Last night, after Miami put on the finishing touches of a 120-107 opening night win against my beloved Boston Celtics, I really wanted to sit down and hammer away all my thoughts on to this blog. Truth be told, I am getting old and I fell asleep after the game. It is likely better that way, as I have had time to organize my thoughts and not publish my patented knee jerk reaction that I am famous for. I would like to continue this type of post but any faithful reader of NTCF knows our promises usually ring hollow. I will simply take it game by game. So without further adieu, here is my thoughts following last night’s game.
I will spare everyone the tired “Ray Allen is my ex-girlfriend from high school” analogy. Whatever the case may be, he didn’t want to play in Boston anymore. He wanted to live tax-free in Miami, play golf on his off days, and ride the coat tails of LeBron James and get another ring before he called it a career. Boston fans have been “betrayed” before. No doubt it stings a little bit more when a fan favorite decides to go play for your most bitter rival. See Damon, Johnny. I admit, I had a sense of rage seeing him don a Miami Heat uniform. I was happy that KG ignored him when he thought during the game was the perfect time to try to clear the air and get some “daps.” Yes, it did hurt to see Ray pour in 19 points on 5-7 shooting and 2-3 from long range.What hurt more than his stats, however, were the times when the Celtics needed a bucket and couldn’t get one. Because it was those times over the last 5 years that Doc could draw up a play to free up Ray Ray and he would bury a jump shot. That is what I will miss most about Ray Allen.
Maybe the emotion was too much for the Celtics last night. Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry were awful for the most apart. Garnett has been known to get himself so psyched up that he can’t produce. Last night was one of those nights. Maybe it was the ring ceremony prior to the game, maybe it was the national spotlight, maybe it was playing against a former brother, maybe it was everything combined but KG was largely ineffective last night. I also believe that Jason Terry was caught up in the moment of trying to hard to be better than Ray Allen. He was all over the floor and not in a good way. His shots were out of rhythm and his defense was sorely lacking. I found myself very concerned about Terry. He is not a true point guard and I am not sure how his game is going to translate when being asked to bring the ball up the floor, something he is not accustomed to doing.
Jeff Green was a no-show last night as well. I am willing to give him a free pass at the start of this season though. He is coming back from open-heart surgery. At this point last year, he was probably thinking that he would never play again. Believe it or not, life is more important than sports. I think Jeff was a bit emotional last night and wasn’t able to get into the game. I am excited to have him back this season and I look forward to having him play with a full training camp under his belt with the Celtics. Once the chemistry is established he will be essential to the team’s success.
What I took away most from last night’s game was how much I now loathe Dwayne Wade. Every time he takes the ball to the basket and loses it he stops and stares down the ref. He has become the biggest (insert derogatory slang term for the female reproductive organ here) in the NBA. He has the audacity to call Rajon Rondo a punk after the game last night. This is the same guy who dislocated Rondo’s elbow with a cheap shot 2 years ago in the playoffs. This is the same guy that bridged Darren Collison last season. This is no longer the guy that had the awesome commercial, “I fall down 7 times and stand up 8.” It also drives me crazy that refs allow him to use his off-hand to stiff arm his defender when he drives to the basket. It was probably the most pivotal play in the playoffs last year and it happened again last night. At this time last year, I despised LeBron James. After what LeBron did in Game 6 last year, I…I… (gulp) respect him. Now, my hatred, my disdain, my insurmountable intense dislike is toward Dwayne Wade.
I am really hoping Doc lets Jared Sullinger play. My one qualm with Doc Rivers is his knack for not letting rookies play. Sullinger will be needed this season. He will be needed to give Garnett rest. He will be needed in the front court. He is a large part of the future of the Boston Celtics. Doc played him 8 minutes last night. I understand there may have been matchup problems for him but I sincerely hope that Doc sets aside his policy about giving rookies minutes, and he lets the kid play.
I came away from last night’s game realizing the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat rivalry has surpassed the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry in my eyes. The reason for that is two-fold. 1) The Red Sox are largely irrelevant right now and will be until they straighten out their operation. 2) LeBron has been public enemy #1 for the Celtics since the Big 3 arrived in Boston. Now one of the members of the original Big 3 have joined forces with the enemy. The Celtics are the only team in the NBA that have, can, and will take the Heat to 7 games in a playoff series.
Next up for the Celtics: Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis bring the Milwaukee Bucks into Boston on Friday November 2.
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