Chris Bosh walks into a bar…

Chris Bosh with CP3's MVP Precious

We wants the Preciouses!

The NBA All-Star Game is the most significant, insignificant event in the sporting world.  Defense isn’t played until the middle of the 4th quarter, players consistently travel and the outcome of the game is meaningless – except for the individual players themselves. It’s really just a 48-minute highlight reel. Something for the fans, but really pissing contest for the NBA elite. And with so much talent on one court, the rules are simple: perform at the highest level, or get posterized.

While CP3 deservedly won the MVP this All-Star game, this weekend’s big winner was unequivocally Kyrie Irving – quite possibly Cleveland’s next chosen one. As Reggie Miller said during the 3pt competition, “This kid is trying to take over the league”.

The Irving show continued on Sunday night when his barrage of dunks, lighting-fast crossovers, and no-look alley-oop passes showed off every facet of his game, including what kind of damage he could do with another superstar on his roster (Lebron comes back to Cleveland in 2014? You never know…). And let’s not forget his ankle-breaking moves on Brandon Knight a couple nights before:

But using Knight as an example, not everyone chosen to participate in the All-Star weekend leaves looking like a true baller. In fact, for every highlight reel, there is a winner and loser. And last night’s biggest loser was the infamously-flappable CHRIS BOSH (said in a Miami announcer’s voice). As if playing the third-wheel to Miami’s super-star duo wasn’t bad enough, Sunday night Chris Bosh showed all “217 countries and or provinces watching” (according to David Stern at least) that he was the worst.

It began with a last-minute start to the replace the injured point guard Rajon Rondo, which wasn’t too surprising seeing as Spoelstra was coaching. He figured he’d do what he always does: sit back and let Lebron and Wade make the decisions.

But most likely in an effort to bolster Bosh’s fragile ego without sacrificing a “W” in a meaningless game, passes kept coming his way, passes he was all too willing to hoist up from deep that often sailed over the rim like the Siberian comet, completely untouched until finally hitting the court with a pathetic thump. Even his mid-range jump game didn’t fare any better, as this KG mimicry air-balled out of bounds, wide-left. Somewhere Billy Cundiff just raised a glass…

But the real embarrassment came when the Mighty Bosh got “nutmegged” twice – once by All-Star MVP Chris Paul and soon thereafter by Tony Parker. For those of you not familiar with the term “nutmegging,” it is used by soccer players when you dribble the ball between the defender’s two legs. While you hardly ever see a basketball nutmeg in NBA games, it’s a common sight in pickup games and serves only one purpose – to humiliate your defender for calling that last foul. It looks a little something like this:

Bosh Nutmeg

Now I get that no one really plays defense in the All-Star game until the 4th quarter, but Bosh was his own worst enemy here. Defending basics 101: A) Don’t square up on a driving player B) Take away the angle, not the player C) Close your goddamn legs, you’re losing friends. Bosh was in no position to move with his half-split on, and basically left enough room for Chris Tucker to dribble underneath him. Some plays later, Tony Parker did the same exact thing, taking advantage of those wide open Bostrich legs. Here are both plays, plus commentary from Chris Paul afterwards:

All Bosh could do after the Parker nutmeg was throw a gangly arm to Tony’s chest and foul him out of bounds, basically violating the unspoken rule of no-fouling in the first half of the All-Star Game. Dick move, Bosh. Even more dickish than your uncontested two handed jam that you felt warranted hanging on the rim for two seconds. One thousand one…one thousand BOO!

And as if the hangover from the Drunk Chris Bosh Sh*t Show wasn’t enough, today Lil Wayne released a video explaining his hatred for the Miami Heat, why he’s been banned from all NBA games, and to add insult to injury, that he “f*cked Chris Bosh’s wife” at his performance in Houston last night (video).

Poor Chris Bosh. One really is the loneliest number…


The Gruesome Twosome

kg_pick_pierce_300350Life is impermanence. Less than a year ago (going back to my last post), the Celtics were one defensive guard (Avery Bradley) from going to the finals. There was still hope, after the LBJ beat-down, that the next year, with Green and Bradley returning and key re-signs to anchor Boston’s veteran core, that next season looked bright.

Even when Jesus ShuttlesWorth took his talents to Long Beach, it seemed alright. Boston did the smart thing and let KG and PP  take it easy on their knees, put roll players around Rondo and let El Generalissimo coordinate the attack. After all, he is the “Engine that stirs the drink”…or at least he was.

Since then, the Celtics have gone 4 – 0 without “The Clinic” dishing out dimes and working the paint like he was a miniature version of Dr. J. While I’m happy to see them rebound, I have to face facts: they are clearly a better team with Rondo then without. Let’s not forget a 6 game losing streak proceeded their Rondo-less 4 game win streak. Do you believe in the almighty Law of Averages?

Losing Sullinger – Boston’s “too-good-to-be-true” rookie, rebounding stud who looked destined to wear Mean Green for a long time – just twisted the knife in further. But to be a Boston sports fan is to suffer. Adversity is our middle name. With a playoff berth still very much possible, the only question left to ask is: “Ok, so what next?”

I would like to believe that Fab Melo will step up and that Wilcox will be able to expand his role from glass clean up duty and fast break alley-oops, but to what end? Without KG on the floor our defense collapses. Now, without Paul Pierce our offense can only score on fast breaks. Even a C’s team that makes into the playoffs wont be able to beat the Heat at those role playing positions (where usually only 8 men get all the minutes). Their team, with the exception of Wade and Lebron ARE ALL roll players (sorry Bosh). How do we stop a super-star duo in the primes of their careers?

We turn to their aging predecessors and test to see if age beats beauty (still love the beard, Pierce!). We let the KG and Truth High Pick and Roll Show become a standard of their offense. KG is a mismatch nightmare. If you play him soft he’ll drain16-20 ft jumpers all day, if you play him to aggressively he’ll work you in the paint. Paul Pierce right now is seemingly the only Celtic starter that can create his own shot and thrives from the high guard spot either using the step-back three or his lefty fade.

In the past four games, I’ve seen a lot of this play as Pierce has been the primary ball handler, and KG has been Mr. Clutch in the 4th. So I say, turn them lose. You look at how valuable these two guys are to the C’s and you look at their contract situations and it’s a no brainer. It’s this year or never again. So with all this trade-deadline talk that will likely amount to nothing, I say give Pierce and KG their wishes. Let them have one more shot at the title and THEN let them retire as Celtics.

As a fan, I want to see this not only because of all these guys have given to the cause, but because secretly, I think that this Gruesome Twosome has a chance for just one last dance.