By Matt Richardson
Good news from Boston: The line at Tobin Bridge is considerably shorter after the Celtics took care of business in Game 5 by blowing out the Hawks. Some thoughts on the game and the series as we head back to Atlanta for the game tonight.
Thus far, Rajon Rondo is setting an NBA playoff record for “floor burn to foul shot ratio”. Do you realize that he’s only taken a grand total of eight free throws in this series? EIGHT? It seems like he spends 11 minutes per game splayed out on the floor after layup attempts, yet he’s averaging 1.6 FT’s per game. Somebody needs to remind the officials that hip-checking the point guard into the stands on drives to the hoop is a foul, even if the defender doesn’t make contact with his arms. Clearly you wouldn’t expect a team loaded with respected veteran players with the best regular season record in the NBA to get calls like that in the playoffs at home. Note to the officials: You’re all missing a hell of a series.
Memo to Al Horford: enough with the flexing after making a basket. First of all, you’re clearly in decent shape but you’re no Kevin Willis in the pipes department. Every local yokel gym in America has 20 guys with more muscular definition than you. If that is going to be your schtick, you need to bulk up. Second, these things are best done in moderation. You’re an NBA player, you are supposed to make shots. You don’t need to preen after every made basket. Antoine Walker eventually figured out that he should break out the wiggle sparingly, and only when victory was assured. You look like an idiot when you have three flexes in a game that you eventually lose by 25 points. It’s like Chris Canty celebrating a pass defended with the Patriots down by 3 touchdowns, or the time Irving Fryar celebrated his Super Bowl TD against the Bears, which made the score 46-10. I know you’re a rookie so I’ll cut you some slack, but figure it out soon, young fella.
At one point in the second quarter, Doc had the oldest possible lineup in the game short of activating Jo Jo, Danny, Tommy, and Couz. Cassell, P.J. Brown, Ray Allen, and James Posey were all on the floor together, with an average age of 35 years old. I think Doc wanted to balance it out by playing Manny Ramirez, Jr., but he was napping. And kudo’s to Doc for playing every possible player in non-garbage time minutes last night. All those coaches that go with tighter, more defined rotations during the playoffs? Morons. When TNT flashed a picture of Laurence Maroney in the stands, Doc hustled over to see if he’d suit up and run a few off tackle plays.
Editor’s note: I started out the series watching the games on TNT but quickly became aggravated by their inexplicable lack of replays. Stockton: “Rondo drives hard to the basket and HORFORD BLOCKS THE SHOT AND GRABS THE REBOUND. Rondo’s neck appears to be broken and he’s convulsing on the floor. Bibby dribbles left and gets it into Smith and they call a 20 second timeout. I’ll tell you Mike, this has been an exciting series so far. And speaking of exciting series, The Closer returns with all new episodes this summer…”
Is anybody else having trouble distinguishing between Ray Allen and Sam Cassell on the floor? Both have numbers in the 20’s, have the shaved head look, and just bear a striking resemblance to each other in game action. And I’m watching the games on a 42” inch high def LCD TV, with my glasses on even. It’s only when a shot clangs off the rim that I realize that it’s Cassell (just kidding Sam, we love you, 13 pts in 15 minutes baby!).
Editors’s Note: I’ve had that same issue of mistaking Ray Allen for Cassell and vice versa. One of them is going to need to grow some bushy facial hair pronto. For pragmatic purposes, I suggest a hideous Kevin Youkilis mountain man goatee.
Memo to Tony Allen: You are wide open behind the three point line for a reason; the Hawks want you to shoot it because most likely it will be an airball. Unless you’ve spent the last few years slowly building up a resistance to iocane powder, do not play their game. Interestingly, Tony’s 3 pt FG % this season .316 matched his career 3 pt FG % (.316). At least he’s, ummm, consistent.
Editor’s Note: Tony Allen. Ugh. I actually lobbied for him to play considering his sometime ability to defend on the perimeter but I didn’t think he’d actually, you know, shoot the ball. If I’m Doc Rivers and I see TA spotting up from behind the arc, I immediately start yelling at him like I do to my dog when he poops indoors. “TONY, NO! PASS THE BALL! BAD TONY!!” For what it’s worth, I’m officially tired of Tony Allen. I can easily see him in a Timberwolves or a Grizzlies uniform next season.
Josh Childress’ hair is generating an unbearable amount of “Fletch” references. Does Chevy Chase get royalties every time somebody says that Childress is 6’5”, with the afro 6’9”?
Editor’s Note: I watched Fletch roughly 8,000 times in high school. How did I ever miss this joke?
Last night Childress spent a lot of time covering Rondo. Maybe I’m crazy, but I think Mike Woodson has figured out the Mike Bibby can’t stay with him. And yes, most teams find that their 6’8” small forward is the best player to guard the opposing PG. Speaking of Childress, remember Bill Parcells used to label players JAG’s, or “just another guy”? Childress and Marvin Williams to me are prototypical JAG’s. Other than Childress’ hair, I can’t find anything remotely compelling about either one of them. It’s like the old Folgers commercial: We’ve secretly replaced your coffee with Folgers Crystals. See if YOU can tell the difference (this Folgers Crystals reference is copyrighted by Kevin Goyette © 1994). In short, if Woodson secretly replaced Childress and Williams with two guys from the D-League, would it make any difference? And these guys were drafted 6th and 2nd overall, respectively. Now that I’ve said this, watch Williams go off for 37 points and a game winning running hook shot over McHale and Parish.
Anyway, enough with my musings. Here’s to a convincing road win to close out this series on Friday (toasting with a glass of wine just handed to me by Vizzini).