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Ricky Buckets Amuses Once More

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Perhaps Ricky Davis has found himself a home with the Heat.  Or at least the Heat team that is currently sans Wade and Marion.

Because for one night at Madison Square Garden, Ricky Davis certainly looked in his element.   In a season of frustration for the one some Celts fans still call Risky, for a night he was the Ricky Buckets we all once came to know and love:  Lots of shooting, great athletic feats, turnovers, mental errors and ultimately a poor ending.

But a whole lot of fun along the way.  Somehow, two full seasons after playing his last game as a Celtic, Ricky still brings a smile to my face. 

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With less than two minutes left in the Sizable Apple last night, the hapless Knicks led the even more hapless Heat by nine points.  With thirty seconds to play, that lead was six.  A Daquean Cook three and a one-of-two effort for Fred Jones at the foul line later, the lead was four with 22 seconds to play.

Then Ricky got involved.

Just four seconds after a Miami timeout, Ricky managed to just embarrass Renaldo Balkman at the top of the three-point circle.  Ball-fake.  Balkman jumped left.  Ball-fake again.  Balkman jumped right.  Shot.  Bang.  Heat down one with 18 seconds to play.

Two free throws later, the deficit was three with inside of ten seconds remaining.  No problem.  Buckets strolled right out of a timeout and immediately jacked up -- and canned -- yet another trey, this time from the right wing, to tie it with six seconds to play.  Overtime.

Those were his fifth and sixth threes of the game.  He would finish with seven in ten attempts.  Not too shabby.  The jumping around, the tongue-wagging, the ear-to-ear grin after the three to tie:  They were all demonstrative of pure, unadulterated joy from a man whose emotions are nothing if not pure and unadulterated.

It seemed like Ricky's night of glory would continue through the extra frame, as he propelled the Heat out in front with another three in the first minute of overtime.  That is, until the rest of pure, unadulterated Ricky arrived.

This would be the Ricky whose next touch involved an attempt to superimpose his way through a double-team.  Shockingly enough, this wound up with Jamal Crawford cruising down the floor for a fast-break bucket.

Another turnover followed, plus a fun interchange between my favorite broadcasters in the game, MSG Network's Mike Breen and Walt "Clyde" Frazier.

Breen:  It's going to be all one-on-one basketball with Davis at this point.

Frazier: Yep, that's his forte.

Somewhere over the course of overtime, Breen also wound up asserting that "Davis has little concern for defense" while Clyde chuckled in the background.  I love these guys.

In the meantime, Davis was at the charity stripe clanking the first of two crucial freebies with the Heat down four and just outside of a minute to play.

You can imagine how it went from there.  Long story short, the Heat end up down multiple possessions in the waning seconds.  Ricky chucks in desperation once more.  He isn't as successful this time.  Heat lose going away, 103-96.

Improbable heroics.  Not enough on a terrible team.  A lot of fun to watch for an outside observer.  Likely not as much fun for those rooting for his team when all was said and done.

Somehow, it just seemed like a vintage performance from Ricky Davis.

For the life of me, I'll never be able to explain how I can get nostalgic about concepts like Ricky Davis' tenure in Boston.  But for fifteen minutes last night, I did just that.

Then I remembered what had gone on earlier in the evening at another northeastern Garden some 200 miles away.  And I was able to get past Ricky Buckets.