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38.9% vs. 31.5%

We are 95.2% certain that at least 85.7% of you who have spent at least 1.71 days on CelticsBlog in the last 3.11 months will recognize the significance of the percentages in the title. When the game tipped of at 8:09pm tonight, the battle for lottery odds for the top 2 picks in the 2007 draft - expected to be 7' 3/8" Greg Oden (15.7 pts, 9.6 reb, 3.3 blk) and 6' 9.74" Kevin Durant (25.8pts, 11 reb, 1.9blk) - was on. Early reports that Michael Redd was 95.5% likely to play proved 100% incorrect, while Al Jefferson was 99.9% likely to sit this one out (which proved accurate). For our part, we were 100% psyched to watch an epic tankfest in action. Yeah, sure we were.

Charlie Bell, Ruben Patterson, Earl Boykins, Ersan Ilyasova and Dan Gadzuric started the game against Rajon Rondo, Delonte West, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, and Kendrick Perkins in this summer league tilt. {styleboxjp width=250px,float=right,color=grey,textcolor=black,echo=yes}What? You’re kidding me? This game counts? Well, most of the first quarter was like watching the 1919 World Series and being in on the fix.{/styleboxjp} Players were not just not covering guys, but were blatantly running away from players going to the basket. No kidding. The most entertaining aspect of this quarter was listening to Donny Marshall exaggerate his pro career. Who is Jared Reiner? Perk just schooled him in the post. Enough said. First quarter ends 25-21 Bucks. We’re speechless and feel vaguely dirty. We’d rather be watching Joakim Noah dance.

Brand-spanking new Celtic Kevinn Pinkney grabbed an offensive rebound on the first play of the second quarter, and on the second possession raced down the court and got a dunk and one on a pass from Allan Ray. Tommy gave him a point and an “I love Kevinn”! Players seemed to move at will on the court throughout the quarter. Ray weaved through the defense like Tiny Archibald. The lead changed hands about 117 times, looking like the game was being played for the last possession and the honor of getting to throw an air ball. We’re well aware that game stories usually have more description and analysis, but this game was really beyond such higher cognitive processes. Pinkney apparently did not get the memo when he signed his 10-day contract: he scores 11 points in 7 minutes in the quarter. Pinkney isn’t even in the box score at this point. Without his 11 points, it looks like the Cs are down big. Over at ESPN, his position is listed as IR. Pinkney promptly goes to the bench after his last basket in favor of Perk, who immediately throws an air ball from 2 feet away. This substitution may go down as Doc’s finest coaching moment of the season. Halftime: 53-52 Bucks. This better be over by Lost.

At the start of the second half, Pinkney makes the box score, and Delonte goes to his right hand on a drive! Sure, he sprained his ankle doing so (and hobbled off to the dressing room 4 minutes later), but the ball touched his right hand! Look for footage on ESPN later. {styleboxjp width=200px,float=left,color=yellow,textcolor=black,echo=yes}“Sebastian Telfair has now come into the game without his headband.” This is an actual Mike Gorman quote.{/styleboxjp} You really gotta wonder what he and Tommy are thinking here. Earl Boykins appears to be looking to set a Bucks single game scoring record. The Bucks quickly erase a small Celtics lead, and go up 73-67 with 4:32 left in the third quarter. We’re pretty sure that the home crowd (and we use the word “crowd” loosely) booed at this point. Mike Gorman goes to commercial with “Bucks surge ahead of the Celtics” without even a touch of irony in his voice. Ladies and gentlemen, that is a professional. Players run up and down the court for the rest of the quarter, and seem to be scoring points. Pinkney hits a jumper, Rondo doesn’t, Boykins has 30 points at the end of the quarter. Bucks up 79-72 at the end of the third. Fourteen minutes until Lost.

We’ll call this the Lost quarter. We’re sorry, but we’re supposed to miss Kate and Juliet handcuffed together running through the jungle mud-splattered during a rain storm for this? We trust that you’ll understand if our reporting of the fourth is a bit spottier than usual. We’ve agreed to tag-team between commercials, so at least one pair of eyes is on the game at all times. Right Hank? Hank?

Fortunately, the fourth quarter continues to be a lackluster affair. The Bucks and Celts continue their game of hot potato while Donny Marshall starts channeling Allen Iverson: “Shootaround? You’re talking about a shootaround?” Allan Ray makes a three pointer. What’s up with the threes tonight? Gomes, who has attempted only eight threes all year, is shooting them like they’re his specialty. He’s attempted five tonight (and made three of them, darn him). Even Rondo shot a three. Apparently Sawyer’s being voted off the island (it’s a timeout! I swear!). Leon Powe just fouled out of the game. Let me repeat that: Leon Powe fouled out. I swear we’re not making this stuff up. Kate just woke up handcuffed to Juliet. Question: if you have five players on the court and they all physically shrink away from the rebound, is David Stern preparing to dial the phone?

{styleboxjp width=210px,float=right,color=maroon,textcolor=white,echo=yes} Final: Celtics lose solidly, 89-98.{/styleboxjp} You’ve got to give it to them. They just wanted it more. The Cs shoot a resounding 37.4% and commit 15 turnovers. Quite an achievement when no one is playing defense.

We are 98.6% certain that was one of the worst exhibitions of competitive spirit and basketball competence that we have ever seen. But, hey - we’re one step closer to Oden (or Durant, pick your sweet poison). Learn to love the tank, embroider 38.9% on a pillow, and get some sleep. It’s going to be a long couple weeks.


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