So much is being made of Pierce's return after the injury. Phil Jackson's classless remarks reminded me why I really don't like the guy. He had this to say:
Paul got carried off and was back on his feet in a minute," Jackson said. "I don't know if the angels visited him in that time-out period or what, but he didn't even limp when he came back out on the floor. I don't know what was going on back there. Was (US preacher) Oral Roberts in their locker room?
Perk landed on Pierce's leg and Pierce heard a pop and the knee was hurting. The doctor came over and didn't want to take a chance with the injury and so had him carried off so he wouldn't put weight on it in case it was serious. They didn't know at that point. The wheel chair was so that the guys didn't have to carry him all the way to the locker room. When he got back to the locker room, the knee started to feel a little better and after the Docs looked at the knee, let him try standing. If he could have taken that much time on the court, the same thing would have happened without him being carried off.
Pierce has a very hig tolerance for pain. In 2000, he was stabbed 11 times and 3 weeks later was at training camp and didn't miss a game. He had several teeth knocked out by Amare Stoudamire and spent 7 hours in a dentist's chair the next day having them repaired. That night he played against the Blazers and hit the game winner. A couple of years ago, he played most of the season with an elbow that was so bad that it had to be drained on a daily basis. Pierce is a warrior and anyone who knows him knows that he can be really hurt and still play.
Hopefully the knee will be healed well enough for Pierce to be 100% in game 2. It does worry me that he isn't getting an MRI till after the season. It still may be something serious. He was still limping at the media availability. Hopefully he won't do any more damage to the knee and he will have his mobility on Sunday. Just playing won't be enough, he has to play well. Also, Perk has a high ankle sprain and was limping at media day. These usually take longer than a few days to heal. The Celtics really need his toughness inside and so hopefully he also will be able to play well.
They aired the "There can be only one" commercial with Bird and Magic during game 1 and it was enough to give any long time fan goosebumps. I can see these two in the old folks home playing checkers and clawing and fighting for every move. Here is the spot in case you missed it.
With just over 11 minutes left in the 3rd quarter of game 1, Pierce hit a 3 and got Radmanovic in the air to draw the foul. He hit the free throw for a 4 point play. This play was virtually identical to the one in the Pistons' game where Pierce was called for an offensive foul. This time they got the call right and in the other game, Bennett Salvatore made one of the worst calls ever in the history of the playoffs.
It is amazing to me while reading both the Lakers and Celtics boards how both sides can see a game so differently. During game 1, both sides were complaining about the refs. From the Celtics' Board:
We can't get a call on a charge/blocking call tonight. Can we please get at least one in our favor? PJ does all that hard work and the Ref robs him. That charge was so obvious, Stevie Wonder could see it.
From the Lakers' Board:
Wow, this was one of the worst officiated games ever. The referees stole this game away from us. I hate to go to the old "eight on five" routine. BUT. It got to the point where PJ Brown could set moving picks, throw elbows, grab people, etc and the refs refused to call it.
The truth is that the refs missed some very obvious calls on both sides. Fans tend to see the ones against their team more than they see the ones against the opponent. In reality, the refs in this game were pretty decent. They missed some calls, but were pretty consistent and didn't call it for one side or the other. The Celtics had a slight edge in free throws, but they also had more points in the paint and so should have gotten more calls.
It was good to see Doc playing Powe again. He always does good things when Doc gives him the minutes. Leon missed a defensive assignment and ended up on the bench for a whole series. Sam misses defensive assignments, completely ignores the offensive sets and still plays. That being said, Doc did a good job in game 1. He out coached Phil Jackson and that made me feel really good since I really, really don't like the guy. Hopefully Doc can keep it up and counter any adjustments by Jackson.
Game 2 is very important. With the awful 2-3-2 format for the Finals, it really hurts the team with home court advantage. In the ECF, the Celtics lost game 2 but then they just had 2 games on the road and came back home for game 5. But in this series, if the Celtics lose game 2, they then have 3 games on in LA. The Celtics have to treat this like a game 7. Game 2 is very, very important.
LOL! FL its funny cuz that C's comment is from me! HEHE! I got so mad at the PJ none call. I heard some Laker fans saying PJ leaned in which was why he was called for the block. I still dont see that. Anyway, good stuff.