As I was doing the game thread for the Miami game, I was thinking of how the mighty have fallen and how fleeting success in the NBA. It was just 2 years ago that the Heat were NBA champions and Antoine Walker was offering Paul Pierce playoff tickets to watch him play. He told Pierce that he would have to leave Boston if he wanted a chance at a championship. Today, Pierce is on the best team in the league and favored to win the championship and Walker is racking up DNP's on the Timberwolves who have an 18-53 record. The Heat have the worst record in the league at 13-59 and are shutting down players to be sure they stay in first place for the most lottery balls. Celtics castoffs Ricky Davis and Mark Blount are now the Heat's best players. Pretty sad. I wonder if Pierce will return the favor and offer Walker some playoff tickets.
KG is absolutely one of the most intense athletes I have ever seen. In the Hornets game, he got down into a crouch and on all fours when guarding David West. You can hear the crowd getting riled up when he does it. It certainly got his teammates going too because they totally shut down the Hornets after this. (hat tip to Dybdal from CelticsBlog for the video)
The funny thing about it is that when they asked KG about it, he said he didn't remember doing it.
“The messed-up thing is that sometimes I do things on the floor that I don’t even remember, and that might have been one of them."
Apparently Powe and KG had quite a battle in practice in preparation for the two of them guarding West. Now, that would be worth the price of admission.
So he and Leon Powe - the two players sent after West last night - went at each other hard in practice Thursday.
“In my mind, this game started (Thursday) in practice,” Garnett said. “He had 37 in New Orleans, and I took that a little personally.”
For a time, he also took the sight of Powe personally.
Rajon Rondo has my vote for most improved player this season. He sat on the bench behind both Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West for much of last season and only at the end of the season he started to get more playing time. This year he is the starter on a championship contender. Last year the knock on him was that he couldn't shoot but this season he consistently hits jumpers when he is open. I can't think of another player who has improved as much. He has been incredible in just his second season.
After the great game against the Hornets with several fantastic plays from the Celtics including a great alley oop jam by KG on a feed from Perk. I mean when your center sets up your power forward for an alley oop, that is special. Then there was the monster dunk by KG to start the 3rd. A couple of circus shots by both Rondo and Pierce. And the alley oop from Rondo to Powe for the dunk. The game was full of special plays. But yet, on the top 10 plays of the day, there wasn't a single one of the Celtics. The Celtics still don't get any respect.
The Celtics have 10 games left: Miami, Chicago, Indiana, Charlotte, Milwaukee (twice), Atlanta, Knicks and Nets. Of those games, only Washington has a winning record and the Celtics will be motivated to beat them as they are one of only 3 teams that have beaten the Celtics twice this season (Orlando and Cleveland being the other two). But, it may not be as big a cakewalk as it seems. Many of those games are on the road. Atlanta, New Jersey, Indian a and Chicago are all fighting for those last 2 playoff spots. All 4 of those teams are going to be giving it their all every night because any losses just might knock them out of the playoffs. Any one of those 4 teams may be a preview of the first round playoff matchup and we don't want to give them any idea that they might have a chance against us.