Boston Celtics: The Leprechauns were playing at home, where they had been virtually unbeatable since November (and completely unbeatable in the playoffs). Kevin Garnett played big (24 points, 11-for-19, 13 rebounds, 2 blocked shots). Paul Pierce was The Truth (26 points, 9-for-16, 4 rebounds, 5 assists). And Ray Allen even broke out of his three-month-long slump (25 points, 9-for-16). And...they lost anyway. Now they have to win a road game, which suddenly seems like Mission Impossible.

The worst part is: Boston really didn't play all that badly (well, minus some defensive slipups and Doc Rivers letting Ray Allen get into foul trouble, and that unforgivable boner on the Pistons' inbounds play with 20 seconds left). Detroit was just better. And that's got to be depressing if you're a Celtics fan. (Like me.)

Rajon Rondo: The kid had a decent game. Hell, he almost had a triple-double (10 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals). But his shooting returned to liability status (2-for-9) and he couldn't contain Chauncey Billups (19 points, 5-for-10, 7 assists).

The Boston bench: Holy 1986-87 flashback! Where's Darren Daye when you really need him? The Celtic reserves combined to play about 55 minutes. In that time, they scored 8 points on 3-for-11 shooting, grabbed 5 rebounds, dished 2 assists, and committed 5 fouls. Rodney Stucky came off the Pistons bench and had more points (13), assists (3) and steals (2) by himself.

I mean, check it. P.J. Brown had 4 points and 2 boards in 18 minutes. James Posey scored 3 points on 1-for-5 shooting. Eddie House had -- as Basketbawful reader Eimaan pointed out -- one of those Catch-and-Shoot-22 nights (zero points, 0-for-3, 1 foul, 7 minutes). Big Baby Davis needed his binky (1 point, 1 foul, zero-for-everything-else). Tony Allen had 1 fouls and 1 missed shot in 4 minutes. And Leon KA-Powe had 2 boards in 2 minutes.

The home crowd: As Basketbawful reader Charles pointed out: "Don't you think the Boston fans should be in the WotN? No noise whatsoever in the final minutes. Was it me? I just didn't hear them during the game or even when Ray Allen made that three in the end or when Rasheed Wallace was shooting those free throws." No. It wasn't just you. They seemed to lose faith at the end. And let me tell you, it sure wasn't like that back when Larry Legend was playing. Personally, I blame Tom Brady and his boytoy for sucking the life out of the crowd.

Doc Rivers, public relations master: The Celtics coach used the spin cycle to make it sound as if losing at home might actually be a good thing for his team. "I fully believe, and I've said it many times, at some point we're going to have to win on the road. We've gotten away with it thus far. That's been taken away. And if we want what we want, we have to win on the road and that's just the way it is."

Doc Rivers, blasphemer: Doc boned things pretty well in the third quarter by leaving Ray Allen in the game after he picked up his fourth foul. Shortly thereafter, Ray-Ray picked up number five and got some extended bench time. But Doc wasn't ready to take all the blame unto himself. "It's sometimes the basketball gods. Things are going pretty well and then he picks up his fourth and fifth. I took a gamble on it and actually lost."

Rasheed Wallace, quote machine: After the game, 'Sheed had this to say: "[The series] is even. We don't sit back and say, 'Oh, look. They are undefeated at home,' or 'They didn't win a game on the road.' A lot of teams they played in the postseason and regular season were scared of them, as far as KG and Ray and Paul. They are good players, but we have good players, also." As Dread commented on my NBA Closer column, "When did /Sheed start talking like a balding, portly white guy?"

Rip Hamilton, quote machine: The Phantom of Auburn Hills explained the advice he gave Mr. Big Shot before the game. "One thing I told Chaunce [sic], you ain't got to be overaggressive out there. You can take your time and be the captain of our ship, and we'll try to do a good job of helping you out." I don't know. That quote just made me laugh. I think Rip should buy Chauncey one of those big admiral hats and maybe a rubber ducky. Okay, I'm done.

The Detroit bench: Take away Rodney Stucky's production and clutch shots, and Detroit's reserves were just as sucktastic as Boston's. Theo Ratliff 4 fouls and 2 boards in 14 minutes of lack-tion. Lindsey Hunter had 4 points and 2 assists in relief. Jason Maxiell was 1 personal foul away from a four trillion. And let's not forget...

Arron Afflalo: He played 12 seconds last night. It was his second straight mario (not counting DNP-CDs), and his third of the playoffs.

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Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I watched that game live last night, and the Boston home crowd is not to blame. You could cut the tension with a butter knife every time Ray Allen took a shot in the last 10 minutes. And he took a lot of them.

Only Ray was completely confusing everyone by alternating good look bricks and insane-difficulty off balance 3's. The box score is deceiving, any home crowd would have been confused at how to respond.

Blogger Peckerneck said...
As a huge Celtics fan I was nervous and frustrated at the end of last nights game. But I couldn't help but laugh when the cameras caught Sheed coming out of a timeout singing along to "Welcome to the Jungle" (which the Celts always play). Everyone else is completely focused and Sheed is busy rocking out. Gotta love the guy. Tried to find the video but no dice, sorry.

Blogger Unknown said...
About Rasheed: last night I also noticed that after a foul was called late in the game and Rasheed looked baffled by the call as usual (man, I love him), he questioned the ref. You can read his lips and he said, "Who fouled whom?!" The man who coined "the ball don't lie" speaks properly when he thinks no one will notice. Go Pistons!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
how about KG trying to close up on sheed, instead he ran over rondo, so rondo´s man (bbbbillups) had enough time to knock down the three by himself..

i love games without jersey popping

Anonymous Anonymous said...
OK look I am a huge Pistons fan but from now on if your going to talk aobut Theo could you just please make him his own little bullet, because he DOESN'T EVEN DESERVE TO BE MENTIONED WITH OUR BENCH!!!! Sorry but I just hate him he is such a waste of space on our roster, I mean give his damn minutes to Mad Max, or Amir, or hell even give them to Samb!!! I would bet you anyting that Samb could do a better job in the time that Theo got on the damn court!!!!
Thank you that is all.

Blogger Peckerneck said...
Laura, this is completely from a second hand source, but a good friend of mine who was doing a semester abroad last year, swears he saw and shook hands with Sheed in Amsterdam's redlight district the night after they got bounced from the ECF last year. He's classic.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@everybody bitching about theo and/or maxiells/amirs minutes ... do you see these guys play everyday? i don´t think so.
maybe you could learn to trust the coaches, trust flip and trust joe d.
we won the game, so there had to be something good.
look, i love max, but everybody who thinks that he and amir (!?) are the answer for freakin kevin garnett have no clue what they are talkin about..

last note: SAMB?! ... are you serious? kg would eat him alive!

Blogger Unknown said...
Thank you, peckerneck. It's nice to know Rasheed is a world traveler. He must be a fan of the fine architecture they have in Amsterdam. Maybe he got lost on his way to a museum!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dear Bawful: I think you misused the term "boytoy".

It refers, methinks, to young boys who are the sexual playthings of older women (or men). Not to superhot supermodels who date similar aged sports stars.

Unless you mistook Gisele for a teenage boy. In which case I have to say, dude, you better stop doing so many of those Man Love posts now

PS: Rodney Stuckey: total hombre!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Don Paco:

Her face is kind of masculine as compared to the numerous other Victoria Secret models out there.

Also, even though I think Doc Rivers is an idiot I was fine with his decision to let Ray play on with the 4th foul.

I think his line of thinking was "We beat the Pistons when Ray was playing poorly, so even if he does foul out there's still a decent shot we can beat the Pistons."

Plus as Van Gundy pointed out, when you finally have Allen getting into somewhat of a scoring rhythm which has to be affecting his confidence (as seen by his fairly low number of shot attempts the past few games) you might as well let him build up his confidence and let him stay in the game.