Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Heat, Allen Scorch Celtics In "Ring Night" Opener

Well, that didn’t go so well.

After the ring ceremony for the (prepare to hold nose in 3...2...1) Wurdd Chabbiod Biabi Heed (release nose...), the Boston Celtics proceeded to drop their season starter in Miami by an unlucky thirteen points.

In a game marked by the debut in a Heat uni of newly hired gun, Benedict Ray Allen, who put up 19 ultra-nonchalant, "in your green mugs" points on 5-7 shooting – 2-3 on threes (hey, at least he missed one of his eight free throws!), the Celtics seemed more interested in reintroducing themselves to each other than defending "The Other Three" of Dwyane Wade (29 aggressive points), LeBron James (26pts and 10 rebounds in just 29 minutes!), and Chris Bosh – 19 points, 10 rebounds and 3 rejections.

When they weren’t busy avoiding the amorous advances of Brutus Allen (Garnett’s refusal to acknowledge him was both hilarious and somewhat sad), the C’s started out energetically enough with Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo setting the pace. Pierce ended with a very Truth-like line, scoring 23 points on 6-15 shooting with two threes – one of which he hailed a cab and rode out onto Miami Beach to launch - 9-9 at the charity stripe, 5 boards, 5 assists and 2 steals). Rondo was typically spectacular, if not completely focused, with 20 points on 9-14 shooting, 13 assists (there’s that unlucky number again), and seven rebounds. They even clawed back out of a 19-point hole to get within three (offensive catalyst Leandro "The Brazilian Blur" Barbosa had a very productive night essentially scoring a point for every minute he played – 16 – on 6-8 shooting with 3 threes), but it was the disjointed plays in between, showcasing lackluster defensive cohesion and turnovers (16) that ultimately did the C’s in.

Bright spots – not including the Captain, Rondo and Barbosa – was a workmanlike Brandon Bass who shrugged off all of the "will he start or come off the bench?" blather by scoring 15 points on 6-11 shooting and snagging 11 caroms – second most on the team. Despite a team-high 12 boards, Kevin Garnett looked a bit off his game scoring only 9 points on a still-efficient 4-8 shooting night, however he did have two blocks – one of which was a LeBron shot attempt that found its way to the same spot on Miami Beach that Double-P hit from. Courtney Lee also valiantly battled Wade all night, racking up five fouls to go along with 11 points on marksman-like shooting – going 5-6 from the floor and 1-1 on threes.

Jeff Green nearly managed to undo a pre-season’s worth of praise with a Halloween-esque performance in which he seemed to portray a headless horseman frantically searching about for a pumpkin to rest on his neck-stump. He finished with 3 points – all on free throws – missing all of his four attempts from the floor and he pulled in just 3 rebounds.

But, fear not True Believers...though the media, fans and the Celtics themselves took on extreme pressure by labeling Miami Public Enemy #1 throughout the entirety of the pre-season, the general lack of cohesion should be expected from a team featuring ten out of fifteen players who didn’t play a single game for the Boston Celtics last year. Okay, Chris Wilcox DID manage to play 28 games for the C’s before leaving the team for open heart surgery, which he isn’t completely recovered from, but...

The silver lining: A) The C’s showed flashes of a potentially devastating and lethal offensive dominance, partly based on; B) the running game. Soak that in, C’s fans. The Celtics have a running game. After 6 years quarterbacking a team full of mostly St. Bernards, Greyhound Rondo now has a quick and athletic pack to run the NBA countryside with. In fact, this season, the C’s running game is going to be even more impressive than the New England Patriots’ newfound ground attack. Mark. My. Words.; C) Rajon Rondo carried over his aggressive play from the 2012 Playoffs and didn’t shy away from taking the jumper when it presented itself, and Pierce looks to have his old reliable Truthness back after the sprained knee that drained him of his effectiveness throughout last year’s playoffs. Oh yeah, and Rondo tried to clothesline Wade, so THAT’S nice.

As I told a couple of friends who were texting me their concerns throughout the game, this team’s gonna be alllllrriiiigghhht. Don’t you worry. It’s going to take some games for the new guys to figure out where they’re supposed to be in the defensive schemes and where to be in the offense, but when they do...remember that scene in Space Jam when the little aliens touched the magic basketball?

One game down. Eighty-one left to go. This is gonna be one hell of a ride...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The 2012-2013 Green Machine Better Than ‘08 Model? You Betcha!

Yup…you heard it right: I’m saying right here, right now that the 2012-13 Celtics are not only better than last year’s bunch, they MAY even be better than the team that won it all in 2008!

Nothing like jumping right in with both feet, right?

I know….I know…the refs haven’t even botched the first jump ball of the season and some jack@$$ know-nothing blogger is already blaspheming the Championship Boston Celtics of 2008 before this year’s team even lifts an in-season jumpshot.

"Is this cat surrouss?" Well, yeah, I AM surrouss.

Hey, even looking through my decidedly jade-colored glasses as one of Boston’s hardest dying C’s fans, I realize that many a paper champion has been crowned in the late summer months and early preseason only to sh*t the bed come postseason (listen up, Lost Angel-Less Flakers!), but there is some pretty sound logic backing up my statement. Hell, I even have a color-coded chart to go with it!

Pretty high tech stuff, no?

Okay, no. But, still...

The green highlights represent the best player in the box from the three Celtics teams in question, with the yellow highlighting players that are either even or have no distinct advantage over the other highlighted player. Notice which team has the most green players?

Now, I fully submit that there’s room for haggling along some of the lines here -- does Posey’s veteran savvy and fire trump Green’s youth (what, you wanted me to say "heart?") and athleticism? Was P.J. Brown a better shooter than Brandon Bass or were they comparable? Baby’s getting the benefit of the doubt with the tie, but some think Sullinger is already more accomplished than Baby was in his first two years combined. And, for those of you rolling your eyes and saying, "But K.G. and The Truth are doing the reverse Benjamin Button before our very eyes!" I’ll grant you that SOME age is showing, but I’ll see your "old" and raise you one Rondo, who has gotten better with every passing year with no ceiling in sight.

So, I think we can all agree to leapfrog the comparison between this and last year’s team and move onto the good stuff, right? Right!

And, while I absolutely LOVED our team in 2008 (Ubuntu!, for Pete’s sake!), I think the argument holds ground on the basis of talent alone. Obviously, pre-season is a far cry from the regular season and an even more distant shout from the playoffs, but consider the improved level of talent on this year’s squad from the first player through the fifteenth. Sure, #20 was a better player in 2008 than Bradley was last year, but he’s probably going to be overtaken in comparative overall production this year - even with LeBrontasaurus hitting him off on the wing. Jet, Lee, Barbosa, Green and the rest are more athletic, offensively potent and may even develop into a more defensively capable team than 2008's sacred squad.

Now, that said, am I guaranteeing a parade on Causeway this coming June? Well, let’s downgrade my predictions to a strong premonition. For all of Danny Ainge’s inspired low-cost/high quality tinkering, a handful of other teams around the league have also gotten stronger. New Jersey Brooklyn may have one of the best paper teams in the league, Philadelphia has lost a couple of names but more than makes up for it with the acquisition of Andrew Bynum, the douchey champion Miami Heat still have to be considered contenders (even in spite of the addition of Rashard Lewis!) until proven otherwise as do runners up Oklahoma City (though the loss of Harden may hurt) and even the Lakers have improved with the addition of Dwight (I Just Want You To Love Me) Howard, Steve Nash, Jodi Meeks, and the calcifying seasoned veteran Antawn Jamison.

True, the injury potential is there for some of our elder statesmen, a couple of our returnees are coming off major heart surgeries and Bradley has yet to make it through a full season, but if I had to place my bets right now, I’d gladly put my money on the Celtics. Let the clowns get their faces painted in L.A. and the Benedict Arnolds lay their eggs in Miami. This team is built for speed and Rondo’s gonna drive it all the way to the Finals and into the winner’s circle.
Hey, anything is STILL possible.

The future starts on October 30th at 8pm. It's all about 18. LET'S GO C'S!! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Flight Of The GreenHeadz

Okay, I think I know what you might be thinking: "A new blog About the Boston Celtics? Swell! We sure don’t have enough of THOSE!"

And, you know what? I might be inclined to agree with the sarcastic-but-astute commentary that I’ve imagined for you. There most certainly ARE a lot of other blogs and websites devoted to the fan’s take on the greatest sports franchise that ever played a game.

Which really is the point of this blog. I know that there are some really top-flight, Grade-A, U.S.D.A. Prime beef sites out there (,,,,,,,,…I’m lookinatchu, Guyz!) and I don’t in any way hope to detract from their readership – hell, I plan on linking heavily to all of ‘em to give readers the full experience. No, I seek merely to add my voice to the massive and melodious chorus of die-hard GreenHeadz currently buzzing around the Bloggosphere.

As for my fancred (in case you were wondering) my Celtic Pride and eternal love for the green was forged in the iron of early 1980's basketball which carried me through the lean years of Brad (Baby Bird) Lohaus & Mark Acres, the sadness of Reggie’s death and Lenny Bias before him, to Sherm Douglas & old-ass seasoned veteran ‘Nique, and later to the hope of a financially secure ‘Toine and a kid named Pierce who completely delivered on all of his great promise in the 2008 Finals (with the help of some of guys named Jesus, K.G. and Doc, of course).

Throughout the years, I’ve found myself talking to anyone who cared to listen about the Celtics and even those who didn’t (sorry, Mom!) and now, I get to channel my passion here into this blog. Hopefully, I’ll get to continue those conversations for a long time to come with other great GreenHeadz I meet along the way.

So, without even so much as a little further ado...