1) Chris Wallace
What's the worst transaction of Chris Wallace's career? There's no quick answer to that one is there? You have to think about it.
Here's some of his more colorful Rolaids moments (via Hoopshype.com):
"Traded guards Kenny Anderson and Joseph Forte and center Vitaly Potapenko to the Seattle SuperSonics for forward Vin Baker and guard Shammond Williams.
Traded guards Randy Brown, Joe Johnson, Milt Palacio and a first-round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for guard Tony Delk and forward Rodney Rogers.
Selected guard Joe Johnson (10th overall pick), forward Kedrick Brown (11th overall pick) and guard Joseph Forte (21st overall pick).
Traded center Andrew DeClercq and a 1999 first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for center Vitaly Potapenko." (The pick would have been used on Shawn Marion.)
"Traded guards Chauncey Billups and Dee Brown and forwards John Thomas and Roy Rogers to the Toronto Raptors for guard Kenny Anderson, forward Popeye Jones and center Zan Tabak."
...and then there's my personal favorite:
"Announced they will exercise the option on the Denver Nuggets' first-round pick, 11th overall, in the 2001 draft."
ARRRGH! All he had to do was be patient that year! Denver stunk. The Celtics were already bringing in two first rounders. If they just rolled that pick over a few seasons Boston could have ended up with Amare Stoudemire. Ugh.
Mr. Wallace has on moved to Memphis and look:
"Traded forward Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers for guards Aaron McKie and Javaris Crittenton, forward Kwame Brown, the draft rights to center Marc Gasol and first-round picks in 2008 and 2010 to the Memphis Grizzlies for forward Pau Gasol."
Ok, so mean old Rick Pitino made him do some of those bad things, and miserly Paul Gaston made him do others, and now Michael Heisley the 380th richest American, is taking some credit for the latest debacle. I have ask though, if you know anything about this game wouldn't you make at least an occasional good trade? Wouldn't you draft well once in a while? And most recently wouldn't you call around the league to force higher offers after talking to the Lakers? Wouldn't you? I need to know. I'm asking here. I'm desperate. This really bothers me.
All I can say is, thank each and every angel in heaven that Chris Wallace runs a different franchise now.
I have three favorite games so far this season; The game in Detroit, the Dallas game, and now the Spurs game. Oddly it's been just as exciting winning without Garnett than it was winning with him. I didn't think the Celtics could play nearly this well without their best player.
3) Big Game? Big Baby!
...Two of those three games were Glen Davis' finest performances of the year. In Detroit he outscored all seven all stars in the fourth quarter while virtually shutting down Rasheed Wallace. Then yesterday he played Tim Duncan better than anyone could have guessed. You couple his performance with the outstanding contributions of Leon Powe and you just shake your head.
I mean, I made some crazy preseason predictions, some that actually came true, but Glen Davis stymieing Tim Duncan and leading the team to victory was not among them.
4) The Streak
...which leads to this: It's been building day after day, week after week, month after month. For some reason San Antonio simply cannot beat the Boston Celtics. It's the St. Patrick's Day curse. For those counting, the long losing streak is now up to two games. When will it end? No one knows. The pressure continues to build on the Spurs.
Among all the amazing things that have happened so far this season, none is more amazing than the fact that the Celtics are 16-0 against the mighty Western Conference. What the hey? Boston has beaten the Spurs and Mavs without Kevin Garnett, handily dispatched the Lakers, humiliated Denver and Golden State, beat Houston and Utah, and toyed with most of the rest. The western team that gave them the most trouble was Minnesota, twice.
Can't coach? CAN'T COACH? Are you kidding me? What you have witnessed in the past few weeks is the best Celtics coaching performance since Tommy Heinsohn patrolled the bench with long sideburns and a plaid jacket. The Celtics are 5-2 without Kevin Garnett. They outfought the defending champions. They lost every tall person on the roster. Doc Rivers is not doing a good job this season; he is doing a GREAT job!
7) No Doubt
The doubters have been silenced. The Spurs game muted the last of them. I read some of the recent comments on some large Western Conference fan forums like dallas-mavs.com and spurstalk and no one's questioning the Celtics anymore. They are bickering among themselves a lot which is always entertaining, but no one is saying the Celtics cannot win the title.
Unlike the 80's it's nice to be in the East. Back then scary teams like Philly, Milwaukee, and Doc Rivers' Hawks roamed the Earth. Now though it's the West that's brutally competitive. As of this writing, Houston and Golden State are both 30-20, and one of them wouldn't even make the playoffs. In the East they'd be seeded fourth.
Still, it will not be an easy road for the Celtics to reach the Finals. 16-0 against the West means all nine losses have come in the East. Boston will need to be healthy to get past Cleveland and Detroit. That's why it's critical to rest Garnett and Perkins now. Get them healthy, even if they miss the entire west coast trip after the all star game, and even if it costs the team some wins. It's the playoffs that matter.
I love Rondo. I think he's my favorite player since Havlicek. I would not be surprised if Rondo makes the whole silly "big three" controversy completely obsolete, because soon there will not be a big three; there will be a big four.
10) Davis on Duncan
I don't know if you saw it on the postgame show, but Greg Dickerson interviewed Baby right after the game and asked him if all that jabbering he and Duncan were doing was trashtalk. Big Baby said (paraphrasing), "Oh no. That was Tim Duncan! He's like Kevin Garnett! I was just soaking up the immortality."