Sunday, May 18, 2008

(Not Quite) Instant Analysis: Why the Celtics WON!

I normally like writing these just a few minutes after the last minute of the game. No such luck here. Let's just get down to it. Bring on the Pistons.

1) Paul Pierce. 41 points. Thank you very much. I've been waiting for this game from Pierce all playoffs. Pretty good timing methinks. I'll always take a clutch 41 in a tightly contested Game 7 over an easy 35 in a blowout Game 4.

2) Will this game become the PJ Brown game? Doubtful I know seeing as it featured forty point games from both Paul Pierce and Lebron James, but if ever there were a bench player who could legitimately be seen as the MVP of an elimination game while scoring 10 points in 20 minutes it would have to be PJ Brown.

3) I have one nitpick and it is tiny in the big scheme of things and seems even ridiculous upon saying so, but running the offense through KG in crunch time as opposed to Pierce is just plain dumb. Pierce was feeling it and when Pierce is feeling it he can pretty much score at will by either hitting his step back jumper, driving to the hoop, or getting to the line. KG, well I don't know. He's great on the defensive end and has his moments offensively (seemed pretty happy with the fadeaways on Sunday I must admit which I'm not a fan of) but when you have a player as gifted offensively as Paul Pierce who is clearly having a "we're going to win the f***ing game" game then there is really no reason to not make him the complete focal point of every offensive series. Cleveland did this with Lebron and was almost able to steal the game that way.

4) Speaking of Lebron, I know it's not groundbreaking news, but my lord does he get every single call. It is maddening. I can't even imagine how Dallas fans must feel towards Dwayne Wade. At least the Celtics were able to prevail. If I were a Mavs fan - and I say this completely summoning the ghosts of June '06 - then I would probably be bucking for a contract hit on Dwayne Wade. Oh, and Dwayne, I must admit I get a HUGE kick out of seeing you in T-Mobile commercials every three seconds and thinking about how a big superstar such as yourself played 51 games for a 15 win team.

5) One more Lebron tidbit and that is I don't have him in the Ladanian Tomlinson Hall of Fame for bitchy superstars. The thing with James is that even if he plays like a whiny pussy on the court (which he undoubtedly does) he seems to carry himself with nothing but class in the postgame pressers. He gives credit where credit is due and never seems to throw people under the bus. In other words you'll never hear any "the best team doesn't always win" garbage come from his mouth. Meanwhile Ladanian while maybe never saying that per se is always coming up with excuses X, Y, and Z of why he choked which inevitably always make him look great and his teammates and the competition like absolute trash. Did I mention how much I disdain Mr. Tomlinson?

6) Note to Tom Brady, the next time you are at a Celtics playoff game and sitting courtside, let's not wear the cap of a baseball team located on the other side of the country. I'm not saying he has to have a jersey on like Randy Moss did, but at least show either local team colors or none at all. A SF Giants hat? Really? I feel like at this point between all the magazine shoots and gossip column appearances that Brady is almost trying to turn the city against him.

7) I give Matt Burke full credit for this as he is the first person to ever point this out to me but the best way to gauge whether Paul Pierce is on or off is to see if he is hitting his step-back jumpers. When he's hitting those he is unstoppable. And when he is not, well, let's just hope he's driving to the hoop and getting to the line.

8) I may as well just proclaim my love for Eddie House right now. It's not like he is a superstar or even a desirable backup point guard, but let's just say it is nice to see a backup guard on the court who can run with quicker opponents, hit shots, and even pass every now and again. I was in full "anyone but Sam mode" after Game 4 so it may seem like I am giving Eddie House more credit than he may deserve but what he has brought to the table - namely speed and a somewhat consistent jumper - so far laps Cassell about eight times over. It also seems like the team just likes Eddie House better. They do not degenerate into selfish chuckers with him on the court and in the rotation like they do with Cassell. I'm not really sure what took Doc so long but the more DNP CDs that Sam I Am racks up for the rest of the playoffs the better.

9) Isn't it just so freakin' ironic that PJ Brown, the guy who the Celtics brought in seemingly unnecessarily and with minimal fanfare has ended up being a much greater contributor than Cassell, the guy that everybody thought would be the guy to push the team over the proverbial hump.

10) I hate to sweat PJ Brown more than I already have for his play in Game 7, but didn't it seem like he was in the right place at the right time constantly in the game? Didn't he have two airball putbacks? Some may call that luck, I'll call that being a savvy veteran and knowing 100% what to do at all times. Granted it's probably a bit of both, but whatever, I stand by my savvy veteran stance and will run with it.


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