Mike and Tommy After a 5 game road trip, I really miss hearing Mike and Tommy call the game. Having to listen to the other teams' feeds over the road trip makes me really appreciate the Celtics' announcers. Tonight's game is on NBA TV and they better have Mike and Tommy calling the game. I am really glad that Mike took "Got it" for his catch phrase. "Bingo" was getting to me after the Clippers game. Fans on other boards complain about Tommy being a homer, but he has nothing on some of the other announcers out there. At least Mike and Tommy call the game and don't sit there chatting about everything else under the sun and ignore the action going on in the game. The Blazers' announcers were even hoping for an injury to Pierce. Having to listen to the other announcers over the trip just makes me appreciate Mike and Tommy that much more. As far as play by play, Mike is one of the best in the business.
Clippers Game Both Perk and Leon had very good games against the Clippers. Perk had 6 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in only 21 minutes. Powe had 12 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes. I am still puzzled when Doc doesn't play Powe since he has proved that he does good things when given the playing time. Gabe Pruitt had a nice game. He can shoot the ball and made a couple of nice plays during his 9:40 on the court.
Waiver Wire The Mavs are reporting that they will sign Jamaal Magloire to a 1 year contract at the veteran minimum. There were rumors that the Celtics were interested in him. Danny has said that if the Celtics could sign Barry, he would still want to sign Cassell and that would mean that he would roll the dice with the bigs that we have now. If Pollard could get healthy and with Powe and Baby playing well, we could get by if we don't get any injuries. Reports are coming fast and furious about a Cassell buyout. TrueHoop has also reported that while Cassell is leaning toward signing with the Celtics, it is possible that Golden State or Phoenix could swoop in and grab him off waivers. It's a long shot, but could happen. Barry hasn't made a decision as yet but rumors are that he is going to resign with San Antonio. It may have been a "wink-wink" deal where the Spurs trade him to make the deal work if Sonics agree to cut him so he can return to the Spurs well rested in time for the playoffs. Barry at least is playing it up like he has a real decision to make unlike Jerry Stackhouse. But then again, there is still the possibility that the Celtics can lure him away. PJ Brown is talking about coming back now and could be a possibility for the Celtics now that Magloire is out of the running.
Power Rankings are so subjective. The Celtics can be ranked anywhere from 2nd to 6th depending on which rankings you look at. This in spite of still having the best record in the league. How can the team with the best record in the league drop to 6th in the rankings? In Stein's rankings he had this little blurb as he ranked the Celtics at #4:
This will be moot if the Celts wind up with Cassell or Barry via buyout, but for now they're the only team in the league -- of the 15 sporting winning records -- not to have made a notable in-season signing or trade.
Yes, the Celtics didn't make a move at the trade deadline. But, they made the big moves before the season and have been busy building chemistry with those players. As the old saying goes, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." The Celtics can still make a move, but their record should speak for itself as far as the team they already have. Why Home Court is Important I have been reading Celtics Pride by Bob Ryan which is about the 1973-74 Celtics championship team. There was one passage that caught my attention as we are in the race for the home court advantage throughout the playoffs. In this passage, the Celtics are in a tough playoff series with the Knicks.
It was a game that will always be remembered, for the officiating if nothing else. The men who were overtaken by a situation they couldn't control were Jack Madden and Jake O'Donnell, and what happened to them was sad, but understanable. They began to be subconsiously controlled by the partisan crowd. Despite the denials of officials who refuse to acknowledge the existence of the "makeup" call (you know: If I blow one against Team A, I'll make it up by calling one against Team B as soon as I can), which everyone knows takes place all the time, certain referees get swept up by the crowd at certain times. The result is the momentum call. Every basketball fan has seen it hundreds of times. The home team is making a comeback, as the crowd whoops it up. The next thing you know an official is calling an offensive foul on a visiting player, which is just what the home team needed to keep the rally going. There can also be a phenomenon know as a momentum "noncall," such as what happened in this particular game. The Knicks, the play by play sheet said, caused seven consecutive turnovers in a stretch where they scored 13 striaght points to cut Boston's lead to 76-74. At least half of those alleged turnovers were caused when the Knick players, having realized that nothing was going to happen to them, simply held Celtic cutters to prevent them from getting to passes. Such officiating acquiescence constitutes a momentum noncall. The ultimate momentum call, however, came when Frazier stole the ball and went downcourt with Nelson running alongside of him. Nelson had but one objective, and that was to make sure he did nothing that would create the appearance of a foul, so that Frazier couldn't get a 3 point play. To accomplish this, he pulled his arms into his body.
Referee Madden, meanwhile, ran downcourt, trailing the play with his arm already up in the air. Frazier laid the ball in without being touched (pictures substantiated this), and Madden called a foul on Nelson, signaled the basket good and put Frazier on the line. Was Madden dishonest? No. Was O'Donnell? No. Undoubtedly they didn't even know what had happened to themselves. But they had succumbed to crowd orchestration, and without that aid, the Knicks never could have won the game.
In a game 7, crowds can get pretty worked up and this can work against the road team in the officiating as this passage from Celtics Pride shows. The Celtics need to stay ahead of the Pistons for the homecourt advantage through the playoffs because it really is an advantage.
Cav's Come to Town Celtics are back from their Western swing to face the Cavs at home tonight. The Cavs played last night while the Celtics had the night off, but the Celtics will be playing their 4th game in 5 nights all over the country and that has to take a toll. Zydrunas Ilgauskas sat out their loss in Milwaukee last night with an upper respiratory infection and is questionable for tonight, but you can't sleep on any team with LeBron James. They do have 3 former Celtics on their team now and that formula has been a disaster for the Wolves, Heat and Seattle this season. Last night Michael Redd hit the first game winner of his career and he was able to do it with Wally guarding him last night. The Cavs are going to come in fired up to beat the Celtics and hopefully the Celtics will match their intensity and will for the win.
Finally, while everyone is talking about Sam Cassell, let's not forget about what we already have. Rajon Rondo has been terrific for the team this season. He has been getting better with every game. He has been a leader on the court and has done what it takes to get the job done. Here is a great look behind the scenes of his maturation from last season to this.