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ABCs of the Celtics Season: A - M

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A - Ambulance: Who needs an ambulance when you've got Brian Scalabrine? But don't take my word for it. It is better when Scal describes how he drove Tony Allen to the hospital following the former Oklahoma State star's brutal season ending injury. "His mom was concerned about my driving. She was asking for the ambulance. Tony was like, 'No, man, this is better than the ambulance. It's Scal.'"

B - Big men: Specifically Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins. By this point everyone who cares about the Celtics knows about Al Jefferson. This was his break out season as he cut down on fouls, got in the best shape of his life, and developed into a consistent scoring threat. However, Perkins showed some things as well. He will rebound, bang bodies, set picks, and pass surprisingly well for a big man.  

C - Crazy: is meant to describe people whose behavior and thought process is so far from the norm that society as a whole does not quite understand their mode of operation. It is a term that gets thrown around a lot. Probably too much. For example Gilbert Arenas is not crazy. Thankfully there is a term for people who take crazy to a new level and need a unique label given the dilution of the word crazy. That term? Type crazy. Ron Artest might fit there. More importantly Delonte West's ex girlfriend (I'm assuming ex) is type crazy.

D - Dire straits: This goes to my favorite Tommy Heinsohn/Mike Gorman exchange of the season, which unfortunately occurred following Tony Allen's devastating injury.

"Dire straits. Dire straits. You know where dire straits is?" - Heinsohn

"Africa?" - Gorman

"Just south of frustration." - Heinsohn

 

Print can't do it justice. Heinsohn was absentmindedly thinking out loud and Gorman's answer came out of confusion when he finally got a word in. If the exchange were about any other team in the NBA I would have found it hilarious. And it shows why Boston fans love Heinsohn. It's not the unbiased look at the refs, the Tommy points, or the cackling after every big Gerald Green play. It's the fact that somehow he still cares about the franchise so much that it drastically affects his mood.

E - Eighteen: The Celtics eighteen game losing streak made them a national story. At one point they were featured on SportsCenter and Outside the Lines. Of course this was in that dark period after the Super Bowl and before March Madness.

F - Fantanking: Ughh. Fantanking was probably my least favorite development of the season, outside of all the losing of course. Bill Simmons, who I like, came up with it for an article in ESPN: The Magazine. The official definition:

"We have a term for a team that effectively gives up to increase its draft position -- "tanking" -- but nothing to describe when fans turn on their team for the same reason. Let me create one: "fantanking." Not only can you use it as a noun or as a verb, it sounds like a title of a Weezer CD."

As a side note, fantanking and the article that spawned it were perfect for ESPN: The Magazine. That is not a compliment.

G - "Get over here and take care of it.": I know Sebastian Telfair was never charged and by all accounts was a victim. But I'm all about living on the safe side.  So I have one word of advice if you ever hear Bassy say, "Get over here and take care of it." Run.

 

As a side note, how long does it take rappers to come up with their aliases? I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with a blog name. I finally settled on Celtics Bandwagon, which led to Green Bandwagon. So if I were a rapper my name would be something like Fabulous. Basically I am saying that Fabulous is not the most creative name.

H - Hoop: This season the C's marketing team embarked on a campaign in which current Celtics players discussed the hoops they played on in their youth. It consisted of a few relatively mundane commercials focusing on Paul Pierce, Tony Allen, and maybe someone else. And then they put Delonte West behind the camera. The rest is history.

 

We also learned that domestic violence will not be criticized if it is mother on son and the son grows up and laughs about it.

I - Injury: It was the season of the injury. The following players missed time - Tony Allen (knee), Ryan Gomes (foot), Al Jefferson (appendectomy), Michael Olowokandi (foot), Kendrick Perkins (foot - plantar flasciitis), Paul Pierce (foot, elbow, and other stuff), Theo Ratliff (back), Brian Scalabrine (hamstring, knee), Wally Szczerbiak (ankles), and Delonte West (back, head - concussion, knee). Ouch. Now you know this list is legit, as I did not waste numerous letters of the alphabet detailing injuries. This of course was part of disturbing trend in the NBA. It absolutely ruined fantasy basketball for me. I don't even want to talk about it. And you don't want to read about it.

J - Jury: As in the jury is still out on Tony Allen, Gerald Green, Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo, Sebastian Telfair, and even Al Jefferson. Can Allen contribute something over the course of a season with Paul Pierce in the lineup? Will Gerald ever play good defense and consistent offense? What does a healthy Kendrick Perkins bring to the table over the course of a full season? Will Rondo develop a mediocre jump shot? Does Telfair belong in the NBA? What is Big Al's ceiling? Meanwhile, this season has gone a long way in showing what Ryan Gomes, Delonte West, Allan Ray, and Leon Powe bring to the table. I won't go into too much detail but Gomes and West strike me as excellent complementary players. Ray and Powe? Not so much.  

K - Kevinn Pinkney. He distinguished himself from a long list of players that had a cup of coffee with the C's simply by having the letter "n" twice in his first name. I enjoyed his hustle. But his presence was a clear sign of how poorly the season went. The C's did not even practice over the last week or so because of injuries. Although word on the street is that Pinkney may get some summer league burn. By the way "word on the street" means Greg Dickerson said it on FSN a couple of nights ago.

L - Lottery: May the Celtics not finish in the lottery for years to come. I just can't take anymore talk about draft position, ping pong balls, fantanking, tanking, and so on. Hopefully the franchise is moving on to bigger and better things.

 

M - MarkTwain Johnson: He holds the dubious distinction of being the guy shot at the White Palace Grill, which sent Tony Allen to court. It has been 6 months since I learned his name and I am still not even remotely close to being over it.