minutes in, not to return.
Get better soon, Shaq-tus!! I'd like it if the photographers didn't sit right on the baseline. It's way too easy for guys to run in to them and get hurt tripping over them, or getting banged by a camera. Not at all a good look. 

Utah came out with a little fire at the start of the 2nd quarter, while Boston came out a little lethargic. The Jazz cut the Celtic lead to 5. Marquis, playing on that sore ankle, smoothly maneuvered his way to the basket and connected, getting fouled in the process. He completed the 3 point play. Back on the defensive end, Marquis and Semih came together to play some good defense, generating a Utah turnover. Ray connected on a 3 (watch out Reggie Miller), and just like that, the Celtic lead was back to 11. CJ Miles attempted to get the 3 back on the other end, missed, and Glen Davis hit a 10 footer on the other end, extending the Boston lead to 13. Utah came up empty offensively, and Marquis hit one of his signature floaters, putting the Celtics up by 15. Oooh, and also during the 3rd quarter, Ray Allen drew contact, threw up a three to get the foul to be called while he was shooting- and hit nothing but net. He successfully completed the 4 point play. I love 4 point plays. Glen Davis was extremely effective all game, but during the 2nd quarter, he took a charge, and then on the offensive end picked up 2 offensive rebounds on the same trip. The Celtics ended the quarter shooting 59 percent from the field. The only downside is that the Celtics had already committed 11 turnovers... At least the Jazz had 12 turnovers and were losing by 18 points, 59-41. 

The Celtics didn't let up in the third quarter. Semih Erden showed us how athletic he is, making some hustle plays defensively and scoring in the paint effectively. He ended up with 14 points. Just as Tommy started to complain that the Celtics weren't taking the ball to the basket enough, Paul Pierce took us to church, and laid the ball in nicely. In one sequence, Semih took down a nice defensive rebound, made the nice outlet pass to Rondo, who then awed us all with one of his signature "I'm bringing the ball behind my back, and then I'm going to whip it back around and pass it before you know what hit you" passes, swang the ball to Paul, who buried a 3. After that, the score was 70-48. I think Utah was ready for the game to end at that point. 

 Nate Robinson played almost the entire 4th quarter and did a pretty good job. He's just not a true point guard, so the offense tends to be more stagnant when he's in there. When he tries to do too much, he gets in to trouble and starts making silly plays. His stat line is far from spectacular (16 minutes, 8 points, 0 assists, 2 turnovers, 6 personal fouls), but I thought tonight he did a pretty good job of staying controlled and levelheaded. The highlight of the 4th quarter? Well... For the Jazz, it was when the buzzer ended and they could leave. For the Celtics, I'd say it was Von Wafer (ugh), who, admittedly is freakishly athletic and nearly jumped out of the building on a put back dunk. 

Let's talk Celtic efficiency: KG scored 21 points on 7-10 shooting in 26 minutes of play. In the same amount of time, Paul Pierce was 5-8 from the field (3-3 from downtown) and had 20 points. Shout out to Semih and Glen Davis for solid efforts as well.  

I know that in my earlier post, I made a big point of talking up Paul Millsap and how good he is... Let's just chalk tonight up as a bad night (for the whole Jazz team. There was no showdown between D. Will and Rondo. Utah was just all around despondent). My faith in him remains. 

P.P.S: Why does Ken Mauer hate Marquis Daniels so much?

P.P.P.S: Kyrylo Fesenko is the biggest person ever. This picture doesn't even do the justice, because Jerry Sloan is 6'5. And while I'm at it- shout out to Jerry Sloan for being 68 years old and 6'5" tall. I love him. But Fesenko is just one massive, massive Ukrainian. 

Girls talk sports: looking ahead to Celtics-Jazz

If the Jazz don't come in to the Garden fired up and roaring to go tonight, there's something seriously wrong with them. They're coming off back to back losses to two of the NBA's worst teams, Washington and New Jersey. In the loss against New Jersey, the Jazz defense allowed SEVEN Nets to score in double figures. Not a good look. The Jazz's road woes are not a new phenomenon: the last time they beat a team with a winning record away from home was November 20, in Portland. Eek. But hey- the Celtics, as we all know, have the maddening tendency to not show up to these kinds of games. Match ups that should result in a blowout victory for the Green all too often turn in to nail biters. 

The Jazz are actually quite a good team. They're coached by one of the best, in Jerry Sloan. They have an elite point guard in Deron Williams, a versatile big man (playing really impressive basketball as of late) in Al Jefferson, one of my favorite small forwards in the league, Andrei Kirilenko (I love people who look like they have no business being in the NBA, but come out and BALL)- and Paul Millsap. In case you haven't heard of Paul Millsap- he's THAT dude. Drafted out of the second round, because Jerry Sloan is a genius, Millsap is a great all around basketball player. He's well sized, at 6'8" and 250, active on the boards (pulling down around 8 a night) and a talented scorer, posting around 17 points a game. He's quick, he's athletic, and he's confident in his game. He's also only 25 years old, so he's just going to keep getting better and better. I gush over Paul Millsap in this way because most of the time when people talk about the Jazz, Deron Williams is one of the sole topics of conversation, and the rest of the Jazz talent is kind of skated over. So shout out to Paul Millsap for being an unsung hero.

Offensively, Utah will want to push the pace. D. Will looks a little bit chubby, but don't be fooled- he's quite speedy. Rondo keeping him out of the paint and making him shoot jump shots or pass to someone else will be key. Look for Rondo to come out with a chip on his shoulder, because he thrives on these big time match ups. He knows people think D. Will is better than him, and he loves coming out and having a monster game to prove them wrong. Jefferson, Milsap and Kirilenko will all be active on the offensive boards, so battling them and limiting second chance points should also be a point of focus for the Celtics.  

Defensively... Well- the Jazz don't really like to play defense. D.Will has publicly admitted that the Jazz have no answer for the pick and roll. Raja Bell, the starting 2 guard for the Jazz, has spoken about their inability to play help defense. The Celtics need to make it a point to exploit the Jazz's lack of a defense: they need to move the ball and attack the paint. A team that doesn't know how to defend the pick and roll and isn't competent in it's help defense will want nothing to do with a fast paced offense where the ball is moving. They also will want nothing to do with Shaq in the paint- Al Jefferson will match him, but it's just physically impossible to guard someone as large and experienced as Shaq one on one. They'll need to send someone to help, and Shaq, as he is so talented at doing, will need to then either out muscle them and score, or find the open person. 

D. Wade kind of admits to what we all already knew: The Heat want to be the Celtics.

Miami is currently on a 4 game losing streak (*grinning*). Their last loss came in overtime, against Atlanta.  The Heat unraveled at the seams in crunch time- and when it was most critical to execute, they didn't (or rather, they couldn't, because they don't currently know how to). With 2:50 left on the clock in the 4th quarter, D. Wade connected on a jumper, putting the Heat up 72-67. It would be his last shot for the night. 

Lebron took over the show from there. Over the course of the last 2 minutes of the game and during the overtime period, when D. Wade went 0 for 0 from the field, Lebron shot 5-9. I won't lie- I didn't watch this game. But my dad did, and when we spoke about it the next day, he told me how badly the two of them meshed on the court together. He said what struck him the most was that they weren't playing together- they were playing alongside each other, with two separate agendas and no collaboration. 

In the aftermath of the latest loss, D. Wade had this to say: 

“We're not the Boston Celtics,” Wade said Thursday in comparing the Heat's star power to the chemistry and experience shared among Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. “We're not these kind of teams that need to play together. We have guys that have the individual talent, and sometimes the individual talent, one-on-one ability, is going to take over. Boston has guys that have great individual talent, but they feed off each other. We're a new team. We're still figuring that out.” 

Wait. What? You're not the kind of team that needs to play together? Did they not lose the game precisely because they were unable to play together? In that same article, Lebron goes on to say that the Heat don't need to learn how to win games by 5 or less points, because when they're playing good basketball they'll never be in that position- implying that they'll always win by blowout. That doesn't sound too realistic to me- and I certainly don't think it's a good game plan. Any team that wants to be successful needs to know how to work together. Duh. The Heat have a tremendous amount of talent and athleticism on their roster, that's undeniable. But D. Wade and Lebron might needa go back to kindergarten on this one, and re-learn the importance of a collaborative effort. All of that talent and athleticism will go for naught if they don't know how to properly utilize it. The Celtics are older, and D. Wade and Lebron might be better than anyone in Green one on one- but it won't matter, because the Celtics are a united and confident front. They are a team with a set game plan and a solid team identity. Everyone knows their role and is comfortable playing in it... Not to mention they're also extremely talented and feature much more depth on their roster than Miami. 

The latest news on the dinged up Celtics front...

Marquis is a 50/50 go for the showdown with the Jazz Friday night. Feel better, boo!


Rondo got whacked in the face during practice today and left early. Ow! Luckily he didn't need stitches, so he'll probably be all set come game time. I'm thinking it would take a lot more than that to keep him out of a game against D. Williams.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Glen Davis is a one man wolf pack.

My man is obviously Team Jacob. If you don't know what that is.... You can click here. But just know that I'm shaking my head at you. 

Shaq: I love you.

Don't let the 7'1", 325 pound frame fool you. Underneath that tough, diesel facade is actually a feeling man, deeply committed to the Celtics cause of bringing home banner 18. Check it:

* Rivers said Shaq came into his office after Wednesday's win over the Pistons and apologized for missing two free throws when Detroit employed the 'Hack-a-Shaq' defense nursing a four point lead with three minutes to go. "The horse is out of the barn on that one," joked Rivers. "I don't even worry about it. Shaq last night after the game said, 'Coach, I let you down, I missed two free throws.' I said, 'I could care less, don't even worry about it.'" (C/O Chris Forsberg)

To Shaq:

Fret not. We, the devout fans of the Boston Celtics, take note of your effort and rejoice in the energy that you bring to this team, which you so gallantly exhibit on the court and in the media. Without you, this team would never be 32-9. Everyone can talk the talk about accepting their role on a team, but not everybody can walk the walk. You do more than walk the walk. You redefine the walk everyday... And for that, we are all extremely grateful, and excited to watch the rest of the season unfold.


Kim Kardashian continues to infiltrate the NBA...Takes to the sidelines of the Newark Prudential Center. Is Kris Humphries relevant yet? In more exciting news, Jay-Z was also on hand!

This would be so cute... If it wasn't Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Since it is, it's just... Weird. But it was probably a defining moment of his life... And most definitely of his career- because let's face is, the guy isn't even the first option off the bench. Maybe I'm just a hater! But hey, if Kim wants to pose for pictures  rep her man, go for it. She admittedly looked fab while doing so. 
And I won't lie. The outfit is really nice... My only problem is that it was January in New Jersey. I don't know how I feel about open toed shoes- but if I was chauffeured everywhere like Kim Kardashian is and didn't have to brave the freezing temperatures, maybe I'd wear them in the winter, too. 
Jigga was also on hand, and he looked quite pleased, watching his Nets beat the Jazz to end a 6 game losing streak. 
Gotta love Hova.

In other Nets related news, they have ended their drawn out, dramatic pursuit of Carmelo. Check out Prokhorov's press conference- everything sounds better (and more dramatic) said in a Russian accent. LOVE IT!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recap: The Celtics show up in the last 3 minutes to beat Detroit.

Photo jacked from Chris Forsberg's twitter page. A perfect depiction of the C's effort through 3 and 1/2 quarters.

Better late than never, because this was a pretty important win. With Miami on a 4 game slide, the Celtics really can't afford to be losing any silly games.

The C's fooled me a little bit in the beginning of the 1st- I thought maybe they came to play. They looked sharp defensively (rotated people on T-Mac, so Detroit didn't know who to send to the box) and Paul started 4 for 5 from the field. Well, everything went down hill from there. Greg Monroe started cleaning up in the paint, getting easy lay ups and cashing in on second chance points. Detroit shot 50 percent from the field for the quarter, and the Celtics exerted less and less as the quarter wore on.

The second quarter was more of the same. It started off with a stupid offensive call on Marquis, so the ball went back to Detroit. Back on the defensive end, Marquis turned his ankle and left the game. He didn't return, so hopefully he'll be okay and it's not a lingering injury. Von Wafer (ugh) came in off the bench and provided a spark, beating Austin Daye off the dribble, getting fouled, and completing the 3 point play. Detroit turned the ball over twice in the first five minutes of the second quarter, with the Celtics second unit on the floor. The second quarter also featured some major Tommy points c/o the Big Shamrock. Big BIG up's to Shaq- with 2 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, he dove for a loose ball (got helped up by teammates), made it down the floor and laid the ball in. You go Shaqtus.

The third quarter wamped the MOST. Everyone looked sluggish and uninterested. Paul Pierce picked up two fouls in the first minute. It sucked. Semih came in and gave the team a little bit of a spark, but the Pistons went in to the fourth up 3 and it wasn't looking so good for the Green guys.

And then came the 4th quarter. With the Celtics down 3 with 10:15 left in the 4th, Nate Robinson hit a 3 to tie things up. The Pistons came right back and scored, going back up 2. Nate Robinson attempted another 3, missed, but was bailed out by Big Baby, who tipped it in and tied things up again. Charlie Villanueva had a pretty unspectacular night, but with 9:12 remaining, he buried a 3 and put Detroit up by that amount. A little bit later on in the 4th, Armageddon struck and Ray Allen missed 2 free throws. Oy. It's always so unsettling when that happens. Nate generated an offensive foul with 8:18 remaining in the 4th, and it was a battle from that point on. Shaq had a big fourth quarter- 7 of his 12 points came in the final frame, and he played a big part in keeping the Celtics in the game. With 25 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter and the score tied at 82, Ray Allen connected on a long 2, giving the Celtics the lead for good (the shot was originally called a 3, but upon review, his foot was clearly on the line. Ray was 0-4 from downtown tonight, so he remains 28 3 pointers away from breaking Reggie Miller's record).

We also learned that Jermaine O'Neal is not going to be having surgery. He is going to spend the next 4 weeks rehabbing and getting his conditioning up. Danny Ainge says that there will be no restrictions on JO upon his return. It's a pretty sad situation. I don't expect to get too much more from JO this year. Perk will be coming back soon, and Delonte West soon after that. It's likely that, even if JO is physically able to contribute on a consistent basis, he'd find himself on the outs of the rotation. Sad.

Lamar Odom thinks that he's normal, and also thinks that we wonder what it looks like when he has sex with Khloe Kardashian. I'm not lying.

Excerpts from an interview Mr. Odom did with Playboy:

On what would happen if a sex tape of Odom and Khloé leaked: “When people see us in person, they see Khloé’s not small. I’m not small. People see us and are probably like, Damn, I wonder how that looks. We wouldn’t have anything to be ashamed about, but no, that’s not going down.” 

On Khloé’s stepfather Bruce Jenner’s feelings towards him: “Bruce likes me because I’m normal. First, because he’s in a house full of women. He could tell my energy is just about trying to do the best for his stepdaughter and do what I need to do. Respect goes a long way when you carry yourself a certain way and show manners when you first meet someone. If you do that, then it’s hard for somebody not to like you.” 

1) Thank you for not subjecting us to any kind of lewd tape. 
2) I'm pretty sure nobody thinks about what that looks like. I know that I can safely say for myself that that's never gone down. 
3) If Lamar Odom is normal, what does that make me?

This just in: Phil Jackson says something that makes me smile, as opposed to making me want to bang my head against a wall.

"Are you up against a different kind of animal if Miami comes out of the East and you face them in the finals?"

"I personally don't think that they can get by Boston. I think Boston is too good a team, a team that's still going to win... They are just really a good team."

Ayyyyy!! I skirted over the part where Phil says that it's of course possible that Miami could come out over Boston, given the incredible amount of athleticism and talent they have on that team... But those are insignificant details, really.

Check out the audio here.   

Two Celtics things to keep an eye on: One good, one maybe good but probably bad.

Let's start with the good news: Ray Allen is 28 three's away from breaking Reggie Miller's record for most career 3 pointers made. Miller's record is 2,560. Ray will probably chip away a little bit at that differential tonight. Here's what Mr. Miller had to say about Ray creeping up on him:

“Shooting is boring. It takes time and you have to spend hours working on your craft. Players don’t want to put up the sacrifice to do it. That’s why I applaud Ray Allen, at 35 years old, getting ready to break my (NBA record for 3-point field goals) in the next month and a half. He’s the best shooter in this league and that’s sad, because there should be some young gunslinger coming up saying, I’m going to shatter Ray Allen’s record. There’s no one alive that’s going to break his record.”

Classy of Reggie to say... But haha, you know he's mad.

Now for the slightly more crappy news: Jermaine O'Neal traveled to New York Monday to get a second opinion on his knee. He is considering surgery on his bothersome left knee. If surgery would keep him on the shelf through the playoff's, he will bite the bullet and play through pain this year. He has missed 24 of the 40 games played so far this year. He was apparently supposed to come back yesterday to make a decision, but was unable to travel due to the inclement weather. Obviously this decision could not be discussed over the phone...

Girls talk sports: looking ahead to Celtics-Pistons

The Pistons are right smack in the middle of the Melo-drama. Rip Hamilton has been benched for the past 3 games, which, in my opinion is completely disrespectful and unnecesary. He's been with the Pistons for the past 8 years and has been a staple of the franchise for every one of those 8 seasons. For people my age, I think Richard Hamilton is synonymous with the Pistons, especially now that most of the other noteable members of the championship teams (Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace) have gone on their own ways. Rip is just an all around tough, solid player. For his career, he's averaged 17 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. There's no way that benching him isn't causing tension on a team that's already not flowing chemistry wise. I'm sure that Tyshaun Prince and Ben Wallace don't look kindly on it. To bench him for a trade that's not even iminent is just rude... And that will be the end of my tirade defending Richard Hamilton. 

Despite all of this drama, the Pistons come in to the Garden the winners of their last three games, blowing Dallas out 103-89 in their last outing. Who's been playing well for Detroit? A couple of people. Tyshaun Prince has scored more than 20 points in 2 of the 3 games. Rodney Stuckey and Tracy McGrady have also had solid games (McGrady dropped 22 against Toronto, the first of the 3 game win streak. Maybe he was trying to show his former team that he's still got it...). The Pistons also have three guys in Charlie Villanueva (booooo), Will Bynum and Ben Gordon who can come off the bench and  score in the double digits. 

How can the Celtics beat the Pistons? 

The last time the Celtics and Pistons played, on December 29, Rondo wasn't playing and KG injured his calf. They will both be on the floor tonight, which gives Boston an advantage because we've just been reminded of how well they can perform with their core healthy and active. Look for KG to be even more hyped than usual (if that's possible), because of his ongoing drama-rama beef with Charlie Villanueva. Since he hurt himself last time against the Pistons and couldn't play, tonight will be his chance to take it on to the court and show people who's boss. 

This a game where the Celtics can win the battle of the boards. The Pistons don't rebound particularly well. They pull down an average of 38 boards a game, good for 29th in the league. Ben Wallace is the teams leading rebounder (6 RPG), but he's sidelined with an ankle injury. If the Celtics are active, there's no reason why they can't dominate in the paint, score easy baskets, and cash in on second chance points. 

Defensively, without the veteran presence of Richard Hamilton, Detroit won't be too interested in playing home. Rip is the reason why Ray Allen started wearing an arm band. He let his nails grow out, and after the Celtics played the Pistons, Ray's arms would be all scratched up. And no, I'm not going to launch in to another thing about Rip. Just an anecdote this time. 

A quick preview of potential match ups:

Rodney Stuckey and Rajon Rondo. It's a tough match up for Rondo because Stuckey is bigger and stronger, but Rondo is quicker and more disciplined than him. Stuckey's mindset is score first, pass second, so as long as Rondo can keep him out of the paint, he should have the advantage in the match up. 

Since the Pistons have been sitting Richard Hamilton, Tracy McGrady will more than likely be matching up with Ray Allen. There is no way that McGrady can stay with Ray. He will have no interest in battling through picks and chasing after Ray. It just won't happen. The problem could be on the other end of the floor, because McGrady has a good 3 or 4 inches on Ray. 

Tayshaun Prince and Paul Pierce. I like this matchup. These two have played against each other for years and it's always a good battle. Prince is long and quick, so Paul will need to take him in to the paint and out muscle him. Defensively, Prince can get it going from the perimeter, so Paul will have to stay home on him. 

Greg Monroe and Shaq. To be completely honest, I don't know too much about Chris Wilcox. He's in his first year out of Georgetown, and he's been thrust in to the starting line up as a result of an injury to Ben Wallace. He's coming off a 16 point, 9 rebound and 4 steal performance against the Mavericks. He's 6'11 and 250. The Celtics should go to Shaq early and often. No, he's not as fast as he once was, but he's strong and experienced, and there's a good chance he can take the young Wilcox to school. 

Chris Wilcox and KG. Wilcox has been plagued by a steady stream of injuries- he injured his back last season, his hamstring in the preseason, and his groin at the beginning of the regular season. He is momentarily healthy, and made his first start of the season against the Raptors on January 14. This is another case where the experienced player (KG) should have the upper hand. I'd bet that the Pistons are going to go to their bench to look for help against KG... That would come in the form of Villanueva. It might could get chippy out there.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Andrew Bogut dunked over me... We still won the game though." Glen Davis is hilarious.

Glen Davis goes crazy in his hotel room watching dunks on sports center. Funny.

Dwyane Wade turned 30 and had a birthday party. Lebron was there.

Do I see champagne? And the night before a game? I'm telling. And apparently Lebron really likes whatever song was on. D. Wade not so much. 

This is obviously Lebron's signature dance move. And... Three snaps in a z-formation, D. Wade. Don't mess with him during this song.
L to R: 106&Park host Rocsi Diaz, one of my FAVE designers Rachel Roy (she's rumored to be collaborating on a clothing line with Amare Stoudemire)), and D. Wade's girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union. She always looks flawless. Grrr. 

Celtics-Magic: KG returns. A recap.

The Celtics went ahead by 10 early on, but the lead evaporated and much of the game was tight. The Celtics really came alive in the last 3 minutes of the 4th quarter. Ray Allen connected on two threes but the Magic fought back. With the score tied and a minute left on the clock, Paul Pierce chose the perfect time to pull out some vintage material. He got Jason Richardson off the floor, drew contact, and buried an elbow jumper. After making the free throw and completing the three point play, the Celtics lead 107-104, with 38 seconds left on the clock.

The real story of the game was KG's return to action, and with 38 seconds left in regulation, he stuck the dagger in to the chest of the Magic:

With Orlando seeking a tying basket, down three with less than 30 seconds to play, Ryan Anderson came down with an offensive rebound of a Hedo Turkoglu miss. Jameer Nelson ended up with the ball and, after catching Boston in a switch off the pick-and-roll, was looking to feed it back to the top of the key where Jason Richardson, one of Orlando's top 3-point threats, would have had a wide-open look.

If not for Garnett.

Despite basically being pinned behind Orlando's point guard, Garnett managed to reach out his long arms and bat down the pass as it left Nelson's hands. He then tracked down the loose ball and fed it ahead to the Celtics' Ray Allen, who drew the foul and made the free throws that sealed the game (Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston).

His return was even more glorious than I dared hope for. One would think that after leaving the court in excruciating pain and missing 9 consecutive games, that he would come back rusty and hesitant. Oh but it just wasn't so (in my bliss, I'm skating over some MINIMAL rusty-ness, and filing it away under causalities of the game. There was a couple of turnovers, and all but 2 of his rebounds came in the first quarter). The bottom line is that he played 31 minutes and he looked completely fabulous. His performance was for more meaningful than his numbers (he shot 7 for 13 and scored 19 points, plus pulled down 8 rebounds and had 2 steals). He is the king of the intangible and he was omnipresent on the court last night. I wouldn't be surprised if Dwight Howard had a nightmare about KG last night, the way that KG was in his head all game long. He's always talking- but it's not always trash. Much of his talk is him communicating with his teammates, calling out sets and making sure people are where they need to be. Through communicating, he anchored the Celtics defense and revamped their intensity on both ends of the floor, in ways that were lacking these past nine games. He made the big plays when they needed to be made.

He just makes everyone else better... And he makes it look so easy. Shout out to Ray Allen for scoring 13 of his 26 points in the 4th quarter, and to Paul Pierce for scoring his first points of the 4th quarter with 38.7 seconds remaining... And lastly, to Jason Richardson, for his lackluster defense on Paul.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lou Williams might not be the starting PG for the Sixers... But he's still a boss.

Here's proof! A freestyle over Rick Ross' "Imma boss" beat. In terms of the lyrical content? Highly unoriginal... But the flow is straight.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

You're probably depressed about the Patriots losing. This might help!

The following tweets significantly brightened my mood:
Incase you were worried about the impact Perk will be able to make this year...
Unfortunately Marquis had to be victim number one... But it seems he's the same old Perk. The above tweet also mentions that Shaq was limited in practice today because he was dinged up. Turns out he slipped on some ice outside of the practice facility. SMH... Why wasn't the sidewalk salted? Everywhere I walk, the sidewalk is saturated with salt, and it's succeeded in seeping in to some of my boots and staining them. Get up on your salt game, Waltham Public Works!!