Another season opens, another year of hopes and dreams. A few select players from the World Champion Boston Red Sox (damn it feels good to say that!), including Derek Lowe, Doug Mirrabelli, and Marc Bellhorn and Owner John Henry, were introduced to the Celtic and Boston Faithful, which are often hard to seperate from each other. Celtic Captain Paul Pierce gave brief remarks to open the season and we're all thankful that he's a much better player than he is at public speaking.
1st Half recap: No one on the C's truly impressed, but Paul Pierce's fade away came pretty close. 17 pts and 8 rbs is a nice start to a season, particularly when it comes in the first half of play. Ricky Davis did an acceptable job trying to defend Allen Iverson in the first half. His offense was spotty, but when challenged on the defensive end, he seemed to come up big on the offensive end in the persuing possession. Interesting...... Mark Blount got into foul trouble late in the half, but did a decent job overall, although it wasn't anything to write home about. The rest of the C's played OK, but 10 turnovers in the half is something we need to work on.
Alot of folks saw time in the first half, which was sort of an irony, considering the opposing coach. Pierce, Davis, Blount, LaFrentz, Payton, McCarty, Allen, Banks, Welsch, and Gugliota all played in the first half. By my count, that's 2 more players than usually saw the court in any given game during all of OB's tenure.
The 76er's did a good job on the offensive boards, which is pause for concern, given our spotty history in excelling in that department in recent years.
Quote of the 1st half: (Not sure if it was Cousy or Gorman but...) "Iverson at the point is a different look for the 6er's. Iverson is going to be dangerous, because he has the green light at any time".
Analysis: DUH! Imagine, OB giving one of his star players the green light to try to score at will? What a concept?!!! (Ok, sarcasm lesson over)
2nd Half recap: As we all are familiar with, the OB led 76ers came out flat and gave up a big run to the C's early in the 3rd. However, they came back on the C's due in part to big shooting by Korver and Iverson and some shoddy defense, in general, by the C's.
The Final ended up being 98 - 95 Phila. Count one for OB.
Now for the rants:
1. Someone tell me what the hell Payton was thinking shooting 2 3pointers in the last 2 minutes, one with 40 secs left? I had just gotten done saying that 6 pts and 8 assts was a good sign of a PG: more assts than pts (Marcus Banks take note of that, PLEASE, because right now, you've got a serious case of ME-ism and it's pissing me off).
2. Blount's hands still suck and his ability to finish in the paint is driving me nuts. Here's a hint Mark: You're 7FT tall. DUNK THE DAMN BALL!!!
3. Paul Pierce, I love you and 35pt, 11rbs and 7 assts is a hella nice stat line. That said, please stop cheating off your man so much, it's leaving the 3 pointers wide open and with OB as the opposing coach, that's a purely stupid thing to let happen.
4. Will someone please stand up and rebound and control the paint? If Blount and Googs aren't going to do it, then get the kids in there. At the worst, it oughta piss off the vets and get them to play smarter and harder.
Ok, that's all for now. It's a loss, but not a discouraging loss, because there's little doubt we could have easily pulled that one out had we not played stupidly down the stretch.
I'm out for 2 weeks to enjoy my wedding and honeymoon. Take care Celtics Nation and I'll catch you on the flip side.