Snips and clips from the Celtics camp, plus:
- Blazers Freezing Season Ticket Prices
- Black Humor Week: My BFF Cho
- Haiku Game Review
- Blazers/Celtics Recap
- Popcorn Machine
- The Basketball Jones
Game 45/82: Celtics (34-10) @ Trailblazers (25-21) Open Thread [Preview]
by Ryan DeGama, Celtics Hub (TrueHoop)
* * *
WHAT THE TRAILBLAZERS DO POORLY:
The Blazers are a mediocre offensive team and a mediocre defensive team. They're particularly vulnerable to the Celtics because they allow the eighth highest eFG% in the league. If Boston comes out ready to move the ball, they're going to be able to get good shots against this team.
Additionally, of the Blazers starting five, only Miller holds his opponents to something around average production (15.2 opponent's PER). So, even if we assume Aldridge plays brilliantly, and holds Kevin Garnett to a draw, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen should be primed for good nights. * * *
by Fafnir, CelticsBlog (SBN)
The Celtics build a 15 point lead with a few minutes to go and then the Blazers go on a huge run, sound familiar? Fortunately the Celtics had KG to come through tonight just like Ray Allen did in Boston.
The Blazers hit three straight threes and the Celtics missed three free throws to allow them to close within five points. KG came through with a huge offensive rebound on a Daniels missed free throw. After that Glen Davis stepped to the line and hit both of his free throws to push the lead back to seven.
On the next possession Wes Matthews missed a wild lay up attempt and KG secured the rebound again and drained both free throws. Game Over. * * *
Right from the start this was a tough physical game. The Blazers fouled hard and often early in the game, with lots of chest bumping and emphatic follow through after the whistle. The Blazers couldn't score on the Celtics at all in the half court. They survived through by getting 12 offensive rebounds in the first half, and forcing a lot of turnovers. When they weren't forcing turnovers the Celtics were making unforced ones. * * *
posted by warmerjohn to CelticsBlog recap thread
Ugly game but nice to see the Celtics fight hard in the 2nd half and pull it out.
The C's managed to string together one decent stretch of offense and hold onto the lead they had built up. For some reason the C's can't hold onto big leads against the injury depleted Blazers but they hung on late.
Offensively the C's struggled for much of the game. Rondo made several terrible passes and had more turnovers than assists. His free throw shooting isn't improving either which is a concern. 21 turnovers is a ghastly number for such a veteran team. Once again the rebounding was an issue also — even with Perk playing hard and grabbing 9 boards the C's still allowed the Blazers to get numerous shots on multiple possessions. They have got to figure out a way to keep teams off the glass after missed shots.
For the ref haters remember tonight's game - C's shot 33 free throws to only 13 for the Blazers.
Overall the C's struggled to score but their stellar defense was enough tonight. Great to start off the road trip with a win...
posted by DJR1 to CelticsBlog postgame recap thread
... Blazers WERE fouling all over the place. This was their version of "being tough," I guess. Pretty pathetic, if you ask me. There's a difference between playing hard, and playing to hurt/foul the other guy.
I didn't appreciate how the Blazers handled themselves tonight. At all. Hell with them. What goes around comes around... as they've already discovered.
by Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald Celtics Notebook
Shaquille O'Neal has "Man of Steel" tattooed on his arm, but at age 38 his physical ingredients page is a bit more lengthy.
As he works his way back into the Celtics [team stats] lineup, planning to return tonight in Phoenix against the Suns, Shaq is taking full advantage of modern chemistry - at least the stuff allowed under NBA guidelines.
He went heavy with the anti-inflammatory drugs to get through a shin and calf injury from a collision with Amare Stoudemire, though he had to slow down when he had an adverse internal reaction. And he recently took a shot of Synvisc, an arthritis medication, to help him with his troublesome right hip and general maintenance.
"I got one in training camp, and I figured it was time to get another one," said O'Neal before last night's 88-78 victory against the Trail Blazers. "It helps me get some lube in my hip." * * *
by Gary Washburn, Boston Glob Celtics Blog
Final, Celtics 88-78: Celtics pull away early in the fourth quarter and hold on after Portland hits three straight 3-pointers in the final minutes. Paul Pierce scores 17 for the Celtics and Kevin Garnett adds 10 and nine rebounds.
LaMarcus Aldridge finishes with 17 points and 16 rebounds but never appeared comfortable offensively. * * *
by Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald
The Celtics casualty club has been well documented, but Doc Rivers had the decency not to dribble out his woe in this town.
Greg Oden is out for the year, and Brandon Roy might be, too, while Marcus Camby is out indefinitely, and Nicolas Batum left in the second quarter with a sore left knee and did not return.
Of course, the Celtics coach didn't have any compunction about taking the 88-78 measure of the Trail Blazers last night. To do otherwise would have hurt too badly. Especially with Paul Pierce limping off at the end with a right leg injury the Celts are hoping isn't bad. The captain said he banged knees in the second quarter and is not sure of his availability for tonight's game in Phoenix.
"We have no right to talk about injuries," Rivers said. "We have injuries - as many as them in some ways - except for our guys will come back. I can't imagine what they're going through." * * *
by milt palacio's shot, posted to the CelticsBlog postgame recap thread
This is not to jump on Rondo after a bad game but.... I'm not super happy with Rondo over the last 6 weeks or so. His game is getting more and more robotic, which is to say he is playing stiff. He waits at the top of the key with the ball for Ray to make a cut, and if it's not there then he looks for Pierce or KG on a post-up. Meanwhile Rondo spends 15 seconds of the clock with the ball in his hands... I don't think that's really great for the offense.
What Rondo has typically been great at, but that he is not doing lately, is getting himself into the lane and then either finishing a play himself, dishing to a big man, or kicking it outside. The more Rajon goes into the paint the more dynamic Boston's offense will be. They are good enough to get away with running the same sets where Rondo sits up top, but smarter teams will figure this out.
by Ryan DeGama, Celtics Hub (TrueHoop)
If you looked closely during the first half of this one, you could almost see Boston taking Portland for granted.
Unmotivated and lacking energy, the first half Celtics eventually ceded control of this one to their more focused second half counterparts, and that group brought home a messy victory against the Blazers, tangibly marred not by its lack of aesthetic appeal, as much as the thigh bruise to Paul Pierce that may keep him out of Friday night's tilt with the Phoenix Suns. * * *
- Portland out-rebounded Boston 49-42, and made good on our pre-game warning about offensive rebounds by pulling down 19 of them, often against Celtics defenders who seemed completely unaware of the need to box out their men on the glass.
- The Celtics fueled a Portland transition attack by turning over the ball 21 times and then playing half-hearted transition defense, when they played it at all.
- The Blazers - sans Marcus Camby and Greg Oden and Brandon Roy - scored 48 points in the paint compared to the 34 the larger, healthier C's put up. * * *
by Julian Benbow, Boston Globe
Through one half of last night's 88-78 victory, the Celtics were baited by the Trail Blazers into an ugly, physical game that was high on speed but low on points.
The Celtics couldn't run sets without the Blazers pushing the pace, swiping balls loose, racing up the floor, heaving shots, and rebounding many of the misses.
It wasn't until the third quarter that the Celtics finally found a rhythm.
Ray Allen, who had been scorching this month but ice cold all night, hit a 3-pointer. Kendrick Perkins flushed a two-handed dunk. Allen drilled another 3-pointer, then weaved through the paint for a layup. Each bucket came off feeds from Kevin Garnett, and the Celtics took a 62-52 lead, up to that point their biggest of the night.
That lead was enough to cushion the Celtics' win no matter how haywire things got. * * *
The Bottom Line:
1. Not a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination, but a win is a win.
2. Good defense, as usual, which was the difference on an off shooting night.
3. A nice start for the road trip! Tomorrow night in Phoenix will he harder.
* * *
Blazers to Freeze or Reduce 2011-12 Season Ticket Prices
Most of you with a monetary interest in the question noted, no doubt, the recent link on the Blazers Edge mainpage to a story by Andy Giegerich of Portland Business Journal in which it was reported that the team would be holding its prices on season tickets for the 2011-12 season. An issue was raised in the subsequent discussion of the matter on the Bedge that I felt needed clarification, so I took a few moments to ask some questions of Sarah Mensah, Chief Operating Officer of the Portland Trail Blazers, to firm up the information in Giegerich's article.
I also decided to query her about a topic that has been bugging the hell out of me: how the team can possibly claim that its string of consecutive sellouts at the Rose Garden continues despite photographs and comments of those present at recent games with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Sacramento Kings that large groups of empty seats were in evidence.
My questions and Ms. Mensah's replies follow:
It was reported on Tuesday, Jan. 25 by Andy Giegerich in the Portland Business Journal that the Blazers will be "keeping its rates the same for most seats" while reducing prices of some others. Would it be accurate to say that "all prices are being frozen and some reduced"? Will there be ANY seat prices going up?
All prices with the exception of the noted areas being reduced will remain flat for next season. There are not any seat prices going up.
Mr. Giegerich reported that some tickets will be going down in price. Exactly how many seats are affected by price changes?
We have two price adjustments in our corner club section. Seven hundred, fifty-two seats which were priced at $123 last year are now priced at $109 this year. Another 286 seats were priced at $99 last year and have been adjusted to $89 this year. We have also adjusted the price of the upper portion of our 100 level corner seats this year. They are now $99 compared to $125 for last year.
Also note that all numbers quoted are season ticket first-year pricing. Packages, Groups, and Individual prices are different.
One long-time season-ticket holder recently noted on Blazers Edge that the last time the Blazers publicized a "price freeze," the team actually raised prices by recoloring certain seats, including the creation of a new "brown" price tier. Will there be a similar repricing of certain seats in the 2011-12 season?
The only changes are those noted above and those all reflect a price decrease. There are no price increases for any season ticket holders this year.
Mr. Giegerich's article repeats the team's official statement that it has sold out "137 consecutive games." This assertion seems to contradict photographs published on Twitter showing broad swaths of unfilled seats as well as the testimony of people who have attended a couple recent games in the Rose Garden against "lesser" opponents. Is it true that the team has "sold out 137 consecutive games"? If so, what accounts for these large areas of unfilled seats?
We announce a sellout whenever our tickets out exceeds our designated arena capacity of 19,980. With standing room only seats in the 300 level and suites we have the ability to exceed that number but only designate a sellout once we exceed 19,980, which we have been able to do for 137 consecutive games.
There are several reasons that the seats would remain empty even though they have been sold. A few examples include season ticket holders who don't use their seats for a specific game, group buyers who don't use all of the seats they've purchased, brokers who were not able to move all of their tickets at the prices they were asking, people who use the tickets but remain on the concourse in one of our restaurants or clubs, late arrivals and/or those who leave early and team designated holds that are to be used to resolve seating issues during the game. The entertainment and sporting industry calls the empty seats that have been sold as "no-shows". We work with our clients to maximize the use of their tickets but there are times that seats remain empty.
The size of the areas of empty seats would seem to indicate that part of a section was sold in a clump to ticket brokers, it seems to me...
We don't make a practice of selling large blocks of tickets to brokers, generally. More likely that empty seats are associated to group ticket purchases.
So are unsold tickets "returnable" in the sports entertainment industry the way that unsold CDs are "returnable" in the music industry? Or are sales to ticket brokers "final"?
All sales are final to Trail Blazers games.
In the event of an extended lockout in the 2011-12 season, will pro-rated refunds be issued to season ticket holders for cancelled games? What will be the form of the refund — a cash refund or a voucher to be used on a future purchase?
Our refund policy remains consistent in that if a game are missed and not rescheduled then a refund will be issued.
* * *
For those of you who missed it, here's Brandon Mitchell's double-fab LA2LA video...
"Hey, Richie-baby, how's it shaking?" I muttered into the phone as I rolled over and turned on the lamp on my nightstand. I tried to feign that I had actually been awake at 3 am. It was the only polite thing to do.
Ever since the tragic suicide of the third Trail Blazer team psychologist late in December, I had been GM Rich Cho's "go to" rent-a-friend. I was on call 24/7 — just one of the many complimentary free services that I provide to The Octopus' Portland professional sports subsidiary. The team had tried hiring another certified mental health professional, to be sure, but work of the serial self-killings had spread fast and now One Center Court was blackballed. The job was just too dangerous.
" I just can't sleep, maaaaan," Rich sputtered, "I can't stop my brain..."
Monomaniacal math obsession was an ongoing problem. Rich had been working on it.
"You've just gotta let it go, buddy."
"You don't understand. Since he's been in Toronto Jerryd Bayless has an effective Field Goal Percentage of .473, which is an 8.88% increase over his career number. His PER is up to 14.9 and I'm starting to worry that HE JUST MIGHT BE AN AVERAGE POINT GUARD IN THIS LEAGUE!"
The GM's voice was shaking with distress. Cho had been chewing himself up over his decision to ship out the mercurial Bayless ahead of the season for a heavily protected 1st Round draft pick and $75,000 worth of Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen™ coupons. It had been a Tuesday. He was really hungry. Popeye's sounded good and the crafty Hornets GM Dell Demps had taken advantage of Rich Cho at a particularly weak moment.
Now he and everyone in the RG front office was sick to death of Louisiana Tenders™, the Hornets' draft pick was looking like a 16 pound burlap sack of suck, and Rex's planned replacement, 2nd Round draft pick Armon Johnson, was dressing for games in the back of a U-Haul truck permanently parked in the Memorial Coliseum parking lot at the express direction of Head Coach Nate McMillan.
Who could have guessed that being a General Manager was so hard?
"You have to let it go, Rich," I told the troubled Paul Allen employee in as soothing a tone as I could muster, given the early hour of the day. "Sometimes statistics lie and you really have to take your time to watch stuff with your eyes, to let the flaws in the games of newcomers reveal themselves. You had no way of knowing that Armon would have a Turnover Percentage of 26.0 or that Nate McMillan would snap and take apart your car with a crowbar and a Sawzall™ like that..."
"Oh, Jeeeez! ..........Oh, God!!!" Cho wailed into the phone.
Now I had really done it. That Lexus was only three weeks old and it was Rich's first really nice car ever. Nate might has well have made a stew out of Cho's favorite friend, Bobby the Bunny. Damn, there are a lot of pieces in an LS11...
"Calm down, Rich, calm down. Remember what we learned from the Martell Webster trade... There are no do-overs on trades in the NBA. You gave it your best shot, it just, uhhhhhhhhhh, didn't quite pan out like you thought it might. It was, uhhhhhhhhh, pretty dumb. But remember: Kevin Pritchard used to do dumb crap all the time, but we all still loved him as a basketball messiah. You just have to be strong and put a happy spin on things when they don't quite work out. Buy a slick new Blackberry and show the fans you have a plan..."
"Oh, Jeeeez! ..........Oh, God!!!" Now the troubled GM was shrieking about something else... The dude really needed to take a chill pill...
"Now what, Rich?"
"THE PLAN. You mentioned THE PLAN!!! I made a mistake of telling some Oregonian reporter last week that I wasn't really as dumb as I looked and that I had A PLAN to turn the team's fortunes around. Now everybody wants to know what THE PLAN is..."
"Rich, buddy, we've went over this. You really, really CAN NOT let them know your plan for the franchise. We've already agreed that your so-called plan is very silly and you're just going to have people calling you an idiot on Blazers Edge if you try to carry it out."
("God, what an idiot!" I thought...)
"Tell me again why it won't work, Timbo, tell me — PLEASE TELL ME AGAIN WHY MY PLAN WON'T WORK!!!"
"Okay, my friend, once more from the top... Just because Kevin Durant is skinny and is leading the NBA in scoring — again — it does not logically follow that there is a causal connection. There is no way that fielding a whole team of emaciated stringbeans will lead to a higher projected win total for the Blazers. The correlation you think you discovered between ideal body weight and a weighted basket of key shooting metrics isn't logically sound."
I didn't manage to slow him down...
"But just think, we're almost ready to test the theory! We've already got Rudy Fernandez and Nic Batum and I just stole Chris Johnson FOR ALMOST NOTHING from the Wizards!"
"That's the Dakota Wizards of the NBA-DL, Rich," I reminded the Blazer stats junkie. He didn't even hear me. The GM was off on another mad manic rush of energy...
"And I'll bet we could get Travis Outlaw back, they're hating him in Jersey. It's perfect, it's perfect, it's perfect!!! We'll have five guys, all skinnier than Kevin Durant, shooting the ball from everywhere! Down low? Skinny guy scores!!! Up top? Skinny guy scores!!! You can't double-team five really skinny guys at once, that's what I'm talkin' about... When we trade LaMarcus for Anthony Randolph and I get Manute Bol to sign that 4-year deal, we'll have 80% of the starting lineup and the 6th man locked down! We'll have just about every free agent PG on the planet on Slim Fast™ trying to cut weight to make the Blazers!!!"
"Rich, Rich, slow down!" I interjected. "We've went over this before — your plan is STUPID. Manute Bol hasn't played in the NBA since 1994-95. He was only able to play in 5 games that year; 14 games the year before..."
"But that's more than Greg Oden!" pleaded the voice on the other end of the phone, clearly still clinging to his wacky scheme.
"Let's not go there, okay, Rich? Your boss Larry has already said that ditching Oden ain't gonna happen. Look, Rich, I'm going to have to really lay it out to you now... I've tried to avoid telling you this... You've been so fixated with this idea of signing Manute Bol over the last three weeks that I haven't had the heart to say it........ "
"What?" the Blazer GM asked. "What is it?"
"Rich........................ Manute Bol is dead."
An unearthly shriek filled the earpiece of my phone: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"
"Yes, Rich, it's true. Manute Bol died of kidney failure last June."
"NOOOOOOOOO!!! Please, God, NOOOOOOOOO!!!! Manute had a True Shooting Percentage of .750 in his last pro season and a career Block Percentage of 10.2%... And he was an unrestricted free agent! I've been working on this signing for three months! I've already submitted six reports to Mr. Allen..."
The sound of uncontrollable sobbing was heard. I realized that with my ill-conceived insertion of a bit of reality into our conversation I had shattered the sacred hopes and dreams of my friend Rich Cho.
"Rich, stay with me buddy..." I pleaded.
More blubbering. This news had cut deep. I had a feeling this was gonna happen and now I felt like a heel. I listened for five minutes like the good pal I was. The crying gradually lessened in intensity until it was replaced by silence. My friend the GM was pondering things, it was clear.
Then, our conversation was over: "I'm gonna go now, Timbo — thanks for listening," my pesty friend declared.
"You're gonna be all right, aren't you?" I asked. I was worried about him.
"Yeah, I'll be fine," Cho sniffled. "Actually, I think I've just figured out the new master plan for the Blazers going forward and I need to crunch some numbers before I can start selling the idea to Mr. Allen."
"What's your new idea?" I asked, hating myself at once for my curiousity.
"It just occurred to me that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is something like 27 pounds underweight for a person of his height. His career PER is 24.6 and he's an unrestricted free agent this year!!! He's just the guy this team needs! He's not dead is he?"
"No, Rich, he's not dead..."
"Grrrrrreat! That's our Center! I'm on the case............Bye!!!"
He may not have been able to sleep since he took the Blazer job, but my friend Rich Cho could always dream.
* * *
It's hard to beat great defense
Without great shooters
This was a TNT game, so Uncle Mike got to go out and practice his left-handed bowling...
SPECIAL PROGRAMMING NOTE: In honor of Black Humor Week, this game recap will make use of a new form which I am calling SUNSHINE BUTTONS. These may be genuine compliments, insipid happy talk, coy or clumsy uses of sarcasm, or full-on expressions of passive-aggressive irony — sugar coating on a bitter pill. This brief policy change is based upon my earnest belief that the depleted team which just lost at home by 15 points to the Sacramento fricking Kings has no business whatsoever playing the Bostons and the San Antonios of the league just now. Gallows humor is the best way to minimize the psychic damage which will otherwise be wrought by the forthcoming beat-downs. If Portland wins one of the next three games, it is written that a new era of peace and universal harmony shall begin, the lion shall lie down with the lamb, and Taco Bell™ food shall become palatable...
Celtics 88 at Blazers 78.
January 27, 2011.
Blazers' record is now 25-22, the Celtics are 35-10.
I've got more Sunshine Buttons on my sweater than Fred Rogers, baby...
- Basketball is a super fun game! It gives us something to do and think about and talk about on cold, dreary Oregon days.
- "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." I think Bobby Knight said that first.
- The Rose Garden crowd was in fine voice. They said "Dee-fense! Dee-fense!" really loud and it almost caused Ray Allen to miss a wide open three.
- Joel made the ball go through the hole and Portland was ahead, 4-3!!!!!
- Ray Allen had a beautiful alley oop dunk on a run out. It's good for a man of his advanced years to get such good exercise. Portland was kind in helping him with his cardiovascular fitness without risking injury by getting close to him.
- Joel got his money's worth on a foul pushing KG to the floor. It was a pretty nice hit. I enjoyed it.
- Rondo got crunched trying to burn past Nic Batum. They banged knees. TNT play-by-play man Kevin Harlan tried to blame the contact on Pryz, who was said to be "right the middle of all this physicality" even though he was four feet away from the collision. He never corrected himself after watching the replay.
- At the first commercial break, the Blazers had almost as many points as Boston, 10-13.
- Nico got to the hole with an impressive dunk. He was given a delay of game warning after the play for grabbing the ball and marching downcourt with it. He really liked his dunk. I did, too.
- Portland did a nice job reducing their risk of injury performing the dangerous task of fighting for rebounds by letting Boston make baskets at a 58% clip through the second commercial break. On the other end, the Blazers were clearly trying to wipe Kevin Garnett out of the game by making only one shot out of three, forcing the Celtics to sweat. It was a brilliant tactic, sort of like a heavyweight boxer going to the body early in a fight to wear down his opponent.
- Portland had fully 20% more points at the second commercial break than they did at the first commercial break,12 versus 10.
- Patty dished a gorgeous lob to LMA. He's starting to do that pretty well. With about a minute left, the Boston lead was down to 3 points and the Celtics needed time out.
- Przybilla has a second really good skill that's working for him — he does a fine job drawing charge calls. He got a good one on Big Baby. Is there a stat for that?
- END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: BOS 21, PDX 18. Boston was shooting 50% with 6 turnovers, Portland was at 36% with 4.
- Dante hit a 15 footer at 10:30. It was the first Portland points outside the paint in the game. I'm okay with that, actually.
- Patty missed a trey but Dante was crafty, cutting between three loitering Celtics in the paint for the putback bucket. Portland were up by a point, 24-23.
- Boston went into a huge scoring slump, going over 6 minutes without a bucket from the floor.
- It was a Washington Generals break: Mills missed the breakaway layup, Dante was immediately there to follow up as the trailer and missed, LMA soared in to grab another board and doinked the clean-up jam... Clank, clank, clank! It was highly entertaining!
- Nic went trucking to the locker room mid-quarter. He wanted to visit with trainer Jay Jensen, who is a swell guy that cares about his players. It looked like an ankle tweak, but TNT was using the word "knee" later in the game...
- Przybilla and Pierce got chippy but it was a case of no blood, no foul. Pryzzy doesn't like the Celtics. Either do I.
- The Blazers did a nice job of mucking up Boston's attack — slowing the pace, working for offensive rebounds, and pressing hard to meet Boston at the perimeter. Gradually, it started to look like a Blazer game — challeged shooting aplenty. The Blazers had no free throw attempts, no made 3 point buckets, and still lead by 1.
- With Nico out, Luke Babbitt came in at the 2:00 mark. After an ensuing Blazer turnover, which had nothing to do with Luke Babbitt, Nate got T'd up.
- LMA was fouled with 33.9 seconds remaining. He became the first Blazer to take free throw shots. He demonstrated lamarcusing for a national TV audience, which should help build his cache.
- HALFTIME SCORE: BOS 41, PDX 37. A pretty nice showing for the Blazers, actually. The Blazers shot 36% and had 9 turnovers; Boston hit at a 40% clip with 11 goofs.
- The commentators spent most of halftime talking about how great the Celtic defense was and how crappy Blazer shooting was.
- I ate dinner during the 3rd Quarter. I made chow mein. It was pretty okay, I guess, as good as the gunk out of cans can be. I spiked it with some steak that I had left over from a barbeque.
- The outcome of this game is irrelevant in the wake of the Batum injury. I hope he's okay.
- The Flying Squirrel cuts and dives and jumps and spins and he looks like he 80% out of control every second that he has the ball. He's probably more like 65% out of control, an 18% practical reduction of visually evident out-of-controlness. That's pretty good.
- Here is a free scouting tip: if the Red Baron, Von Wafer, touches the ball, he will shoot it. Wafer passed it once as a rookie and didn't like the feeling it gave him so he promised himself that he'd never do it again. He is a man of his word.
- Midway through the 4th Quarter Boston led by 11. Boston Head Coach Doc Rivers was giving burn to Wafer and Daniels.
- Ray Allen stole a ball and headed coast-to-coast. Dante went for a pursuit block, swatting the ball and crushing Allen across the side of the face with the follow through. Allen went down in a heap, a mouse on the side of his face. No foul was called.
- TNT's Kevin Harlan: "Well, their shooting is just horrendous — Portland 34% tonight." We won't have that kind of talk around here, Mr. Harlan — far too much obsession on your part about whether the ball passes through the net. There is something to be said for the pure joy of the act of shooting itself — the excitement, the anticipation, the thrill of the offensive rebound leading to an offensive reset...
- TNT Analyst Mike Fratello: "You feel sorry for Nate McMillan, he's an excellent coach, but he's playing with a derringer against a bazooka."
- Wesley hit a corner trey at 1:45 to cut the Celtic lead to 9. But the game was over long before. Not as bad an effort as I expected, I was expecting a 30-point beatdown.
- But wait, there's more: Wesley with another trey, then one by Rudy, making it 82-77 with less than a minute remaining. Blazers fouled and got two misses, but KG collected the rebound off the miss, which effectively shut the door.
- FINAL SCORE: BOSTON CELTICS 88, PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 78.
Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?
Click the LINK and see the nifty graphs...
A. Portland played 'em tough through the middle of the 2nd Quarter, after which the iron laws of nature asserted themself...
B. LMA — 2 points in the 4th Quarter. That makes two huge fades in a row for him.
C. The turning of the tide in the 2nd Quarter almost exactly coincided with Nic Batum leaving the game with his knee issue. He finished Plus-1 in Plus/Minus on a night when the team as a whole was Minus-10.
D. Portland finished with a 14-4 run that made it a game again. Nine of those points came on 3-balls, two by Wesley and one by Rudy.
E. Nobody in the game for either team had more than 17 points. Just off the top of my head, I don't think that has happened previously this season.
F. Luke Babbitt got into the game outside of garbage time and scored a bucket. The cupboard is now officially bare.
Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?
The next issue of TBJ will appear here a s soon as it's available.
Here's Thursday's edition in case you missed it..."
And here is Wednesday's Show...
The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.
Photo Credits: Empty Seats: nicked from Twitter. By the good folks at either Rip City Project or Bust-a-Bucket, I forget which, sorry about that. Go see the fine folk at Rip City Project regardless, it's a great site: HERE'S YOUR LINK.