Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Celtics send a message to Phoenix tonight

By administering a twenty point second half beatdown, the Celtics took to Phoenix all over the court by making all the hustle plays that were not made in those 4th qtrs of the last two games.

The Celtics must continue this high level of energy and I think they will be successful at bringing home the long awaited 17th title. I would like nothing better than to do it in Phoenix, the city that denied the Patriots their undefeated season. If I can't be in the Phoenix arena, then I would like to be at the Vine Tavern, drinking a Sammy's and smoking a Red Auerbach victory cigar afterward to bring joy to the Patriots fans who were so cruelly denied a 4th Super Bowl.

That and winning it for the Sonics fans who unfortunately are going to lose their team to Oklahoma City. Might as well root for a fellow green team and for Ray Allen as well. I certainly have a lot to be thankful to Seattle for.

I also want to win this as a big FU to David Stern who has systematically screwed the Celtics time and again since the 1980's. We know what these friggin New York lawyers are all about. We know the lottery is fixed. Well David Stern, Ole Red will get his revenge on or about Father's Day, 2008. Puff Puff Puff to you David Stern.

I hope we stick it to Phoenix, but doing it in front of Jack Nicholson, who can't handle the truth would be a hoot. Or go into San ANtonio and reverse the curse of Tim Duncan.

What about that work by KG against Amare tonight!!!!! Wasn't that special???? If you missed it, watch SC three times. ANd buy the victory CD at the end of the season.

How about that hustle by Powe and BBD, making Shaq look old and slow. And hats off to Perkins for standing strong and taking advantage of his opportunities.

Datoni loses his composure when things don't go his way, and he looked thoroughly lost trying to make adjustments to the Celtics on slaughts early in the 4th.

For Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire is the face of the franchise along with Steve Nash and their pick and roll type games broke down the Celtics for a while in the 2nd qtr to a 62% FG by halftime yet the game was tied 57-57. Then came the 60-40 beatdown so this little slump of back to back lousy 4th quarters ended quickly.

Oh and the Lepracahn has sliced Texas into 6 pieces this year. He just had too many barbecue ribs and black beans while feasting on Texas and forgot to save room for some Cajun Shrimp and rice plus a Philly Cheesesteak.

The magic number to clinch the best record is down to 7. April competition figures to offer little resistance to the Celtics.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The 50 win milestone has been reached

This has not happened since 1992 or Larry Bird's last season as a player. As I remembered, the Celtics had Bird, Parish, McHale, Reggie Lewis, and Dee Brown with Pinckney, and others coming off the bench. A nice team but they lost to Cleveland in Seven that year. A series of very poor drafts after the death of Len Bias would doom the Celtics to irrelevency for a long time.

Now with KG, PP, RA, RR, KP, JP, EH, TA, LP, BBD, PJ, and ET this team looks like a #1 NBA seed. I would say they have a chance to run the table after the Texas trip in two weeks and finish with about 67 wins. They dispatched a Philly team who had been playing well (They did beat Phoenix rather badly there - something we failed to accomplish) with relative ease. Perkins has shored up the middle and emerged as a solid force in the paint. The Celtics will continue their winning streak against Seattle and I expect them to win out until that upcoming 5 game road trip. Every night is a new star stepping up and contributing. That is what the great teams feature and the Celtics certainly have it going this year.

The Celtics are going to the finals this year, I believe and they have an excellent chance to win the 17th Championship.

And look what Shawn Marion turned down and he ended up traded to a team with Blount and RD on it. BWAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHHAH!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Celtics defend Homecourt Tonight

They passed the test with flying colors. Celtics managed to outplay the Pistons in all phases of the game.

Here was my key to the Celtics victory. They were able to work the ball inside better than the Pistons as this link will attest to: Notice how the Celtics had far more assists, FG, and a far higher FG% than the Pistons. The game was played at the Pistons tempo and the Celtics still won this handily.

Garnett scored 31 and punished his matchup (Rasheed Wallace or Antonio McDyess) regularly.
Perkins garnered 20 boards with many of them in contested and had 10 points from well executed pick and rolls plus inside passing. Perkins benefitted but also worked for inside position. Rondo won his matchup against Billups in a huge growth game. He also abused Hamilton by blowing by him and got the dunk and flagrant on Maxiel.

Detriot made two runs mostly with Rajon Rondo, Perk, and KG on the bench.

Speaking of benches - Baby came in with a nice outing of 7 points, 4 rebs, an assist and a steal. Boston's bench outscored the Pistons bench 15-5.

Billups was 14 of 15 from the FT line after 3 qtrs and got no FTA in the decisive 4th qtr. He threw down Rondo on an offensive possestion.

The crowd sounded really energetic tonight - something that I expect will grow as time wears on.

Celtics have a tougher remaining schedule due to their Texas road trip. Detriot has games against Cleveland which may be problematic.

Boston has clinched a playoff spot in the 1st week of March. I would venture to say that has not happened since the 1980's this early in the season. I think Boston's magic number to clinch the Atlantic is 8. I suspect this will happen on the Texas trip.

The Celtics are developing into one of the better defensive teams out there.

Big day today - March 5, 2008 - Lunchtime Update

Celtics vs Pistons - at TD Banknorth Garden - Boston, MA.

This one is for the old schoolers who remember those legendary battles with Bill Laimbeer (I called him f---face), Rodman, and Little Lord Fauntleroy.

This renewal of the rivalry has compelling matchups as well:

KG vs the Sheed
Baby/Powe/PJ Brown vs Jason Maxiel (nice fantasy find for me)
Teyshawn vs PP
Rip vs Ray
Billups vs Rondo

Both have deep benches and neither coach is afraid to use them.

Both games this year have been close and the road team has been 2-0.

Winner of this game has a psychological advantage heading toward a potential ECF showdown.

This is a significant milepost on the Celtic Championship Trail of 2008.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Today - we embark on an adventure not taken since 1987

The Boston Celtics as of this writing are 45 and 12 and about to add Sam Cassell as the veteran PG. This is probably the only question mark the Celtics had going forth. Cassell has had championship experience with Olajowan and the Rockets. He always seemed to make the right play out there and made all the critical shots and never got rattled. Young Rondo is playing well, but his 1st foray into the playoffs will expose his lack of experience particulary against Chauncey Billups. I think getting Cassell will help that matchup problem.

The Celtics have a big game coming up Wednesday against the Pistons. I think this is the final matchup against our closest EC rival and likely opponent in the ECF. A win here gives the C's a 4 game cushion and the Season series victory as well as a slight psychological advantage going forward. This could be Cassells debut.

PJ Brown was added to shore up rebounding and defense. It is a nice addition but I don't think it will have much effect unless Powe, Davis, or Perkins are injured. If anything, it will make Pollard expendable. I wish we could trade Scalabrine with somebody after this season but he onlyhas two more years on his contract and he is relatively cheap insurance.

The Celtics have had a couple of rough stretches - In January against the Wizz and Charlotte and those 3 west coast games coming out of the All-star break. The team has limited their losing streaks and have been competitive in all but two losses (home loss to Charlotte and that brutal loss to Phoenix). Both times, they bounced back with five game winning streaks.

Anyways, tonight I will summarize the road to be taken to bring home #17 this June. The Celtics will be best served by clinching home court throughout the playoffs. I don't see anybody from the West threatening Detriot or Boston for best overall record this year if only because they will be knocking each other off trying to get into the field. They will all converge with 48 to 55 victories. Boston only has one more really tough stretch with the 4 games in Texas and New Orleans. Detriot has to play in Cleveland twice and has two more against Toronto plus two home games against San Antonio and Phoenix. I think Boston will finish at 64 wins while Detriot wins 62 times.

Expected seedings: 1. Boston 2. Detriot 3. Orlando 4. Cleveland 5. Washington 6. Toronto 7. Atlanta 8. Philadelphia ; I like Washington to finish strong with Gilbert Arenas coming back and Atlanta and Philadelphia to keep coming. I expect New Jersey to fade away. Indiana has O'Brien as HC, nuff said. Chicago, Milwaukee, and Charlotte are good enough to play spoilers but are longshots to make the playoffs. The other two teams simply stink and most be blown up. I'll bet Marion must really be kicking himself for refusing to go to Boston last summer. Look at him now.

OK here are the hypothetical playoff matchups for round 1 - Boston vs Philadelphia; Detriot vs Atlanta; Orlando vs Toronto; Cleveland vs Washington. I expect Boston and Detriot to advance quickly. The other two series will be toss-ups. I'll say that Orlando and Washington advance. Now the 2nd round gets interesting - Boston has had trouble with Gilbert Arenas and Washington a real physical team. Detriot vs Orlando will depend on how the Sheed vs Howard matchup goes. This will be a low scoring ugly series. Still I think Boston and Detriot come out and set up the series that decides the NBA championship. The Western Conference is so evenly matched that their playoffs are starting now and that will kill the survivor. Dallas took the Lakers to OT and 10th place Portland broke LA's winning streak.

This is pure speculation on my behalf as there is lots of basketball to be played and thinks change daily in the NBA. One thing is for certain. The best team will win the NBA championship because they have to survive a challenging 82 game schedule and win 4 best of seven series. The NBA rewards success whereas other leagues I won't mention here punish success and games get exposed for bad bounces and the fact that one loss eliminates you can come down to ONE LUCKY PLAY. In consideration of the luck factor in football, a Celtics championship in 2007 would very much reduce the disappointment of the Super Bowl XLII result of the Patriots.

So this is the introductory article of the 2008 Campaign for a 17th Celtics championship. Tomorrow we do roster analysis including the newest member Sam Cassell.