Thursday, June 5, 2008

Instant Analysis: Why the Celtics WON!!

Wow, what a game. You would be hard pressed to make any sort of argument that these two teams are not clearly the two best teams in the NBA. I'm starting this intro as the game is still going and I have absolutely no idea who will win. The C's are looking good now, up 6 with about three minutes left, but with Kobe Bryant on the other side that deficit can obviously be erased in a heartbeat.

(And the game just ended. Hold on one second....F&CK YEAH!!! I know it's just Game 1 but the Celtics looked awesome tonight and I think we can safely say now that those stink bombs they were throwing out there earlier in the postseason were the aberrations we thought and hoped they were.)

Now let's get to the analysis...

I'm not going to do this under the guise of why the Celtics won or lost, I'm just going to throw some notes out there.

1) I know it's just one game and we got to see Lebron for 7 but right now, trying to make the "Lebron is better than Kobe" argument seems ridiculous to me. Kobe is better and infinitely more terrifying because he can kill you oh so many ways. The Celtics played OUTSTANDING defense on him and he still managed to get his 24. Yes he shot poorly but every time the ball leaves his hands I am terrified and many of the shots that he did make were insanely difficult ones. Again, great D by the C's but Kobe is a really, really good player and you have to tip your cap to him while also understanding that he'll probably get 40 sooner rather than later.

2) Holy freakin' crap, what a putback dunk by KG. I just caught that one while typing this during commercial breaks and free throws. Wow.

3) PJ Brown! PJ Brown! You look at the box score and see that he scored 2 points and grabbed 6 boards in 20 minutes. Lord, oh lord does that not even come close to telling the story. Whenever he is on the court he seems to do "things" that help the team win the game and tonight was Example B to the Example A which was his otherworldly fourth quarter in Game 7 against Cleveland.

4) If people ever wonder why I am so blindly devoted to Paul Pierce well I think the third quarter of tonight's Game 1 will tell you all you need to know. Absolutely vintage Pierce. And that's without even mentioning the awesome tunnel reemergence.

5) I don't want to jinx it, but Ray Allen is back baby. 19 points on 5-13 shooting and 2-6 from three does not sound too impressive, but he hit the shots when he needed to and that is absolutely what they need from the guy.

6) KG, I give you props. You played like a man possessed in the first half and while your production more or less disappeared in the second half, you made arguably the two biggest plays of the game with your halfcourt save to prevent a back-court violation and the aforementioned put back dunk. Not only that, but when the Celtics had the chance to put a dagger in the game at the end he was barking for the ball on the blocks. Then, when they dumped it into him and he had nothing, he kicked it back out, asked for the ball again, got the ball, drew a foul, and drilled the clinching free throws.

With that being said, KG went ICE cold in the second half missing jumper upon jumper. Why is that important? Well sometimes I feel like a jerk for always imploring him to play down low more and tonight he got going by dominating Gasol both inside and out but then he got away from that in the second half. Partially I blame this on the team for not getting him the ball more in advantageous situations, but KG also has to assert himself some and try and bang a little inside to get an easy hoop or two to break his shooting slump from the perimeter. Tonight is not a night for complaining though. He had a great first half and made the intangible plays in the fourth quarter that win games and winning games now means winning a Championship, so yeah, I'm pretty freakin' happy with the guy.

But in Game 2 let's remember once again that Pau Gasol CANNOT guard KG and because of that KG may need to try and pull out a 40 pointer that we'd all love to see.

7) Well, it looks like Sam Cassell is back to being the backup point gaurd. Do you realize that in 13 minutes he managed to take 9 shots. Yes he hit four of them, but in those five misses he had two three point shots that were well beyond his range and weren't close and a couple of early possession clangers. Remind me again why he should play? Can we get Eddie House out there please? Everybody (fans I mean) loves Eddie House and everybody hates Sam Cassell so that should make the decision easier right?

And for the record, Sam Cassell took 9 shots and scored 8 points in 13 minutes. Paul Pierce took 10 shots and scored 22 points. Exactly. Tone it down Sam. Can it please be Eddie House time?

8) Thank you Pau Gasol for that second half no show. That really made things a lot easier.

9) I'm leaving on a positive note and that note is a simple one. Game 1 was everything we could have wanted and more. The Celtics legitimately defeated the Lakers (no fluke about it) and while I had my doubts during the Atlanta and Cleveland series I am now back to fully believing that this IS a championship caliber team. Awesome. I really couldn't be happier. Actually I could. I could be writing this at 11:15 instead of 12:15 if the NBA could have just started the stupid game at 8:00. That's nitpicking though. I'm too happy to be tired.

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