Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rumors of the Celtics demise are greatly exaggerated

I know this blog has been overly Celtics heavy of late; but they just keep doing such surprising things, so I don't really have a choice.  The two spectacular victories over Orlando, combined with Friday night's win against Indiana, puts Boston in the midst of one of their most unexpected winning streaks in a long time.  There were two things that were supposed to be major issues for the aging Celtics this season: back to back games, and young athletic teams.  On Friday against the Pacers, they handled both admirably.

The other knock on Boston so far this year was that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were starting to look a bit over the hill.  But in the absence of their All-Star back court this past week, these two have been reinvigorated.  KG frustrated Dwight Howard to no end in consecutive games, and Pierce's numbers of late have been remarkable.  During the four game win streak Paul is averaging (I can't believe I'm about to say this because I think this guy's a jerk and totally overrated) a Lebron-esque 26.25 pts, 7.25 reb, 8.75 ast, 1.5 stl, and .75 blk.  Those stats are virtually identical to James' season averages.

Having said all that, Boston will probably lose at home to Cleveland on Sunday; I think that's the way this season is going to go.  But man, it was a fun week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Celtics suffocate Magic on Monday, then rip their hearts out on Thursday

I thought the first Celtics-Magic game this week was about as crazy as it gets; and then last night happened.  Pure insanity.  Boston went into Orlando still missing Ray and Rondo, and without starting center Jermaime O'Neal as well.  The Magic clearly had revenge on their minds while building an early 52-25 lead.  But then it turned into Monday night all over again, as Boston outscored them 66-31 the rest of the way to win 91-83.  The Celtics finished the game on a 44-15 run.  Boston's 27 point comeback was their biggest in any game over the past 16 years.

Orlando added to the list of dubious team records set in the previous game by blowing a 21 point halftime lead, the largest they've let slip away in franchise history.  On Monday the Magic had just 3 field goals in the 4th quarter; amazingly last night they had only 2.  I don't know how to research that, but it's got to be some sort of record.  However, I do know that the 45 combined second half points allowed by the Celtics (20 Monday, 25 Thursday) in back to back games is an NBA record for the shot clock era.

I'd also like to thank Dwight Howard for personally bringing Kevin Garnett back from the dead this week.  For the second straight game KG made "Superman" look soft.

And finally, if you'd already followed me on twitter you could have known about all of these great stats last night; and also seen this tweet from Doc Rivers' son Austin, who is a freshman and Duke and one of the best pro prospects out there:

C'mon celtics! come put me in the game!! Lol Jk

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car" by Billy Ocean

This song was a #1 hit in 1988.  As an 11 year old listening to it on the radio I could have sworn he was singing "get out of my dreams, get into my heart."  It just seemed to make way more sense that way; until I saw Licence to Drive.  That movie ruled.  In addition to the two Coreys, it starred a teenage Heather Graham almost a decade before she really became famous.  It's in the rotation on HBO right now, and I watched it the other night till about 5 am.  I didn't even turn off the TV until the theme song from the final credits was over.

And how about Billy Ocean then and now?  Wow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I've discovered that something in "Shawshank" really irks me

I don't think it's much of a debate that The Shawshank Redemption is generally considered an all-time great movie by just about everyone.  But it has recently come to my attention that one little detail of it is TOTALLY wrong.  On the night that Andy escapes, he shines the warden's shoes, then wears them back to his cell in order to have a nice pair for his trip to the bank the next day.  Here's the quote from Red as he narrates:

"Andy did like he was told, buffed those shoes to a high mirror shine. The guards simply didn't notice. Neither did I... I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes?"

Now I've got a story for you: In the bar I work at the uniform is a black shirt, jeans, and grey Converse All-Stars.  The other day it was snowing and the streets were a mess, and since I walk to work, I wore a pair of black boots instead of my grey sneakers.  And let me tell you, EVERYBODY noticed.  The second I stepped in the door each coworker I passed by made a comment.  So you're telling me that every single day, for 19 years, Andy Dufresne wore that same light blue shirt, jeans, and dirty brown boots; then all of a sudden one night he's got on shiny black shoes, and nobody notices?  No way.  Sorry Red, I'm not buying it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Last Night I went to the weirdest NBA game I've ever seen

Orlando was 11-4 and heading to Boston with two days rest.  The 6-9 Celtics had just played in Washington the day before.  They were also missing Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen, as well as BOTH their back-ups, Keyon Dooling and Mickael Pietrus.  Everything was pointing towards an easy Magic victory; which made what unfolded before my eyes last night all the more shocking.

With 2:53 to go in the first quarter Magic superstar Dwight Howard's bucket put Orlando up 16-13.  He didn't make another field goal the rest of the game (for the record I think he's totally overrated; he can't shoot, and never seems to play well vs Boston).  Somehow Kevin Garnett, who has looked old and slow the entire season, was able to have his way with Howard all night.  Here's Dwight's post-game analysis:

"There's no way KG should be beating me up and down the floor... There's no way. He's 40 and I'm 25. I just can't allow that to happen."  

For the game Orlando shot 16-65, just 24.6%, the worst field goal percentage in Magic history, and the worst in any NBA game in 8 years.  The 16 total made field goals by Orlando is an all time NBA record low since the creation of the shot clock in 1954.  They turned the ball over 25 times.  I have no idea how to research this, but I'm willing to bet no NBA team has ever had 9 more turnovers than made baskets before (I need a team of statisticians working for me).

After halftime Orlando scored just 20 points.  They did not make a 2 point shot in the entire 3rd quarter (they did hit two 3's though).  In fact, for 22:15 of the second half, the Magic made just ONE basket from inside the arc.  A half is only 24 minutes long.  That doesn't even seem possible.  Former Celtic Von Wafer made 2 meaningless hoops in garbage time in the last 1:45, giving Orlando 5 total baskets in the 2nd half.

Oh yeah: the final score was 87-56, Boston.  Doc Rivers said the other day his team "just wasn't in shape" at the start of the season.  I hope it's that simple.

Two other very strange things happened last night: for the second time this season Boston went 19-19 from the free throw line.  Also there was a sequence late in the 3rd quarter when the Magic only had 4 guys on the floor.  Jason Richardson jumped up off the bench and into the game during the play.

Monday, January 23, 2012

a LOT happened in sports yesterday

Serena Williams lost in a big upset at the Australian Open.  I've never liked Serena because I think she beats people just by being bigger and stronger, not because she's more skilled.  I call her the "Shaq" of women's tennis.  But her performance yesterday was a lot more like Lebron James in crunch time.

Lebron's Heat lost a home game to the Milwaukee Bucks last night, while getting outscored yet again in the 4th quarter.  Miami is now 11-5 and in 6th place in the Eastern Conference.  Amazingly Boston, at 6-9, is just one spot behind in 7th.

Meanwhile the Celtics won in Washington without Rajon Rondo, and minus Ray Allen for most of the game.  Paul Pierce had one of those Larry Bird circa 1991 "I'm not quite done yet" type of games, pouring in 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists.  At least for one day the trade rumors were put to rest.

Last night the Bruins played a crazy 5-5 game in Philly before winning in a shootout.  Oddly enough for the second day in a row they had an overtime which included a 4 on 3 power play.  The win put them back in their rightful place atop the Eastern Conference with 64 points.

All of this is trumped by the Patriots heading to the Superbowl for the 5th time in Tom Brady's 10 seasons as a starter.  He wasn't great, but that was one ballsy QB sneak; diving head first over the pile and into the end zone the way he did.  The finish left me absolutely stunned.  First a touchdown catch spectacularly broken up at the LAST possible moment, then a missed 32 yard field just seconds later.  Wow.  And for a guy who was criticized all season, Joe Flacco looked a heck of a lot more like a legitimate NFL quarterback than Tim Tebow ever did.

But by far the biggest news of the day was the death of Joe Paterno.  Stepping back and looking at this with no emotion involved, I have to say it is not at all surprising.  He did the same thing for 46 years, and then all of a sudden it was gone.  It's amazing the way the human mind and body work like that.  I'm very curious to see how the rest of this story unfolds, and how it will be remembered years from now.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Championship Sunday

AFC title game starts in just over an hour.  Sorry, no time for anything real today.  Here's highlights from last weeks' demolition:

Also, I had a dream last night that I was watching this game today, and New England was up 28-0 at half time when I woke up.  Not for nothing, but my dreams tend to know what they're talking about.

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