1) Flagrant Foul
Throwing a fist in an NBA game is a surefire automatic suspension, or so we thought. In game 1 of the Atlanta series Leon Powe threw down that Godzilla dunk and was then repeatedly and enthusiastically pummeled by Kevin Garnett. As it turns out the ban on fisticuffs only applies to members of the OTHER team. Fortunately for the Celtics you are allowed punch out your own teammate all you want. It's just never come up before.
When Leon finally did manage to get up, he walked back to the bench with KG ferociously yelling into his ear the entire time. The look on the young man's face was a strange mix of joy and fear. The whole thing was pretty funny.
Most people would have been hospitalized by that degree of affection.
Historically I get pretty worked up about the playoffs, so these first two Atlanta games have been a calming way to start things off. It's been a perfect introduction to the playoffs for this Celtic team- facing a club that is young, athletic and physical, but completely overmatched. Boston gets to ease into top playoff form for the second round. Very calming.
Remember last fall when there was so much fretting about the excessive minutes of They That Could Not Yet Be Called The Big Three? It's all worked out very well hasn't it? Here it is springtime. Flowers are blooming. The Marathon's been run. The playoffs are underway. And hey, the Big Three's minutes were doled out to perfection!
I have a few gripes about the overcommercialization of our beloved Celtic broadcasts. I realize that money needs to be accumulated in mountainous piles in order to maintain a winning team, but...
...the chronic in-game sales pitches have reached a point of obscenity. All we want is basketball. We already get TV timeouts. We already get that center court rotating advertisement table-thingy. I draw the line of acceptable behavior with the chronic commercial pollution of the broadcast itself.
Here's a very abbreviated list- just a fraction of what you put up with every game (though you may have become so numbed to it you no longer notice). Just off the top of my head:
The Southwest Airlines starting lineup.
The DCU sideline reporter.
The Honey Dew list.
The Subaru key match up.
The Legal Seafoods fish swimming across the bottom of the screen.
The Identity Truth bonus code.
The McDonald's halftime.
The Foxwoods Take a Shot,
The Gatorade heard around the cooler.
The Toyota player of the game.
The Supercuts super cut of the game.
The Identity Truth steal of the game.
The SpeeDee Oil change of the game.
That's probably only half of it. There's sooo many more...
I'm all for capitalism. I mean who out there doesn't enjoy watching giant corporations get bigger and bigger? I love 'em! But please stop during the games. Give it a rest. We just want to watch basketball.
(We'll make an exception for the Legal Seafoods trivia question. That's cool.)
5) Why I stopped writing for a while
I'm sure no one cares but here's why: I started writing these pieces because I could not stand the way the Celtics were being covered. No one in the regular media seemed to recognize that Danny Ainge was accumulating assets and was on the right track even though it was not reflected in the teams' record. Everything was so negative (and I thought, so wrong). I began writing because I couldn't help myself. I'm sure a lot of other green people started blogging for the same reason.
Now though, everybody's writing articles that accurately reflect what's going on. 66 wins does make the positive direction of the franchise very clear.
6) One other reason
This one REALLY no one cares: I live on a dirt driveway about 4/10ths of a mile long. After a rough winter it had hundreds of deep potholes. Over the last month I brought in about 9 tons of stone and filled every single pothole by hand. Just broken-down me with a shovel, three buckets and my Subaru (I couldn't have done it without the inspiration from the Subaru key match up.)
That took all my free time. The good news: I'm done. The road is smooth and beautiful. I am now momentarily strong enough to withstand being briefly pummeled by Kevin Garnett should I ever find myself lying on the floor after throwing down a power dunk on the Atlanta Hawks (though I have not worked out how that might ever happen).
Where are we? Oh yeah, basketball. Rondo... Whoa. Mr. Rondo is a bit ahead of schedule. The Bibby/Rondo match up was the only thing the Hawks could point to as to why they had the barest chance of getting a win or two. It was a mismatch alright, but the other way. Rajon Rondo has been brilliant. Remember those weinerly national media naysayers who pointed to Rondo as the weak link? Ha! Well how do you like Rondo now, you bunch of specious reasoners you?
Here's another look back: Remember the No Depth talk? Are you kidding? Last night Tony Allen and Eddie House barely played. This Celtics team is so deep, Jacques Cousteau couldn't get a view all the way down to the bottom of the bench. Perk gets into foul trouble? No problem, put in Leon. Leon gets into foul trouble too? No problem, put in PJ and Mr. Baby.
Sam Cassell is back to being his old pain-in-the-butt-if-he-doesn't-play-for-you self. Sam's one of those guys like Jerry West (I forgive Jerry West for being a Laker) who can just get a good shot off at any time no matter what. He comes in, there's no spacing on the floor, his man looks like he's all over him -floop- Sam does that little step back move, giving himself just enough space to rainbow the ball through the net. Just like he did in about ten other uniforms over the last half century, Sam just scores with ease.
Before the playoffs are over that will be the difference between a title or no title.
10) It's Not Going To Stay This Easy
Right? I mean I hope it does, but it will probably be Lebron in round 2, the Pistons or Orlando in round 3, and the lone survivor of the Western free-for-all in the Finals. There will be many formidable challenges coming.
My, my, my, this Celtics team is good though. Maybe just maybe this Celtics team is great, even historically great. This is our time. Many of us have waited 22 years. Some have waited their whole lives. Enjoy it my fellow greeniacs. Cherish these moments. As we have learned, times like these are precious.