Beautiful December day in the Northeast, getting eight inches of snow dumped on it. Full ..."/> Beautiful December day in the Northeast, getting eight inches of snow dumped on it. Full ..."/>

Snow Day Musings


Beautiful December day in the Northeast, getting eight inches of snow dumped on it. Full 11-on-11 tackle football in a foot of snow is one of the most pure and perfect moments you can find in America. Sadly, it will all be mush by Saturday, but it’s nice to have nevertheless. I’m going to hold off on the Mitchell Report for the moment until everything settles down so we can get to Celtics v. Kings last night.

Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? Well it wasn’t, except for the fact that I scored eighth-row seats right next to Jojo White. Seemed like Jojo really liked Tony Allen, as he was saying “T, get that ball,” for most of the game. His wife was into it, too, and was really let down whenever Rajon Rando clanked another jumper.

My reservations about the Celts have been well publicized and criticized here, so I’ll just warn you and Steve that one game in person did not send me for the 180. It was a win against the Kings, nothing more, but here are my observations:

Glen Davis is not useless, as I have called him before. In fact he was the highlight of the night, putting in some very Paul Milsap-like work under the glass. You can’t say the guy doesn’t bust his butt. He hits his freebies as well. Don’t see much more potential other than a half-court rebound/hustle guy though. Against bigs like Miki Moore and Brad Miller, he can do his thing, but for now I can’t see him being very effective against up-tempo teams. Very average defense as well. On the other hand, he might be one of the most entertaining players in the league. Davis owns the jumbotron. He sings, he dances and just generally makes a fool out of himself. Easily one of my most likeable players in the L now. I hope that energy doesn’t wear off.

KG needs the ball more in the post. And he needs to take the ball to the rim. He let Spencer Hawes force him into a number of fadeaway jumpers. As the only big on that team who can work the offensive paint, he needs to own it for them to be succesfull against the bigger western squads. KG only got the the line twice in that game — averaging his lowest free-throw attempts per game since 98-99 — and that was a big reason why Sacramento hung around for so long (along with early fouls). Which gets me to my next point.

  • The Celtics are a below average team when KG is not in the game. When he is in, the ball flows from one guy to the next seamlessly. They may not score one-on-one from the block, but he helps to create offense from every level of the court: short, midrange and deep. It’s beautiful basketball. He goes out with foul trouble, everybody starts taking jumpers. They were 6-of-22 from 3, and Ray Allen made three of those. Eddie House couldn’t hit dirt in a forest, Posey did not look like the reborn 50% 3-shooter I was expecting and Brian Scalabrine was Brian Scalabrine (even airballing on 3 by about six feet. They look like they did last season, with all the defensive attention going to Pierce and the rest of the guy struggling to put anything down. This is why KG is playing such huge minutes, he has to. Nobody matters more than him. Pierce can help facilitate as the only other guy who can get to the hole at will, but KG is the key.
  • Ray Allen was used at point-forward for much of the game, and was incredibly more effective than Rondo. Allen is clearly the third-pony in terms of what is going through him. He gets his points with KG in because he gets good looks, and he’s too damn good of a shooter not to make them, but he drifted out on the wing too much. Rondo notwithstanding, using Allen at the point was a great way to keep him involved in the offensive flow. Felt like a smarter version of the Big Three Michael Finley, at least tonight. But he’s been winning them games with clutch shots, which counts for A LOT.

    Rondo. I didn’t see it. On TV he looked good setting up the other guys, but for all of his 26 minutes I saw a non-factor on offense. You just don’t have to guard him. It’s not like when Tony Parker couldn’t shoot because he could still get to and finish at the rim whenever he wanted. Rondo doesn’t have that ability yet. The shot looked ugly as a Tyrone Hill caricature. You don’t want to be depending on him to hit wide open shots in the playoffs.

    As bad as the team played at time, they woke up when they needed to to get the win. It helped that Kevin Martin was out and the Kings had zero explosive scorers to keep up (Artest does not count), but KG knows how to get everything going at the right time. He is something to behold that close up in person. It’s insane just watching his eyes.

    Overall, my mind hasn’t changed too much. The chemistry between the C-3 is off the charts, but I knew that. Davis was better than expected, but House and Posey were much worse than I thought they’d be. I caught this team on a down-shooting night, but it’s pretty obvious they can’t depend on 3’s like the Suns can. They don’t have the sheer quantity of shooters nor the PG. Maybe Kendrick Perkins makes that much of a difference for them, but none of the holes I thought were there were filled up. This is no perfect team, and judging by Jojo White’s face, I think he can tell too. At the same time, this was an off night during the regular season against the Sacramento freaking Kings without Kevin Martin and I can see how this would not be an A game. Maybe next time I’ll see that CHAMPIONSHIP caliber team, but for now I just see a top-two team in the Eastern Conference, not one that can topple a healthy San Antonio in 7.

    Stop telling me I’m hatin’ on the Celts, Steve, I have never said they are bad. When a team scraps the future for a 2-3 year winning period, it’s Championship or bust. I know the city is happy now, but things could be right back to what they were before four years from now. The NBA is better off with a good Celtics team, but it’s not enough for Boston to be good or for KG and Pierce to lead them into the Finals, they need to win. There’s plenty of potential here to hoist the trophy, but I don’t think it has been realized in a playoff-effective form. Like I’ve said all along, the truth will be told in the new year. Real answers come with patience. Let’s just hope they don’t beat San Antonio or Pheonix with a bevy of 3’s, cus they aren’t going to hit enough of those to anchor a 7-game Finals series.

    Dampier being third is one of the worst all-star voting jobs I’ve ever seen. I don’t think B-Roy has a chance in hell at making the squad, but a run at the right time could nudge LaMarcus in; if all the dominoes fall right at least and he starts upping those rebounding numbers.

    Mamba is still the most fun to watch in this league. I know what King James is doing, but I’m still picking Kobe first in that grand hypothetical street game. It’s downright criminal we never got to see Kobe and MJ square off in their primes. Interesting side note: in the latest Sports Illustrated, Kobe was voted a top-three smartest player in the league by other players. Ray Allen was in that category, too.

    How terrible are the highlight videos by the way. They show you like five plays. And ESPN isn’t much better. Basketball producers need to watch the highlight videos to see how a real package is done. Guys, you aren’t losing anything by showing us more of the games. Step your game up.