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Game 32 Recap

First of all... some congratulations where they are due.  Mrs. Dave is a Boise State University alum (those Idaho girls are darn cute, don'tcha know) and so part of my husbandly duty was to watch the Tostitos (TM) Fiesta Bowl tonight before I watched the Blazers-Celtics matchup.  That was one of the most amazing games I've ever seen, and probably ever played.  Even more so if you were rooting for BSU.  And maybe all of you Duck fans can get a little rub because the Whiners...uhhh...I mean Sooners went down.  So many congratulations to the Broncos and their fans and here's to somebody, someday seeing the sense in a college football playoff system.

On to less pleasant things...

Celtics 89, Blazers 81

Team Observations:

--If you want to know why we're losing semi-regularly I can give it to you in a nutshell.  When we've done well in the last couple of weeks it's been because we've gone on offensive streaks--either due to us getting hot or bad opposing defense.  It's not been because of solid play, hard-nosed rebounding, hustle, defense, and smarts.  The problem is, it's really difficult to sustain hot shooting for 48 minutes.  Thus stretches where we look good are followed by stretches where we easily give up those leads, all leading to close games that we can never close out.  More substance, less prettiness should be our motto.

--Both teams again played pretty poor defense on the outside but the Celtics woke up first.  Opposing guards are starting to roast us with regularity.  Tonight it was Tony Allen who went 9-13 en route to 22 points.  We make a lot of enemy smalls feel good about themselves.

--We're settling for far, far too many jumpers.  I know opposing teams are collapsing on us but do we have to make it so darn easy for them?  We're so much better when we mix in a lot of drives and cuts.

--Both teams turned the ball over 16 times but we gave up 23 points off of those to Boston's 12.  Ballgame.

--If we were mad about the blowout in Boston it sure didn't show on the court.

Individual Observations

--Brandon Roy had another great statistical game but is it my imagination or is he just not in the team flow the way he was earlier in the year?  More and more of his shots seem to come after significant dribbling and I don't notice as many self-sacrificing, brilliant defensive moves as before.  Or maybe the team just isn't moving smoothly around him.  Or both.

--Zach had another nice rebounding night but checked out of the offense again.  It seems like Zach defines being aggressive as putting up shots from wherever he happens to be instead of fighting hard for good post position and sealing off his defender.  He lost the battle big time tonight.

--Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with Joel's head...or is it just his conditioning?  He played a pretty good first half but then he went into one of those "I've completely forgotten how to play" funks, picking up three unnecessary fouls in the first five minutes of the second half, pretty much one after another.  It's like he gives up out there.

--Jamaal pulled down 13 much-needed rebounds but next time he goes to a Chinese restaurant someone needs to slip him a fortune cookie that says, "You don't have to shoot every time you touch the ball."

--Sergio only saw 7 minutes tonight but that kid is an instant fast break.

--Jarrett Jack had another really rough night, and not just because of his 1-7 shooting clip.  He's just in a real funk right now and you can feel his confidence ebbing.  My humble opinion: nobody should have messed with this guy...he was our most steady player.

--If you want to see what drives people crazy about Travis Outlaw, rewind the game tape to 1:05-1:00 left in the 3rd quarter.  Opposing fast break, Travis is back, he doesn't pick up the dribbler nor is he any kind of presence for the rebound.  Baaaaaaaaaad boy.

Miscellaneous Observations

--Nate had my favorite lavender ensemble on again tonight.  Does anybody remember if we won last time he wore that suit?  I'd hate to think it was cursed when it looks so fine.

--I cursed the heavens when I saw that League Pass was carrying the Boston feed, but lo and behold Tommy Heinsohn didn't make the trip.  If there's something wrong with him I certainly wish him well and a speedy recovery, because I'm a decent human being and all, but all the same not having to listen to why every Boston play is brilliant and everything that goes against them is either an accident or horrible reffing was...well...nice.

--Danny Ainge filled in for Tommy in the second half.  Among his observations were that Jamaal has indeed been shopped around the league and that opposing game plans call for involving Zach in a lot of pick and rolls or isolating him one-on-one defensively.  Neither is a big surprise, I suppose.

--Boston started a small lineup and not only did they run on us, Al Jefferson did a darn good job of abusing our bigger, slower pivot men to the tune of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

--The Celtics used to have fairly decent playoff hopes but those have seemingly disappeared into the blue recently, leaving Boston fans scratching their heads wondering what happened.  Until now, that is.  I have solved the mystery of what happened to those huge playoff aspirations.  Brian Scalabrine ate them.  Have you seen that guy lately?  He looks like a miracle diet pill before and after picture...the "before" end, that is.  Not good for a grit and hustle guy.  Memo:  If you're going to emulate an NBA career, "Dinner Bell" Mel Turpin's might not be the best choice.

--Delonte West's tattoos make it look like someone snuck up behind and labeled him as hazardous waste material.  PLEASE don't tell me he did that to himself...

--Dave (