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.


Kicking Bass

Brandon Bass DunkThere better be an NBA Playoffs BIG commercial for Brandon Bass ready to air in time for Game 6 in Philly. I’ll make it myself if I have to.

I don’t know what play they’d use (take your pick from the 3rd Quarter last night), but I’d personally go with this one, with the text “They might be the big three, but when the ball finds me, I know where to put it”:

And yes, for those of you looking closely enough at the bench’s reaction, there was yet another Keyon “Fighting Irish” Dooling “flexing” display (a term coined by his celebratory culprit-in-crime, Marquis Daniels). For more on the growing Boston Bench phenomenon of “flexing”, here’s an explanation (and awesome gif) straight from the leprechaun’s mouth.

Thanks to that Bass-kicking display, the Celtics are up 3-2 going into Philly, with confidence that anyone on the team can step up, impose his will and dominate a game to close out the series. Even the rookie Gregg Stiemsma had a fantastic game, blocking, pulling down boards and connecting with Rondo on the pick and roll.

That’s because the Celtics are playing like a well-oiled machine blending young, high energy players with older, craftier veterans. Rondo is the engine that stirs the drink, or whatever Chuck said…

When I watched the game last night, I heard Chris Webber talk about two Boston huddles that apparently got them fired up (Bass especially) and pushed them to take the lead. By all accounts it was battle-cry and a reminder that this team is a dangerous, mean, green monster. I’m not sure what Doc said, but I’m sure it was awe-inspiring. Some of that fire and brimstone, old-school, epic sh*t.  When and if that speech goes public, I want a copy of it so I can listen to it on my morning commute.

It was so motivational, in fact, that C-Webb couldn’t contain his jubilation, bringing back my personal favorite cheer, aka the “Futbol Announcer,” “Rondooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” in the 4th Quarter:

It’s just so much fun to watch this Celtics team right now mainly because they are the ultimate 2nd half team. How they overcome deficits and execute when it counts. How on any given night they defer to the guy with the hot hand, and let him carry them. That’s because they play together, lock down on D and find the open man. Last night Bass was the open man and boy did he make the 76ers pay for it.

And like a true Celtics player, he had these choice words to say during the post-game interview:

“When you’re on a team with a guy like [Rajon] Rondo, the ball just happens to find you.”

I’m glad Bass said that. Even when last night HE was the man. Because, not to belittle his 27 point accomplishment, but his comment was spot-on. Bass was hungry, so Rondo kept feeding him – and that 18 point appetite saved the C’s.

You Won’t Like Me When I’m Angry

Kevin Garnett is the HulkThe worst thing you can do is give a Celtics great another reason to win. Because it awakens the Garden’s very own Green Monsters, turning Kevin Garnett into a one man wrecking crew, Rondo into a triple double machine (tied with Lebron in playoffs), and Pierce, well, into “The Motha*#$&ing Truth” (hey Shaq said it).

Simply put, the Celtics morph into mini-Hulks when the words and elbows start flying. So word for the wise, Don’t piss them off. Right Larry?

The Celtics are the pinnacle of basketball professionalism, from Russell to Bird to Pierce and Garnett. When you perform at such a high level (that I’ll admit borders on psychosis), you are locked in, focused and willing to do just about whatever it takes to win. 17 Banners hang in the Garden because this is the Celtics Way. And no one epitomizes it more than Kevin “Still The Big Ticket” Garnett.

When KG has this look on his face, you are in for trouble.

Sometimes I see this look in Garnett’s eyes, usually around the last 3 minutes of the 4th Quarter: The game is close, Garnett is sucking down wind and raining sweat. He looks spent. Then right before the inbounds pass, reset. His posture changes, he stops heaving and that look creeps up on his face. It’s probably the scariest thing you will ever see on a basketball court (or honestly in real life). It’s a death stare. Like looking into the teeth of a Great White. Woe is f*&%ing you, guy. You just poked the bear.

So why would you give KG a reason? Other than the fact that this is his last year and shot at another ring. You don’t think that motivates him enough? Why call out one of basketball’s best for being old? Why call him dirty? Crazy? Yes. Absolutely. But dirty? That’s just ignorant. And then you say he’s old? I don’t know many old guys that can put up 28 pts, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 steals in a playoff game. KG plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. Last night was a reminder.

So when Michael Gearon Jr., co-owner of the Hawks, took pot shots at KG and his illustrious career, he ruined any chance his team had at advancing into the semis. Yep. This loss is on Jr. Sorry dad.

Calling KG “old” and “dirty” is a personal affront to all that KG has accomplished, and thus, KG had to remind Gearon just who he was messing with, carrying the C’s en route to another playoff series win. Way to turn Bruce Banner into the Hulk, dingus. Here’s the press conference interview after the game:

Keep the insults coming and C’s may just have the last laugh.

I’ve got a Love that Keeps me Waiting: NBA

A few weeks ago, the prospects of having ANY kind of NBA season seemed slim to none. I’ll admit it, I had given up. I cursed David Stern’s name regularly and began entertaining the idea of becoming a Bruins fan to pass the time.

All I wanted for Christmas was the NBA, but Scrooge McStern and his fellow 1% of the 1%ers had other plans. The Celtics shot at another title appeared lost. Basketball would roll on, but not the NBA:

Then a few days ago I get a text at 7am saying something I figured impossible. Most good news doesn’t come that early but this bolted me outta bed. I hop-stepped over to my laptop and typed in E-S-P ….Hallelujah!!! The NBA was back.

Somehow someway (owners folding mostly) I got my Christmas wish. I was literally as excited as this guy (if you want to hear 5 new tracks from the Black Keys upcoming album “el camino”, click here):

Lets not dwell upon the fact that it will be a truncated season (66 games) or that we should have had 54 days of basketball before the Christmas day triple header tips off.

Lets not dwell on the fact that owners still got more than they should have and that mid-level players are screwed. It’s the NBA. It’s good f**king enough. I’m a lonely boy and I’m sick of waiting.

So gents, we’re back into the swing of things. Start researching players, teams and free agents (it’s gonna get wild real quick), start up a fantasy basketball league (my favorite kind of fantasy league), and most importantly, find some good people, couches and bars with flatscreen tvs to post up at. You’ve waited so long. Be patient. It’s just 24 more days and counting.

In the meantime, watch Lebron James wreck sh*t on the football field and be thankful Kevin Durant didn’t try out for the NFL: