Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's almost embarrassing how sad I am right now.... Almost.

This is a team that's supposed to win right now, this year. This is a team with a window- a window rapidly closing, centered around three veterans giving it their all to win before they walk away. As of 2:30 PM today, this was a team that, with their starting 5 intact, had never lost a playoff series. It was a team that prided themselves on chemistry, commitment and fluidity- and a little thing called camaraderie, which is sorely lacking on the majority of other teams in the NBA. It was a team that almost seemed to be exempt from the superficiality of the rest of the league. While other teams grapple with selfish play, the egos of superstars, and a lack of commitment to defense, those were all things that the Celtics could depend on, and proudly stood for. Selfish play? The Celtics mess themselves up over passing, trying to play too unselfishly. Egos of superstars? The three stars at the core have all made tremendous sacrifices in their personal games to cater to the needs of this team. And a lack of commitment to defense? It sometimes looks like the Celtics have more fun protecting their basket than they do on offense. 

All morning and afternoon long, I tracked what was going on, hoping that the Celtics could get lucky and snag someone really great for a backup three. I read how they might be able to pull Anthony Parker and I read that Nate was potentially going to be traded to a variety of places, from Cleveland all the way to Golden State. And finally, I read two things that stuck with me the most. I read that Perk rejected the idea that he would sit out the rest of this road trip, explaining, "I'm a Celtic." It made me smile, because it was classic Perk. And I read that Danny Ainge didn't think there would be any last minute moves, and that no big transactions were going to take place. At that moment, I felt good. It made me feel like, with all the other trades going on with other teams, I had gotten caught up in the hype of the trade deadline. I felt like the Celtics didn't need to make a rash move like so many other teams were doing, because they had the things that every team needs: consistency and a strong core. And I felt like they could wait it out and see who ended up getting bought out, and then finding a back up three. 

And then, just around 3:00 PM, I read that Perk had been traded. It literally felt like the floor had been pulled out from under me. I immediately thought it was a mistake, or some kind of rumor that had run rampant- especially when I saw that he had been traded for Nenad Kristic and Jeff Green. Then, as it became more and more clear that it wasn't a mistake and that it had actually happened, I felt deeply saddened. That sentiment has stuck with me, hours later. Kendrick Perkins is by no means a perfect basketball player, but he will always be an amazing Celtic. He is the embodiment of all the things this club is supposed to stand for: a hard working, tough, intense player despised by everybody not on his team. Like KG, Perk was bathed in sweat 3 minutes in to the game. He was among the hardest working guy on the floor, and for every shortcoming in his game- most glaringly a lack of offense- he worked hard in every possible way to compensate for it. For the Celtics, he provided the luxury of single coverage on Dwight Howard and other top notch big men. He provoked fear in the paint and he fought hard on the boards. He busted his butt for 8 months to come back early from major knee surgery, and floored me with his play. He was in amazing shape and moved faster and more fluidly than I would have ever expected. Yes, the Celtics won games and succeeded while he was on the sideline earlier this season, but his return undeniably brought a rhythm to the starting five which had been missing before. That rhythm and that familiarity is gone now, and it's so sad to think that it will never come back. I know that the NBA is a business and that at the end of the day, this was a business move... But I can't help but be sad... And mad. And I can't help but think about what kind of effect this will have on the team. This is THE starting five. This is Perk, Rondo's close friend, relied on by our big 3. 

At the end of the day, I know that the Celtics can find a way to win without Perk... Just like they found a way to win without James Posey. But let's face it- since Posey left after the '08 championship, they've never stopped looking for someone to replace him. They've been successful, and they almost won another championship, but they've been on a continual search for the guy that can bring them everything Posey did. They never found him... And they will certainly never find someone to replace Perk. I miss his scowl already. This is the first time in YEARS that I can remember NOT wanting to watch a Celtics game. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Deron Williams to the Nets. Troy Murphy to Golden State.

The Nets had to part with Derrick Favors to get this deal done. Favors is a young, promising talent, but he has a ways to go. You gotta give to get. But what's going on in Utah? Turmoil between Sloan and Williams pushes Sloan out the door, but then Williams gets traded? The Jazz also got some pretty good draft picks out of this, so maybe they're looking towards the future. 

Troy Murphy is off to Golden State. The blogs are all abuzz that Murphy will be bought out and available to sign with another team. Boston and Miami seem to be the top contenders. So- next stop for Murphy... Boston? Murphy is 6'11, so he wouldn't be a back up for Paul, but with JO, Shaq and Semih battling injuries and Perk coming off surgery, another big body wouldn't be a bad thing at all. Still, I remain more concerned with the lack of depth at the 3. The Celtics seem to be exploring all possible options for a reserve swingman. Two new names have popped out that are exciting: Jared Dudley and Mickael Pietrus. Danny Ainge apparently approached Phoenix about them, but the talks fizzled out... Oh well, in the NBA you never know what could happen.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ray Allen loves Ellen Degeneres. Also, Kobe Bryant says "Get jiggy with it..." because it's 1999, apparently.

Ellen posted this video of NBA All-Stars shouting her out on youtube. I'm completely unashamed to say that I LOVE Ellen. She's so kindhearted and hilarious, she doesn't take herself too seriously, and she's always dancing... So what's not to love? Apparently Ray Allen loves Ellen, too! He would be a fab guest for her to have on. And I won't lie... Dwight Howard would be funny as well.

The real reason why Carmelo went to the Knicks... According to one message board.

First of all, let me just say this: when I found out Carmelo had been officially traded to the Knicks last night, I breathed a serious sigh of relief. The Lebron drama went on all summer, and that was immediately followed by months and months of speculation about where Carmelo would end up. It seems we'll have a brief respite from all the drama... Just in time for the summer, when Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard will all be free agents. But enough is enough, people! All of the hype, all of the speculation, all of the bending over backwards catering to superstar basketball players with their super sized egos, all the shady dealings of gold diggers like World Wide Wes (google it if you don't know)... It all starting to make me feel so disheartened. I plan on not looking at Twitter or ESPN this summer, to shelter myself from the insanity. 

Anyways, one writer on a message board had this to say about Carmelo's move to the Big Apple: 

Melo is now in NY full time and he can spend more time with his babymama and side baby. 

The side baby is 10 months old and the reason LaLa and Melo got married in the first place. It was either they get married or La was leaving for good. 

Melo also has a side chick in Cali that he pays her bills and bought her a car. I wonder if the Cali side piece will remain in the picture.

sidenote: look forward to Amare and CiCi to creep even more than they already do since Melo is a Knick now. They actually might become public now with La being behind it all.

One sign that you read blogs too much: upon reading that Carmelo went to NY you immediately thought about how Ciara would be all up in MSG with Lala, and the rumors would start going about her and Amare again... Because that's exactly what went through my mind. **Shaking my head at myself.**

Shane Battier probably is not going to end up on the Celtics.

A. Sherrod Blakely reports that the Celtics have a definite interest in Battier... But don't have the pieces necessary to acquire him. Just like we knew all along. Blakely also adds that the Celtics are definitely looking to make a move:

The C's don't have a lot of trade chips to play, and thus find themselves struggling to gain much trade traction.

"Obviously, we're out there looking," Rivers said. "We're not going to just go and do something, to do something. We're clearly looking. We don't have a lot of assets to move. We'll see what happens."

The biggest fear for the C's right now is that they're unable to make a trade, and Daniels isn't able to return.

"That would be tough, because of our size," Rivers said. "We would have a huge gap at the 3-spot. When you look at who we'd have to go through, Luol Dengs, LeBrons, Kobes . . . that would make it tough."
It puts even more pressure on Paul Pierce to not only produce, but do so while staying healthy and relatively free of foul trouble.

"I'm not going to do nothing different," Pierce said. "I can't even think about that. We got guys who are going to have to fill in that role. Von Wafer, Delonte West. The guys we got have to fill in that role. I can't change the way I play."

We can hope that Houston is unable to find a better deal for Battier and deals him to Boston, and also throws us some pity in the process. I doubt that will happen, but one can hope. Paul needs a back up, that's undeniable. If the Celtics don't think Marquis is going to come back, I don't see them leaving Paul in the lurch and depending on Von Wafer and Delonte West. Those guys just don't have the size. I think the Celtics will continue to push for a deal, it just might not be as big a name as Shane Battier. It might not even be someone like Anthony Parker, but Danny Ainge has surprised us before, and the Celtics could luck out landing a lesser known name, but someone who's still a good fit and can give Paul a breather. We could be in for an interesting couple of days. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sanity restored: Carmelo Anthony is now reportedly a member of the New York Knicks.

Finally! An end to the Melo-Drama! 
Carmelo is a huge pick up for the Knicks, but I was kind of with Amare on this one. The big man encouraged the Knicks to keep the team together and not blow it up just to land 'Melo... And I believe that trading away Felton, Chandler and Gallinari constitutes blowing up the team. Felton was having a great year for the Knicks, and even though Amare and Carmelo are both top notch players, I think it could be a little tough going forward without the point guard.

P.S. I'm so sad for Chauncey :( Why did he have to be involved?! All he wanted was to stay in Denver, and now he's been shipped off to New York.

The Celtics are allegedly involved in discussions with Houston regarding a Mr. Shane Battier.

I don't know what the deal would look like. The article provides minimal information:

Add Houston's Shane Battier to the list of perimeter players that possess the ideal combination -- veteran know-how with an expiring contract -- to interest the Boston Celtics.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has publicly acknowledged the need for backcourt reinforcements thanks to the Marquis Daniels' bruised spinal cord and Delonte West's spotty health all season.

After the name of Cleveland's Anthony Parker surfaced Friday as a player that Boston has joined conference rival Chicago in pursuing, sources said Monday that the Celtics and Rockets have likewise discussed the prospect of Battier moving East.

Yet it's too soon to say whether the teams can reach an agreement on a deal to send Battier to the Celtics, given that Boston's trade chips are limited and since Houston is regarded as one of the most aggressive teams in a conservative market and might need Battier's expiring $7.4 million salary for a bigger move. 

Would Nate and Marquis be a possibility for Battier? The Celtics don't have much to work with in terms of dealing people. Battier would be a MORE than adequate back up for Paul, but I wonder how he would feel coming off the bench and playing less minutes than he's accustomed to. I think he would be a GREAT addition- he plays solid defense and is an able scorer. He plays unselfishly and absolutely improves every other member of his team while he's on the floor. He seems like too big a name for the Celtics to land at this point in time, but a girl can hope. It might take more than Nate and Marquis, but if the Celtics could figure out a way to land him, I think he would be worth investing him. He's a player that could make a difference on this team beyond this season and the Championship run. 

Justin Bieber so has a crush on Rihanna and YIPEE! All-Star weekend is complete... A Beyonce sighting!!

Everyone knows the actual basketball played at All-Star weekend is the least important thing. The most important things are celebrity sightings and snooping around about gossip and parties. Duh!
So here's Rihanna and Justin Bieber sitting court side... Heheehee at the look on the Bieb's face. 

Sigh. They are perfection. 

Random odds and ends: Rondo on the Pre-Game meal with Shannon Allen, the Celtics get booed in LA.

Rondo and Shannon cooked up crispy unfried chicken, cornbread, green beans, AND some sweet tea... my favorite beverage eevveerrr. You can find the recipe for it all right here, should you be interested in making any of it at home.

Also, I watched a little bit of the All-Star game last night... As I'm sure everyone knows, Kobe won MVP. I can't stand the Lakers, but I will be completely honest: I don't hate Kobe. Besides that I'm a Celtics fan by the books: I can't stand Lebron, Chris Bosh is overrated, I'll never forgive Amare Stoudemire for bashing Paul Pierce's front teeth in all those years ago in Phoenix, I hate the Heat, etc. But for some reason, I just don't have that Kobe hate in me. Say what you will about his life off the court, but on the floor it's undeniable that the guy is one of the best of all time AND is a proven winner. So anyway, he was on a mission last night to win the MVP- because he had to best Lebron James, he hears everyone doubting the Lakers and he wanted to show everyone he's not old and done. I guess he successfully accomplished that mission. I'd rather Kobe win in this type of situation than Lebron any day. Maybe that's just me.

The 4 Celtics didn't play too much. That's cool with me. They all checked in together, and which was nice to see... And nobody got hurt! That was the best part. They also got booed a lot. Hilarious!

Poor Paul! Gets the loudest boos in his hometown. Sike! You know he loves it. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I compiled all my favorite pictures from All-Star weekend parties and other such festivities.

Rondo, Paul Pierce and KG walked the red carpet together
Loving our three men in black.

Our very own Glen Davis struck a pose on the red carpet at a party
Okay, Glen! Looking good from the waist up. This might have looked nicer with dressier pants or a darker wash of denim... But he looks dapper anyway and it looks like he had a fun time. 

Javale McGee was at the same party, because he's relevant now
But this outfit... No, no. 

Lebron and Jay-Z... Jigga always looks dapper. This is a better look for Lebron.

LOTS more pictures of Celtics and other NBAer's from parties and other random events after the jump