Sad Celtics

The Boston Celtics: The defending champs are now officially the dethroned champs. The Celtics didn't have it on offense (39 percent shooting), and they didn't have it on defense either (the Magic hit 51 percent from the field and nearly 62 percent from beyond the arc). The end result was 101-82 home loss in a do-or-die (in this case die) Game 7. And it all came down to this:

out of gas

Seriously, a car will run on fumes for only so long. And make no mistake: Boston's Mach 5 wasn't just out of gas, the engine (Kevin Garnett) was shot and it was being held together by duct tape (an exhausted Paul Pierce), chicken wire (a flat-footed Ray Allen) and chewing gum (a no-tricks-left Rajon Rondo). Oh, and whereas last year they had a couple of quality spare tires (James Posey and P.J. Brown), this year they had a leaky donut (Stephon Marbury) and a useless block of wood (Mikki Moore). And in the end, they fell apart kind of like the Bluesmobile at the end of "The Blues Brothers."

Last-second shots and fourth quarter heroics are what make the headlines, but teams usually win or lose based on what happens during the game as opposed to what happens at the end. The fact that the Celtics couldn't finish around the basket was a sure sign that the team was wobbling toward an ugly end. Boston missed 17 of the 24 layups they attempted. Kendrick Perkins was 1-for-8 at the rim (and four of those were stuffed). Paul Pierce was 1-for-5. Ray Allen was 1-for-3. Rajon Rondo was 0-for-3. That's 3-for-19 (15 percent) on LAYUPS from your four best players...which is a pretty clear-cut sign of team with dead legs.

That's not to take anything away from Orlando's defense. Dwight Howard blocked five shots and intimidated several others. But the Magicians' interior D certainly benefitted from going up against a team that really didn't have anything left to give. (Other than a bunch of pained and sour looks from the bench during garbage time.)

Paul Pierce: Hey, I know that Pierce has been logging heavy-duty minutes for the past few months. And for the most part, he's done an admirable job of picking up the slack in KG's absence. But his final line -- 16 points (4-for-13), 2 rebounds, 3 assists -- in an elimination game at home doesn't really jibe with all that "I'm the best player in the world" noise he was making after the Celtics won the title last season. I'm just sayin'.

The Boston bench: Holy shnikes, where are Greg Kite, Jerry Sichting and Sam Vincent when you need them? The only three pine riders who got significant PT for the C's were Brian Scalabrine, Eddie House and Stephon Marbury. Think about that. Those dudes were the best the Celtics' bench had to offer. [shudders] No wonder they lost by 19. They probably should have lost by 30. That trio combined for 8 points on 3-for-12 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers and 6 fouls. About the only thing you can say in these guys' favor is they didn't set the locker room on fire. So they have that going for them...which is nice.

Stephon Marbury: The numbers (4 points, 1-for-4, 1 assist, 3 turnovers) don't really get across how incredibly catastrophic his 13 minutes and 46 seconds of playing time really was. It was almost like he was intentionally sabotaging the team, which would be crazy, even for Starbury. If there was any question about whether Stephon was going to be back in Celtic green next season, this game answered it.

Danny Ainge: Way to restock the shelves there, Danny. From letting James Posey walk over one year and about $5 million to jumping all over the Mikki Moore signing instead of patiently waiting for Joe Smith to get bought out, Ainge's every decision this season seemed to be the wrong one. And the end result sure makes some of his other master deals look like a lot of luck. (And a lot of Kevin McHale.)

Reggie Miller: As karl pointed out: "I swear to you, I just heard Reggie Miller say that Marcin Gortat (God Bless his little Polish heart) is just as athletic as Dwight Howard. Officially the worst announcer ever."

Ben Affleck: It's bad enough that his "Daredevil" movie nearly made me tear out my own eyeballs with a spork, but he has now succeeded in making poor Jennifer Garner look exceptionally average. Screw you, Ben.

Freaking Afleck
I swear, Jennifer Garner used to be hot.

And now, from Wild Yams, our special Lakers correspondent:

Kobes freakout

The Houston Rockets: Per the request of my biggest fan, starang, I will attempt to make this entry in the Lakers-Rockets series more humorous than the last one (in case the Rockets' play yesterday wasn't funny enough). Houston must have thought that after winning Game 6 that they had won the championship, because they certainly didn't appear to realize that there were any more games left to be played this season. Or maybe Houston's team bus was stuck in traffic for a few hours, because it seemed like nobody showed up till they were down by 31 with about two minutes remaining in the game; and that my friends is waiting just a bit too long to start your comeback. Yes, if Houston hadn't scored the game's final dozen points, they might not have broken the 60 point mark (they only had 58 points with 2:15 remaining in the game, when Phil Jackson emptied his bench). There were so many Rocket failures during yesterday's game that I felt like I was watching a highlight reel from the early days of NASA.

The Rockets were embarrassed in all areas of the game yesterday, but the main things they did poorly were shoot and rebound, and those are fairly important parts of winning a basketball game. Houston only shot 36% from the field and only 25% from the 3-pt line, and they got murdered on the boards 55-33. When a team plays that poorly in those areas, well it's no surprise the Associated Press said: "This one was practically over before the fans settled into their seats." Scanning down the box score it's tough to find any Rockets players who played well, but it's pretty easy to find a couple who played exceptionally poorly, starting with...

Ron Artest: Crazy Pills started the game off with a pair of airballs, and it didn't get much prettier after that, as he finished with only 7 points on 10 shots (including 1-6 from 3-pt range). If his play on the floor wasn't enough by itself to earn him a mention here, then this postgame quote sure should be: "Obviously, the Lakers are more experienced than us, but I thought we were the better team." Too bad they didn't show even a hint of that in yesterday's game. Maybe he means they're a better team in some other sport, like dodgeball, for instance; cause they're clearly not a better basketball team.

Carl Landry: A guy who had stepped up all series long picked the worst time to pull a disappearing act, as he finished the day 2-10 for 4 points and only 2 rebounds. Even weirder, he decided to fire up two ill-advised 3-pt shots, which of course, both missed. He also was frequently on the wrong end of the Pau Gasol smackdown, which included 21 points and 18 rebounds. Fail.

Aaron Brooks: Despite being Houston's "high scorer" with only 13 points (which is pretty pathetic in and of itself), Brooks needed 13 shots to get to that total (hitting only 4), and he led the team in two other dubious stats: most turnovers (5) and worst +/- rating (-24). He also managed to piss off Isaac Hayes and get thrown out of his rib joint.

I'm not gonna be around today as I'm going to be traveling and won't be able to check the internets till tomorrow (much to my number one fan's chagrin, I'm sure), but for anyone who's looking ahead for a preview to the Western Conference Finals between Denver and LA, this kid's got you covered:

Kobe Bryant: Hey, does anybody know where I can get a picture of Mamba complaining about a foul by yanking his shorts all the way...oh, never mind. Got one!

Kobes sexy legs

And now it cannot be unseen.

Lacktion report: And now I give you Chris and his amazing lacktivity update. Remember: Small sips.

Rockets-Lakers: DJ Mbenga scratched out a singular brick for a celebratory +1 suck differential in 2:40.

Magic-Celtics: Tony Battie laid down one piece of masonry for a +1 in 3:05 to give Stan Van Gundy his tobacco fix for the series, while Gabe Pruitt missed from behind the arc for a +1 in 2:30. Fellow Celtic Bill Walker took home a pedestrian paycheck of 2.25 trillion, the second largest procurement of wealth in the second round.

Battie's appearance gave him his third straight lacktive game, and fourth in the series, with a total unproductive run of 13:46 -- still only good for second in the playoffs behind Daniel Gibson's single-game 14:06. (Add the 15-second Mario from the first round against the Sixers, and he STILL ends up 5 seconds behind the crustacean!)

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Anonymous Czernobog said...
Oh good, confirmation. I was worried that I might have imagined Miller saying Gortat was as athletic as Howard.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
That was a pretty massive embarrassment for the Celtics. At the end, the lead was extended to 20+.

That is what tends to happen when your best player (supposedly) Paul Pierce, doesn't make a field goal from six minutes to go in the second quarter to about five minutes left in the game.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Cheers to Yams for some brilliantly smug sarcasm in today's post.

Also screw you, because now I feel like I've seen what a crazy teenage chick in Colorado that's met Kobe has seen.

Anonymous Arlen said...
off topic, but with all the steroids+MLB going on, and nothing being discussed with basketball (which is pretty embarrassing that almost everyone ignores it after they ignored baseball?):

LBJ: will he be the NBA's version of Bonds, Clemens, or Manny Ramirez? Discuss.

(and I mean, which one of those will he be, not 'will he be any one of them')

Anonymous CaptainHomeless said...
I was sorry to see the Celtics go out, but I'm frankly amazed they made it as far as they did, given their age and lack of depth. I'm not guessing that KG's tendons are going to magically repair themselves, but I hope they can manage to restock at least a little bit and save some of the older guys' legs for playoffs next year.

Also, Jennifer Garner has always had a serious case of Man Jaw.

Blogger Will said...
Damn, I didn't know Kobe traded legs with Keon Clark. Seriously, he needs to work the leg press.

Blogger anne said...
Uh, someone needs to tell Kobe that you need to work on lower body as well as the upper. Them's some chicken legs right there.

I don't know if anyone saw the postgame interview with Kobe and Pau, but Kobe was commenting on Douchacic's improved play in game 7. Kobe said something like that the Douche played better because his big brother from Forgetting Sarah Marshall was there at courtside ... that would be skanky Russell Brand. I almost liked Kobe after that comment. Almost.

And my word verification is "pante". As in, I have just seen Kobe's pantes.

Blogger Unknown said...
Was I the only one that guffawed when last night, while reading a promo for "Entering the Barkley Zone", Marv Albert scoffed and said something along the lines of "who would want to do that?" The irony of a guy who was arrested and tried for rape while wearing panties and a garter belt cracking a joke about... well, ANYBODY is far too much.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
So did Rajon Rondo's nasty dunk (whose funk could NOT be faked) on D-Ho not count in your "at the rim" stat?

Also: nice Chris Rock reference Yams. Clap. Clap. Clap.

Blogger  said...
Thank you for including that bit about Reggie in the write-up for the game 7's... I think you need to devote an entire post to those GOD AWFUL Blackberry fan-mail commercials TNT has been airing, with Reggie as the star attraction. I could have sworn that Reggie only got death threats nowadays. Him and Antoine Walker.

Anonymous Gengar said...
I found yesterday's Lakers-Rockets game to be completely boring, excepting a few highlights stemming from the Lakers' frontcourt. Lakers-Nuggets should be entertaining, and much more competitive than last year's sweep. Look for Kobe to have a great series, as he's shown time and again that he can take it to the hole in Colorado (that lame joke is as old as Mutombo).

Magic-Celtics was fun to watch. Orlando was sizzling the whole game, and the Celtics had no answer. It was also nice to see Kevin Garnett shut up for a change. As for Reggie's comment, I don't think it's as crazy as it sounds. Judging by the Polish Hammer's sexy dunk last night, and the crowning of Dalembert and Miller in the first series, this guy may have more hops than we give him credit for. He's like a poor man's Dwight Howard, but worse. Uh ... he's like AIG's Dwight Howard? Something like that.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I've made the comments to many over the years that Jennifer Gardner doesn't do it for me. Now I have the proof: this is the morning after face. And she looks like she wants BBBRRRRAAAAAIIIIINNNSSS!

I would also like to call out the Celtics world on this out of gas deal. I agree - their bench is as shallow as an 80s movie plot, injuries have hurt them and their stars are about to join Wilford Brimley in selling Quaker Oats and Liberty Mutual Life Insurance. However, I haven't heard that they are out of gas until this loss. I'm just not sold that this is the primary reason. I'm more inclined to believe in a loss of heart. I think their confidence was rattled by the fiesty Bulls, and that KG just can't lead as a cheerleader as he can from the sidelines.

I think TNT should spice up those TNT commercials with a little Spike Lee action. Those were some great spots.

Blogger stephanie g said...
RE: Gortat, he won bets with his team mates when they didn't think he could dunk from the foul line.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Czernobog -- Yes, sir. Got your email. Sorry I didn't cite you as well.

Buck Nasty -- Yeah, well, the C's were pretty much toast. Too many 40+ minute games for their Big Four since KG went down. It's mildly surprising they made it this far.

AnacondaHL -- I'd figure an Anime fan would be used to that feeling of violation.

Arlen -- I've often thought that if anybody in the NBA was on HGH, it would be LeBron. His build just defies belief. I prefer to think he's just a superfreak.

CaptainHomeless -- They made a good showing for a team that lost its best player and one of its top roleplayers (Leon Powe) not to mention their glue guys from the championship season (Posey and Brown). And honestly, I'd rather see them go down in seven to the Magic than see them get slaughtered by the Cavs. And that's what would have happened.

Will and anne -- The funny thing is, I couldn't bring myself to really look at his legs until I saw your comments...and you're both right. No wonder he insisted on the huge, baggy boxers for that Guitar Hero commercial.

Also, as anne pointed out, Kobe took a nice shot at Sasha. Nobody likes that guy...

flohtingPoint -- You know, I think that every time Marv adopts that smug attitude he always gets, especially when working with Mike Fratello. It's like, Marv, we all know you're wearing panties and garters under those dress pants. Don't get cocky with us.

AK Dave -- No. The C's were 3-for-3 on dunks for the game. I was only talking about missed layups.

karl -- Not only that, but it sure seems like Reg took his acting lessons from Larry Bird. I've seen livlier logs of wood.

Gengar -- Yeah, HOU-LAL was a loss, and it was funny how the broadcasters were trying to make people think that the Rockets could come back. "Please, please keep watching! Plllllleeeeease!!"

BadDave -- Hey now! Just please watch a few episodes of Alias before giving her the zombie treatment, okay? Also, as someone who watches a lot of the Celtics, I can tell you they were pooped...and I thought that well before they got kicked out of the playoffs.

stephanie g -- Yeah, but Harold Minor could dunk from the foul line too. I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
In addition to Reggie's calling Gortat as athletic as Howard, later in the game Marv Albert tossed out a typical eloquent couple of commentary sentences. Then eerily Reggie stumbled his way through exactly the same sentences. It was like some 8th grader "restating" a couple of sentences for a report so he wouldn't get tagged for plagiarism. Anybody else notice this moment?

I actually don't think Orlando is that great. Sure,the Celts scrapped against a flawed Chicago, but a good Conference Finals team should not have gone to 7 against the Celts as they are, especially since Rondo seemed to have blown his main offensive mojo against the Bulls. Cavs are gonna destroy them without some serious officiating help for Orlando.

As for the Lakers, we've all seen that they CAN be great. But WILL they? If they flake much, Denver will take the series.

Oh, and I finally saw "Kobe, at work." LAME. This mediocre documentary could have been produced by anonymous ESPN staffers. So what the hell did Spike Lee add to this aside from the Charlie Brownish soundtrack? Spike Lee? Really? Can we say MAILED IN?

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
I love that Harold Minor is making a comeback (in social awareness) due to this blog. And by that I mean that I wikipedia'd him for extra info. I'm seriously thinking of having some Bawful T-Shirts made. This site could spread like wildfire, more so than it already has, that is.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Re: Miller and his ridiculosity-

I love how he pronounces "Marcin" like "Martian" instead of "Mar-SEEN"

"Martian Gortat is every bit as athletic as Dwight Howard!"

I heard that too, and I loled

Matt: OK, noted. But even I have to admit (as a non-Rondo fan following the Bulls series), Rondo has shown some dunktastic-ness a couple of times this series. Are we SURE he's 6-1? That dunk on Howard (or in the vicinity of Howard anyway) was FILTHY.

Blogger Nick Flynt said...
P.S. Harold Miner (from wiki)

As of early 2007, Miner had settled near Las Vegas, Nevada and was reportedly an active real estate investor. He was married and had one daughter. Since his retirement from basketball, he had been disinclined to give interviews or make public appearances, instead remaining private and largely inaccessible.

I love how it says 'was.'

Anonymous Anonymous said...
My caveat post:

I never said I wouldn't take the time to have some fun with Ms. Garner should that improbably opportunity ever arise, but she isn't someone I would blow up the Death Star for. Now I have backup.

Secondly, I do think fatigue was *a* factor. It's just not *the* factor, and I found it very interesting that it didn't crop up as a excuse, ahem, talking point until they lose game 7.

Anonymous Karc said...
NBA Fail -,-WWE-in-smackdown-over-arena-confict

So WWE had the place booked months in advance, and yet the NBA scheduled Game 4 of Lakers-Nuggets to start at the same time. Don't know who's more to blame here, the NBA, for not checking this out ahead of time, or the Pepsi Center people, for having little faith that the Nuggets would actually get this far.

I think this is interesting. If the game was on network TV, then I think the NBA game wins out and Vince McMahon can go on his usual anti-media tirade (although it would be somewhat justified here as he was first in line). On the other hand, ESPN is a competitor with USA, and he may do that anyway. I'm curious to see what happens. Does the game get moved up? Postponed to the next day? Will the NBA actually try to get the WWE to relocate to another arena on a week's notice?

Anonymous Karc said...
Update - Vince McMahon already starting the hate. This was from a press release on the WWE website.

"Even though the Denver Nuggets had a strong team this year and were projected to make the playoffs, obviously Nuggets and Pepsi Center owner Stan Kroenke did not have enough faith in his own team to hold the May 25th date for a potential playoff game," said Vince McMahon.

The headline, of course, is WWE vs. NBA. WWE (and I) jumped the gun a bit on this one, as this is more of a problem with the Pepsi Center than the NBA. But still, big-time fail. Someone in a Denver jersey is going to get beat up on WWE TV soon.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW- this opens up all kinds of WWE/NBA ultimate battle royal smackdown octagon-throwdown cage-fight-to-the-death post opportunities! Nice find!!

Anonymous AK Dave said...
BadDave- "...she isn't someone I would blow up the Death Star for."


Are we talking about the 1st Death Star or that half-assed rush-job of a 2nd Death Star? I mean, that's got to factor in right?


+1, dude. I'm totally going to use that line in a moment of planned spontaneity and amaze my friends with my "creativity" this weekend.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
lol, i think they should settle the ring. i bet k-mart can take some of them on...

Blogger Will said...
Anon- screw k-mart, if we're gonna have a nba/wwe smackdown, this is the perfect forum for crazy pills to really let it out, again that is.

Buck Nasty- I would buy a shirt.

CAPTCHA: fudings
could the nba and wwe be starting a fudings?

Blogger kibitzer said...
..when I read the car/celtics analogy all I can say was:...funny but painfully true...damn...