Tonight's game should be a good one. The Jazz have lost only 3 games at home this season and one of those was to the Celtics. When we played them, they didn't have Kirilenko or Kyle Korver. Rondo struggled somewhat with Williams in that game but Rondo has come back to play PG's he had problems with early very strong later in the season as he did with Billups. I expect that he will be able to handle Williams in this game. But, the Jazz will have payback on their minds and the Celtics need to be ready for yet another team motivated to play their best basketball just because they are playing the Celtics.
I don't think I am the only one who will see humor in Rick Pitino opening Dunkin' Donut shops with Walter McCarty. The Herald has an article on their partnership to open Dunkin Donuts shops in Kentucky and this priceless photo.
The quote of the week had to come from Doc Rivers in yesterday's Globe:
“In a way we are having practices, just not whole team practices,” said Rivers. “Baby (Glen Davis) comes every day because if he doesn’t he would be Bigger Baby.
That just cracked me up. Doc was talking about how when he gives the team days off from practice, they are all in the gym working anyway. I don't see KG taking days off for anything. And Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are noted gym rats as well. We also have some very hard working young guys who just don't take time off in Perk, Powe and Rondo. This team is really something special.
I loved this from today's Boston Sports Media Watch. I have often wondered about some of the callers to WEEI. As I read this I was in awe of the fact that KG actually asked for an extra practice. Now that is a great player. It gave me a warm feeling that things worked out the way they did with KG coming to Boston. It would have been much different if the Allan "what me practice?" Iverson deal had gone down. But, getting back on track, here is the quote:
Yesterday’s Big Show was a perfect example of the sports acumen of the typical WEEI caller. Cedric Maxwell was talking about Larry Bird’s playing days, and how even Bird wouldn’t have asked the coach to have an extra practice, as Kevin Garnett apparently did earlier this week. An irate caller demanded to know how in the world Maxwell could possibly know what Bird was like day-to-day in his playing career. Maxwell simply answered “I was on the team.”
Now time for some YouTube fun. Last week, Big Baby went diving into the crowd to save a loose ball. At the time I thought that would be the scariest sight to have coming at you if you were sitting courtside. But then, a few days ago, Shaq dove for a loose ball and took out the first few rows of fans and I had to rethink my position. Shaq coming at your is definitely scarier than Big Baby coming at you. Although, both are enough to give you nightmares.
Then, a few nights after Shaq's dive into the stands, he raced to try to save another loose ball and almost gave the Phoenix bench a collective coronary. This is really too funny.
Rondo seems to be trying out for the Slam Dunk contest. He has had a couple of impressive dunks lately. But, he was also quite the dunker in college. Here is a photo of him as he dunks over a teammate on a chair back when he was at Kentucky.
Against the Pistons, he had the dunk of the year as he gave Jason Maxiell a facial. Maxiell should have gotten a flagrant on this play but didn't as he flings Rondo to the ground. I just love Rondo's poise as he gets up and shakes it off and just goes right back to work. Give him a year and he will be one of the top PG's in the league and a certain All-Star. If you missed that dunk, here it is.
Then, against the Sonics, Rondo had a fast break and did a 360 dunk to finish it off. You have to love it when your PG is getting highlight dunks.
A win tonight will clinch the division for the Celtics. The past few years, we would have had a celebration for clinching the division. In fact, back in 2002, I bought a tee shirt for the Atlantic division champion Celtics when they won the division. It was a big deal. I don't expect it to cause much of a stir this season because it is just a blip on the radar that is this year's drive for a championship.
The Celtics schedule is about to get very difficult as over the next week and a half they will play 5 of the 8 Western conference playoff teams, most of them on the road. They will be facing a Rockets team that has won 20 in a row and all of the Western playoff teams are playing for their playoff lives and seeding and every one will be playing desperately. Playing Western teams is one thing, but playing them on the road while they are all fighting for position and already in playoff mode is something else. They are going to have to bring it every night. But the team is healthy and playing some very good basketball. KG is playing like KG again. Ray Allen is shooting over 50% from the field and beyond the arc since the All Star game and is hitting his stride. Pierce is playing some inspired ball and the bench has come together so that when the starters come out, we don't give up much. They are definitely in nice shape for the stretch run. It is going to be a very exciting week.