Tuesday, October 27, 2009

KG IS Walking through That Door - Celtics 2009-10 Preview

Depending on whom you ask, the 2009-2010 Celtics are either the first, second or third best team in the Eastern Conference sharing the top three spots with the Cavs and the Magic.  Opening the season tonight against one of their rivals, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics' position will immediately be tested.  Can the men of Green repeat the performance from 2007-2008, or will it be an injury-riddled year similar to 2008-2009?   

7:30pm.  Actually a beautiful view of the City of Cleveland, athough its amusing that Jacobs Field is lit up in the middle of October.  Please, those days are over, but thanks for wasting the natural resources to keep the lights at the baseball park on during the basketball game.  Also, I like Shaq.  I really do, but it's clear that the Real Shaq tweets from one of two places - Burger King or McDonalds.  The restaurants in the Flats better order some more supplies for after game dinners.  Oh my God is he large.

First Quarter.  Yes!  KG starts strong in the low post to get the first points of the season for the Celtics.  Looks quick for a 43 year old.  Unfortunately, the Celtics collectively look old and slow as Cleveland begins the game on a 13-2 run  The Celtics call a timeout to stop the momentum.  It may have been a technical foul, I don't know with this team.

In the span of one minute, we see what the Cavs are all about in 2009-2010 if LeBron ever gets injured.  Anderson Varejao flops in the paint and pops up crying, and Shaq scores his first points pushing Perk out of the way as he banks in a four footer.  Oh and by the way, that was a foul on Lebron James when he block Rondo's dunk attempt 8 minutes in.

Rasheed and his enormous afro takes his first of numerous ill-advised threes reminding me what it was like when Antoine Walker was jacking up his bricks ten years ago. Cheryl Miller immediately proceeds to tell us about Big Baby's problems with his injured thumb after he punches a former teammate.  What I don't understand is that Davis is going to be suspended, but Delonte West beats his wife, gets arrested on gun charges, fails to go to practice or to games and apparantly is just generally crazy, but they show him hugging some sycophant on the bench as Miller speaks in the background.  What's wrong with this picture?  Cavs 28 Celtics 21.

Second Quarter.  LeBron is on the bench and it shows.  The Celtics tie the game at 32 as LeBron daydreams on the bench about whether there will be enough cap space in Los Angeies next year.

I like the story of Doc Rivers instituting the 30 minutes window of silence on the team at practice yesterday because the players were getting too chirpy.  We institute silent time for our children when they get chirpy too.  Oh and by the way, in case you couldn't hear the guy on the Celtics bench...THREE SECONDS!  THREE SECONDS!!!

Wth three minutes left, we see our first in game interview with Shaq expressing his feelings about playing with the King.  Shaq acts humble about once being the best player in the world, but having to cede that title to LeBron James for the good of the team.  What a guy.  By the way, what the hell was that thing spinning in the background of his interview?  It looked like one of those insects from Starship Troopers.  Technical Foul Number 1 on the Celtics as Paul Pierce is called for an awkward looking travel/foul call.  Seriously, Doc needed a timeout for that play call?  Regardless, the Celtics rally from being down 19-5 in the First Quarter to being ahead 51-45 at halftime.

Third Quarter.  I probably was not the only one cringing when Shaq treated KG like a rack of Babyback ribs.  Nothing a couple of chest bumps can't sure.  I wonder what Danny Ainge was nervously laughin about after that exchange.  And please no more alley oops to Kevin Garnett.  Umm, please?

After seeing Shaq miss yet another bunny while LeBron is calling for the ball, I wonder how long before his minutes get reduced - Shaq's minutes, not LeBron's.  Celtics 72 Cavs 65.

Fourth Quarter.  I have to be honest, when Rasheed Wallace was on the Pistons, I hated seeing the random three point field goal with a hand in his face, despite the fact that he was a non-factor the majority of the game.  Now it's not so bad.

With seven minutes left, we have now entered the time of the game when LeBron spreads the floor and then drives to draw a foul - over and over again.  I love watching this kind of fundamental 1 on 5 basketball.  Oh wait!  Here comes Shaq with his first two free throws - "clang" "bam".   Misses both of them.  Almost as painful as watching Shaq's performance at the All Star Game last year with Jabberwocky.  In any event, the Celtics pull away from the pesky Cavs despite not employing the Hack-a-Shaq method of defense.  Celtics 95 Cavs 89.

Overall, considering Cleveland lost two games last year at home, this was a strong effort.  I was encouraged by the play of the big three - perhaps we'll see another Celtics-Lakers Finals?

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