Celtics v. Pistons Running Diary



Just for fun, I’m going to do a running diary of the Celtics first big test of the season tonight against the Pistons. Then I’ll do Portland going for 9 straight later on. SJ will be contributing through instant messenger throughout. Since I’m back on the West Coast all times are back in Pacific Time.

SJ is telling me to be prepared to be wrong. One game isn’t going to sway me much, just like the Sacramento game didn’t prove to me they were overrated.

4:10– SJ: I’m already pissed cause the Pistons are wearing white. This is not a good sign I hate it when the home team does that.

SJ: Did the crowd at the garden start a defense chant on their own? Holy cow. KG is in attack mode right now.

4:24 — SJ tells me Rondo is ready. Maybe in this first quarter at least, but that jumper is still ugly. He looks like he just tries to get the ball as high up as possible and hope the laws of chances help it get in. But hand it to the kid he’s hitting right now, which is a huge key for the C’s playoff success.

4:25 — Rondo puts in a running lefty layup, beautiful. Detroit seems like they are fine with him beating them off the dribble as long as it isnt the rest of the team — that’s a strategy that will be popular for opposing teams down the road. SJ makes the same comparison I made a couple weeks ago about being a young Tony Parker. It’s possible, but I put that as the absolute highest most insane-rich-person’s mansion foyer ceiling you could give him.

4:29 — Beautiful pass by Chauncey to Rip. Most impressive part of this game for the Celtics is they don’t look like they’ve come out too hyped and emotional. They look steady and experienced , which they are. Of course the same can be said of Detroit, and it’s their occasional lack of emotion that has hurt them in the playoffs lately.

4:34 — SJ: If the Celtic’s bench gives them anything Detroit is in big trouble. Dare I say they look old? Coup: I say the Pistons just look casual right now, getting a feel for this team.

4:35 — Hubie Brown says the C-3 are all old and they all want to acquire a ring after being on losing teams. No kiddin. Haven’t heard that lately.

4:38 — SJ: How did the Clippers get on that strength of schedule list.

Coup: 25-18 Boston, 1:44 left in the first. This is when things start to get interesting, since, on paper, the Pistons are a much deeper team.

4:40 — Oh god, SJ and I just threw up in our mouths as Hubie starts giving the “red-hot” Blazers love. Glen Davis is out of the game after averaging a foul every .234 seconds. Speaking of which, when I saw the C’s play Sacramento, KG got three fouls on a single Kings’ possesion. I had never seen a superstar get that before in my life.

4:42 — Ray Allen hits one of those floating jumpers in the paint that he’s been hitting since birth. Interesting note, Allen is ranked 21st among shooting guards on John Hollinger’s (so take it with a grain of salt) list of shooting guards, below John Salmons and Brent Barry. Manu Ginobili takes the top spot over Kobe on that same list.

4:53 — How can you not love that C-3 commerical with Scot Van Pelt, the THREE AMIGOS, HUHH. Classic. Between this and the Romo/Cheerleader party spot, Scot is on fire.

4:55 — Pierce says Detroit it the team to beat in the East. Fine, but why did he not mention any western teams?

4:57 — 36-27 Boston, 7:20 left in the half. Hubie calls KG a pass-first star. It’s true, but man, that could really hurt them in the playoffs. KG hits two jumpers in a row, great, but get to the line big man. Meanwhile, Detroit’s bench is relying on jumpers, but they finally have bench guys that can score. KG just missed a fadeaway in the lane over Sheed. I know Sheed is long, but KG got him in the air and could have drawn the foul if he would get the contact.

5:00 — Every commercial should have Heidi Klum dressed in a girly Santa costume. Every single one.

5:03 — ESPN is starting to pimp the Blazers/Sonics Christmas Day matchup, calling Portland the high flying Blazers. This is scaring me. You’ve got to love the, well, love from ESPN, but nobody has said anything good about Portland from that Worldwide Leader in about seven years.

5:06 –Chauncey hits a pullup 3 to bring Detroit back within one. KG responds by dishing to Perkins for the dunk. Rondo hits in the lane again. Maybe he can survive on that floater. Maybe.

5:13 — Incredible finish by Rondo on the break, flipping the ball up and over from under the bucket. He’s showing me something right now. If he can finish in the middle like that, like the young Parker, then that jumper matters much less — against everyone but the Spurs that is. He’s showing his cajones against a good team.

5:17 — Boston comes out of a timeout and get’s nothing with 9.7 seconds left in the half. That’s why Doc Rivers might end up killing them. His assistant coaches can cover his butt on the defensive end of things, but Doc seems like Mo Cheeks trying to draw up a play.

5:21 — Sorry Boston but Bill Walton just ruined your season by saying ‘Print the Championship Banner right now.’ Bill is right about the Pistons playing an emotionless, passionless game. Detroit should win a seven-game series, Boston will the way they are playing. I agree. Boston should have no problem getting to the Finals if Detroit doesn’t get its act together. SJ will try and shove this win in my face — and Boston will win unless Flip motivates the Pistons (probably not going to happen — but the real test is and remains the top western squads. Like I said, it’s not enough to get to the Finals for this team.

5:24 — Damn, did you see what happened to ‘Zo? You have to feel bad for him.

5:36 — Second half is underway, and the Pistons look, well, the same. If Boston doesn’t fall apart, and their crowd shouldn’t let them, this is their game.

5:39 — Ray Allen can’t run a break apprently. You’ve got to give the trailing big the ball quicker than that. Rondo sends a beauty in the lane to Perkins, who promptly gets the ball knocked out of bounds.

SJ: I love that all Perkins has to do on offense is stand there and get dunks . . . but he always gets it slapped away.

5:42 — Rondo again to Perkins, who finishes it this time. Sheed responds with a 3. Rondo, by the way, looks aproximately 10,000 times better than Jarret Jack does on most nights right now. Tayshaun Prince then just fumbles a pass out of bounds, he looks like he took a couple Vicadin before the game.

5:46 — The Boston Celtics care about the community, apparently. I think most NBA teams do, except for the Knicks that is. I think they are going for the whole mutiny thing.

5:48 — Rondo responds from a Billups push by getting a steal on defense, which leads to Pierce jacking up a 3 with 19 seconds left on the shot clock. Somehow the Pistons are only down two.

SJ: I swear paul pierce is going to screw them over one day.
Coup: I have to agree.

5:50 — 58-56 Boston. Boston doesn’t look like a team that can deliver a killing blow quite yet — a true sign of an elite team (from the west). There’s no way the Pistons should be hanging around the way they are playing. I think a lot of this has to do with Boston’s reliance on the jumper.

5:52 — Sheed looks composed. Frankly,
if there was one city I would expect him to blow up in, it’d be Boston. Those fans can be obnoxious with the best of them. And that is not a knock.

5:57 — Pierce responds to my comment about them not getting to the rim by driving and drawing an and-one. He needs to do more of that, because, unless Rondo does this game in and out, Pierce is the only guy who has the will to get to the rim consistently. Then he misses a layup, go figure.

6:00 — Prince finally scores on a 15-footer. Wasn’t he supposed to be better than what he is?

6:06 — How many people do you know that can pull off wearing a white t-shirt tucked into dress pants. I know one, Michael Jordan.

6:10 — Eddie House misses a 3 real short. He’s still not anything but a gunner to me. Hunter comes back and drains a deep 2 over House. Hunter then gets the steal and dishes to Hamilton for the dunk. After a 9-0 run, Detroit takes the lead, 70-67, Boston just let them hang around too long and eventually the Pistons found the right mojo. You can’t give good teams that many opportunities to experiment and adjust.

6:17 — Rondo throws a wild pass out of bounds. Pistons still up one, 7:07 left. Detroit grabbed two offensive rebounds on the last posession, and Billups is starting to take advantage of Rondo’s size. Pistons are turning it on at the right time. Speaking of which, Rondo just got taken out of the game. Allen is now playing point-foward. Garnett commits an offensive foul on a pick.

6:20 — Maxiell makes a great spin move against Perkins inside. Boston has got to get into the paint. But guess what, Pierce misses a bad 3 and Sheed finds Billups downcourt for the easy lay-in. Pistons up 7. Regardless of the outcome, I don’t feel like I’m being proved very wrong.

6:24 — Ray throws down a Kobe-esque reverse dunk. I don’t think he’s thrown a hammer down like that in the last five years. He’s proving to be the best rise-to-the-moment guy on this team. But, Maxiell comes back and gets to the line.

6:27 — Chauncey kills Rondo in the post, then Allen responds with a 3 in the corner. Allen may not be the highest Hollinger-rated guy anymore, but he still has a clutch stroke. So does Chauncey, though.

6:35 — ESPN just told us Alonzo is out for 6 months with a tear in his patella tendon. Honestly, I just feel terrible for him.

6:36 — House bring Boston back within 3 with a 3. Told you he was a gunner. C’s get the ball back, and Ray hits a huge pull-up 3 from the top of the arc. Huhhh-uuge shot. Tie ball game with 18.9 left. I still think Boston is relying too much on jumpers, but Ray is the reason they are still in this game. Chauncey time . . . orrrr maybe Sheed. We’ll see.

6:40 — Chauncey turned the ball over, timeout Celts. Billups missed a wide open Sheed at the 3-point line. You have to think the ball is going to Ray now. Instead, Doc has his hottest shooter inbound the ball, and Pierce takes a fadeaway. Now Detroit has another chance.

6:43 — Tayshaun inbounding. Game over. Chauncey ball fakes Tony Allen, gets him in the air, and draws the shooting foul with .1 left. He makes up for the turnover. These are easy . Chauncey hits two and the game is over. Still Mr. Big Shot it seems, Mr. Simmons. As much as Detroit showed its experience in winning on a night when they weren’t playing their best ball, Boston showed its holes — they need to get in the paint when it gets down to crunch time.