I love going to Celtics games. There really is something special about it. You can just sit beneath all of those banners and just lose yourself for a couple hours.
But what sticks out in basketball – more than any other sport – is the speed of the game and just how good these guys really are. When you’re watching a game live you see just how amazing these players really are. Also when you’re watching the game live, you notice things that maybe don’t stick out so much when you’re sitting on the couch at home.
So I’m going to go over some things I noticed while I was trying to watch the game on Friday night over the sloppy swamp donkeys that were sitting next to me who were screaming, “RAY RAY!!!” at the top of their cigarette and crushed dream filled lungs.
The Hawks Aren’t Good
Outside of Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague – there is nothing left to this team. I thought the days were long gone where I would ever see Eric Dampier get major minutes in a meaningful game, but there he was making the rim shake like a young Shaq. Only in this situation it was the sheer mass of Dampier that was testing the strength of the Garden backboards.
But the Hawks really don’t have any options down low. Collins is only slightly better than Dampier and Vladimir Radmonivic should have been back in Russia opening a Vodka distillery a long time ago.
Lack of depth down low isn’t the only problem for the Hawks. There is nobody outside of Johnson who can create their own jump shot, or even hit one with regularity for that matter. For Christ’s sake, the biggest shot of the game for the Atlanta Hawks this season was taken by none other than Willie Green.
If I’m Doc I’m focusing less on the great defense my team has been playing against a sub-par bunch and starting to come up with some better offensive sets.
Praise Odin that Josh Smith got hurt – otherwise the Celtics would be in serious trouble.
Avery Bradley’s Shoulder
I didn’t notice Bradley get hurt and it took about a quarter for me to realize that he hadn’t played in awhile, but apparently this is a regular occurrence. Doc said that usually it pops back in “like a LEGGO” but on Friday that wasn’t the case.
Bradley not being able to go would cause some serious problems on the defensive end. Ray can’t chase after Heinrich all night and to put him on Teague would be just asking for it, but Pietrus wasn’t exactly bringing it on either end so there aren’t many other options. Let’s hope that Bradley can keep that shoulder in its socket because Avery Bradley does two things just about as good as anyone in the league: 1) On ball defending. 2) Cutting without the ball. Those are two areas that the Celtics noticeably struggled with as the game wound down.
Speaking of Mickael Pietrus not bringing it…
Why doesn’t Mickael Pietrus move on offense?
I’ve literally never seen anyone do less on the offensive end. I’m not just talking about production here – Pietrus will spend entire possessions in the corner just holding his hand up, or on the off chance that he does move it will only be along the baseline in order to get to the other corner. Even lights out guys like Ray Allen and Mike Miller move around. Pietrus is only a 33% shooter from three, yet that’s all he tries to do.
I actually saw him get in the way of a Pierce and Rondo cross because he refused to move from his spot. Hez just stood there with his hand up and that dumb look on his face. When the Celtics signed him in the off season I thought he would be a difference maker. Now it’s clear he’s just different.
Jeff Teague Is Nasty But He’s Still Light Years Behind Rondo
Teague is fast, strong, explosive, and confident, he can handle the ball and most importantly – he attacks the basket. But his distributing skills aren’t where they need to be yet and his game management is almost non-existent. I know that Larry Drew runs a strange offense, but Joe Johnson should not be doing a majority of the ball handling coming up the court.
For the Hawks to take the next step as a group (when healthy), Teague will have to get better at pushing the ball when need be and finding the open man in a half court set. Two things that Rondo does as well as anybody in the NBA.
Down the stretch, Rondo just decided he was going to go at Teague one-on-one and there was nothing Teague could do about it. As limited as Rondo may be when it comes to scoring – he knows what he is good at and against Teague he was able to work that to perfection.
I would say posting a triple double in your return from a suspension in the playoffs is a nice way to shut up the nay-sayers until at least the next game.
The Jumbo-Tron Is Like Mardi Gras Beads For Sports Fans
Men, women of any race, creed or color absolutely lose their mind to get on the big screen. It’s unbelievable what some people will do to get up there. Grown men dressing up like Aztec Warriors on one camera and then when they switch its two girls pimping out their 100 year old Grandma to get a little bit of face time.
At least with Mardi Gras beads you have something to show for it. With the jumbo-tron you simply have a story about how you and your sloppy drunk friends were lifting up your shirts to show your matching Red Auerbach tattoo.
I really just don’t get it.
The Asian Lady Who Does The Plate Trick At Half Time Is Amazing
Every time I see here I say to myself, “No, not another plate. She can’t do another plate. Can she?” And sure enough, without fail – she does another plate. Out of all the talent in the arena – this lady is the cream of the crop. Seriously, look at this video of the same lady in Portland.