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.


Rajon Rondo: The Darkhorse MVP

Just hear me out before you write me off as crazy. I know there are better players in the league–that’s not what this is about. MVP. Most. Valuable. Player. The acronym has to mean something.

Last year it did. D-Rose won the MVP not because he was better than Durant or Lebron, but because he did more for his team. Without him they were a pretender. With him, a contender. That’s where Rajon Rondo comes in.

Yes they are very different players, but their value as point guards and directors of the offense is the same. Last year Rose carried the Bulls to a fantastic record and playoff bid, only to be steam rolled by Miami in five. He put up a valiant effort in the face of tough odds–thus solidifying him as the MVP. It’s not just stat lines and dunks, it’s W’s that are created by the will of a single player.

I get it. Chicago last year was a better team than the C’s this year. The Celtics are just a shell of their former champion selves, and as much as it pains me to say this, it looks near impossible for any team other than Miami to make it out of the Eastern Conference Finals (unless Dwight Howard dons the highly unlikely mean Green). Teams like this years C’s don’t usually have a player nominated for MVP. But when you look around the league for one player who absolutely carries his team and puts them in playoff contention, I see two guys: Rajon Rondo and Kevin Love. And I’m not from Minnesnowta.

I watched this game, right at the heels of Rondo’s NY Knicks triple double game and it amazed me. He was everywhere on the court. D-Wills 57 pts. went unnoticed, Linsanity died and Magic Johnson finally acknowledge the greatness of Rondo. For Magic had never put in a stat-stuffing performance this impressive:

Here are some other names I’m gonna throw your way to prove just how ridiculously good (and undervalued) Rondo is: Jason Kidd. Wilt Chamberlin. Oscar Robertson.

What do they all have in common? They, along with Rondo are the ONLY players EVER to record more than 15 pts 15 rebounds and 20 assists. Rondo did that last week (he had two triple doubles in a two game period).

Kidd and Oscar are 4 inches taller than Rondo btw, and well Wilt was a giant among men. That’s not just skill and mad ups. That’s the will of a champion. And in case y’all were counting Rondo still has 1 ring more than Lebron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant do combined. JUST SAYIN’

I’ll be the first person to admit to you that Lebron James is the greatest basketball player in the NBA and that Durant could evolve into a better scorer than MJ (so what you want to fight about it?). But MVP is about VALUE. Value to your team. OKC and Miami would make the playoffs every year without Lebron or Durant. Boston this year, not so much…

When Rondo is at his best, the Celtics go on 6 game win streaks. When he’s injured or not 100%, they go on 6 game losing streaks. He is the barometer for the C’s because he is the most important player on a franchise trying to recreate itself. He does everything, which is what the C’s desperately need now. And yet they want to trade him?

That’s because he’s the only one worth a damn. It’s counter-intutive but yeah who wants Paul Pierce or KG for the next two years? I hope the Truth retires a lifelong Celtic, but you can’t beat gravity. Just ask Shaq.

Rondo is the future, unless Ainge really has lost it, and trades him laterally for another PG. It wouldn’t surprise me and honestly I can’t wait for the trade deadline next week to pass. I want to remind people that he’s 24 years old. Imagine this guy once he develops his jump shot game and adds 3 pt range. Splish. Splash. Sploosh.

If the Celts take the Atlantic and manage to claw their way into a dog fight against Miami or Chicago, you can bet your ass it’ll be because he puts up triple doubles in playoff games. I just hope his back holds up under the weight of this franchise long enough to hear chants of “MVP” rain down in the Garden.

Quote of the week: “We smoked it all.”

Rasheed Wallace is no role model. Sure I’m bitter as a Celts fan. I expected more out of him in ’09-’10, and even with a great (losing) effort in game 7, he didn’t do much else over the course of the playoffs. Analysts called him a cancer to the team, but that’s a little too far. Lets just say he was providing the smoke.

So when Oregon Ducks cornerback Cliff Harris was pulled over for driving 118 mph on a suspended license with marijuana smoke billowing from the car, he did something stupid. He channelled the ‘Sheed.

The officer asked if he had any marijuana in the car and he said outright:

“We smoked it all”. Textbook Rasheed Wallace who has used this line on a number of police officers over the course of his (pseudo) illustrious career (Donte Stallworth has also plead the 1/8th). The cops then searched the car and confirmed Harris’s statement. Here’s the video footage from the dashboard cam:

“What do you have on your finger, is that the Pac-10 ring?” For the record, he passed the field sobriety test. Still an idiot for driving 118 with a suspended license, but that’s not what’s got people talking.

Harris, the Ducks star CB (top 10 ranked) was driving with fellow starting QB Darron Thomas, yet Thomas received no charges as a passenger or for his involvement. Harris, however has been suspended indefinitely, not because of the speeding violation or license issue, but because of admitting to smoking pot. I wont get into how ridiculous that is, but NCAA takes nonsense like that seriously (see previous post on NCAA, Student Athletes and Prostitution).

What it comes down to, unfortunately, is that by admitting to smoking, instead of playing mum,  Harris got himself suspended. That’s what you get for using a Wallace line. DAMN YOU RASHEED!