Thursday, January 24, 2008

And Sometimes, The Worm Gets You

The C's lost a tough one at home last night to the Purple Dinosaurs (actually, I guess now the dinosaur is red), 114-112. I'll go out on a limb and declare that we Boston sports fans tend to be fairly self-centered-- even when we lose, in our minds it tends to be all about us, even down to inventing curses and the like. Well, that all changes here (at least for today), because last night it was truly all about them. The Raptors played absolutely sickening, lights-out basketball for four full quarters, shooting 58% from the field, a mind-boggling 71% from beyond the arc, and a what-more-can-I-say 100% from the free throw line. All this against a justifiably-vaunted Celtics defense that hadn't allowed 100 points in 22 straight games. Thankfully, Dinosaurs do not play like this every night (even necrophiliac ones like this dude pictured), and nor does any other NBA team, lest the Celtics might have a few more than seven losses. The star of the game was unquestionably Toronto point guard Jose Calderon, who continued to show why folks are remarkably high on him: the esteemed/occasionally insane John Hollinger insists that Calderon is the third-best guard in the Eastern Conference, behind only Dwyane Wade and Chauncey Billups. I'm not so sure about that, but he certainly looked great last night--pumping in 24 points to go with 13 assists, and winning the game with a crushing three-point play--and his emergence might once again push the injured T.J. Ford to the trading block in the near future. I absolutely love Ford's game, but the spinal thing is truly frightening; I hope he can come back and have a long and productive career, but even more so I just hope he can live a long and healthy life and that he's got folks helping him to keep his priorities in order.

For their part, the C's played very well last night: Garnett had a robust 26-7-5, and Ray and Pierce went for 19 a piece. In the undercard, Tony Allen actually ripped off 14 straight points for the C's in the second quarter (sometimes he'll do shit like that; I can't explain it), and Rondo chipped in 14 for the game as well. Truthfully, with the way Toronto played, perhaps the most impressive aspect for the Celtics was that in the end they were only a (badly) missed Eddie House three-pointer away from winning this one. A disappointing loss, but in all honesty, probably every team in the League is losing to the Dinosaurs on a night like last.

Looking ahead to Friday, the upstart Timberwolves stunned the mighty Suns last night in Minneapolis, 117-107. Break 'em up! The Puppies cruised to their 7th win in 41 games behind Big Al Jefferson's 39 and 15 (and they say Amare Stoudamire can't play defense). I've got to admit that Big Al's been better than I expected this year: I thought the move to the West would set back his development a bit, but he keeps coming on. I still don't think he's the second coming of Karl Malone, but he's got some All-Star games in him, for sure, provided the Wolves can put a fucking team around him. That's a historically massive "if," by the way, as a certain friend of ours can attest to. Still, it'll be nice to see the old gang Friday night: last night Gerald Green registered a DNP-CD, which really just brings it all back.

3 comments:

Pick said...

Jack, what do you think our chances are for the playoffs? Because I just saw this Globe story:

Celtics sell rights to buy tickets to playoffs

Apparently the team themselves are pretty confident; they're endorsing ticketreserve.com to let people put down their "fan forwards" now (I think they went on sale yesterday).

I think if we can keep up the level of aggression we have now, and keep this level of confidence up, we've got a serious shot. I know I'll be getting my ticket now.

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