Celtics Recap 10/26-10/30

 Finally, FINALLY, the Celtics are back.  I will be doing a weekly recap of the teams games and how they performed as a new segment to Not the Common Fan.

10/26 Heat @ Celtics
The Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics opened their 2010-11 season against the already anointed favorites Miami Heat, although I obviously dispute this.  The game did not start the way anyone expected with a combination of defense and sloppy play the score after the first quarter was 16-9 in favor of the Celtics.  Keep in mind that the Heat scored more than 9 points in every game last season without their “juggernaut” squad.  The Celtics were the team that kept the defense up and finally started clicking on offense taking a 15 point lead into halftime.  The Heat made a run, as every NBA team does, cutting the double digit lead to single digits heading into the fourth quarter.  Behind Rondo and his 17 assists, the C’s fended off the eventual champs (at least from what everyone says) and gained their first big win of the season.  The problem is closing the game became really tough, foreshadowing the week.

 Celtics 88 Heat 80

 Record: Celtics 1-0

 10/27 Celtics @ Cavaliers

 Herein lies the fear of the regular season for the older Boston Celtics; the back-to-back game nights. All you hear is that the Celtics are a team that is made for the playoffs.  While this may be true, you have to expect that this team of veterans and minimal young talent should easily be able to dismantle the young teams in the NBA.

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost LeBron James.  I know this is somewhat of a shock to all of you, but yes it happened.  The Cavs came out on their opening night with something to prove.  At 3 specific points (twice in the first half and once late in the second) the Celtics had the opportunity to pull away and put the game out of reach.  It was either the Cavs imposing their opening night, “we lost LeBron but can still win” will to keep scoring or the tired legs of the older Celtics scoring 14 fourth quarter points (hopefully the former) that made Cleveland win that game.

Celtics 87 Cleveland 95

Record: Celtics 1-1

10/29 Knicks @ Celtics

Finally on this opening week the new look Knicks came to Boston with newly acquired Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.  The Celtics once again started extremely slow.  Six turnovers in the first six minutes along with a quick 9 point deficit seemed to be a bad omen.  The Celtics got back on track, and aside from an exceptional shooting night from a somewhat unknown 3rd year player Wilson Chandler, the Celtics held the Knicks at bay.  Yet, once again, with under 2 minutes to play the lead started to slip away.  On the back of the best point guard in the league, Rajon Rondo and his triple-double (including 24 assists, 4 away from Bob Cousy and his team record for a game) the Celtics held off the late push and won the game.

Celtics 105 Knicks 101

Record: Celtics 2-1

What we have learned:

We have learned exactly what we already knew, with a possibility of surprises without overreacting to it being the opening week.  First, the Celtics are not exactly young.  It has taken them a few minutes to find a rhythym in all 3 games so far this season, but we should expect that to change during the course of the next week or two.  Second, Shaq came prepared to do what Rasheed Wallace was supposed to do, at least as far as he thought.  Shaq looks in shape and determined, once again trying to not overract.  Third, Paul Pierce is in the best shape of his life.  This is going to help his agility, but the problem is going to be that there is the chance for the small forward he guards to really body him and enforce their own will driving the lane and working the post.  Fourth, Rajon Rondo will lead the league in steals and assists and will push for the MVP…ok that was more of an opinion.  Any way about it, as Celtics fans we have to enjoy this year because they will be around to have a say in who wins the title.

Games Week of 10/31-11/6:

Tues. 11/2 – @ Detroit

Wed. 11/3 – Milwaukee

Fri. 11/5 – Chicago

The NBA = LAME: Technicals & Predictable

Alright, here’s the deal.  I have never been an NBA guy.  I am a self proclaimed “pink-hat” Celtics fan and only watch when NBA rings are on the line.  Even when the Celtics lost to the Lakers in that crucial game 7 last year, I simply turned off the TV and fell asleep.  I lost more Z’s when I found out Michael Scott was leaving The Office after this current season.  Anyhow, my point is that the NBA is more lame and predictable than white rice.

As if the NBA weren’t obnoxious enough, the powers at be decided that it would be a good idea to give someone a technical foul for disrespecting a referee.  You know what, for someone who has reffed and umpired I think this a great idea.  If you curse out a ref, blow the whistle.  Make inappropriate contact? I pity the fool, get Mr. T ready.  Whip a chair onto the court or touch Lebron’s mom?  Well, you get it…

Cracking down on this kind of stuff will keep the hooligans at bay, I love it.  Is this what “Donald” (thanks Mr. Mayor) Stern and the NBA suits talking about?  Surely no.  I feel that this NBA decision was derived by way of the manatee in the South Park episode that made fun of how Family Guy gets their material.  Here’s a portion of the new rule:

“We’re going to expand the universe of unsportsmanlike actions that will be penalized,” said NBA vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson. “They will include air-punching at an official. Waving him off as a sign of disrespect. Running up to an official from across the court to voice a complaint. Flailing arms in disbelief. Jumping up and down and pirouetting in disbelief or clapping sarcastically at an official. Those are some of the types of actions that really have no place in our game.” (SI.com)
Really? If you can’t handle a pirouette then turn in the zebra shirt.  The first time I heard this portion of the rule I literally thought it was a bad April fool’s joke.  I kept thinking to myself that there is no way a professional sports organization would resort to something as trivial as the above.  Boy was I wrong.  After I found out about this I vowed not to watch the NBA this season.  I’m going to stand true to this as best as humanly possible.  Tonight, I’m watching because I hate Lebron and if anyone can ruin his cute little parade to Miami, I want it to be Boston.  After tonight, who cares?
Tonight, I watched “an unnamed assistant coach” from the Miami bench get a technical because he stood up and turned his palms toward the sky after a travel call against Dwayne Wade.  Technical fouls should be reserved for game altering scenarios that are negative in nature.  Did that assistant coach change the tempo of the game?  No.  The NBA is run by a bunch of nerds who were picked on when they were in high school and now they are taking it out on bigger people “because they can.” Get real.
I’m also watching tonight to see how many Delonte West masks are in the crowd to taunt Lebron James.  This is an absolutely hilarious stunt put on by Toucher & Rich on the morning show for 98.5 the Sports Hub.  Off topic but, if you haven’t switched over to 98.5 from WEEI, do yourself a favor and get with the program.  All four programs exceed WEEI’s by leaps and bounds.  I do miss Dale and Holley a little bit but I’m over it.
To close things out, the NBA is beyond predictable.  At the beginning of the year you can pick out the top 4 teams that will contend for the title.  How many people thought back in April that Texas and San Francisco would be competing for a World Series?  Who’s the team to beat in the NFL this year?  Who is going to bring home the Stanley Cup?  Exactly, the answer to the previous questions are no one, no clue, and no clue.
The NBA can go suck eggs for all I care.  I’ll get my basketball fix from the NCAA as I prepare for March Madness glory/losing to that chick at the office who picked Butler to go a long way because her friend’s cousin’s boyfriend has a bulldog puppy and they are just the cutest thing.