I am convinced that Big Baby and Nate could have a great second career as a comedy team. Those two totally cracked me up during their post game press conference the other night. They deserved their time in the spotlight after the way they both played in game 4. They were totally out-playing the Lakers starters. It helped that Phil had those starters in for over 40 minutes and Big Baby and Nate had fresh legs. I love that our bench is producing and making a difference. I hope Danny brings Nate back. I have really gotten to like the little guy. One of the funniest lines about the Nate and Baby show came on CSN-NE Sports Tonight. They showed the following picture and then someone said "That's what happens when you put football players on a basketball court." Too funny.
Kudo's to Doc for keeping the bench in down the stretch. He had the starters at the table ready to go back in and then pulled them back. Also kudos to our very unselfish starters who thought that was a great idea and instead of sulking as some might have, they all continued to cheer for and encourage the guys on the floor who were producing.
My favorite play in the whole game was Pierce punching Eddie F Rush. I know it was a complete accident (at least Pierce did a good job of making it look that way)but it just made my day after those two horrendous technical fouls that Rush called on Perk in the Orlando series. It is still a joke that both of them weren't taken back but that would have made the refs look like the incompetent jerks that they have proven themselves to be. In case you missed it, here it is again. I just can't get enough of watching this. Pierce did what every Celtics fan has wanted to do since that horrible Game 5 in the Orlando series.
One thing that was great about Big Baby, Sheed, and Nate coming up big as they did in game 4, the Celtics starters all were able to get a good rest while the Lakers starters had to play big minutes. Ray ended up with 41 minutes because he was out there with the bench players trying to keep the second unit in line. KG played only 26 minutes and Rondo just 31. Of course with 2 days off, they all get to rest a bit more, but that does put a bit more wear and tear on Kobe especially who is either hurting or very tired, although he denied both in his press conference.
Quote of the day from Cornbread Maxweell: "There was once a time when if I saw a Laker on fire and I had a glass of water, I'd drink the water." My thoughts exactly, Max. My thoughts exactly.
The refs finally let them play in game 4 and it made for a much more enjoyable game without every player in foul trouble. My biggest worry going into game 5 is the fact that the refs may once again try to take over the game. We will get 3 refs out of the 9 that called the first 3 games so terribly. The Celtics just need to play well enough and adjust to how the game is being called and win in spite of the refs, just like they did in game 2. But if they go back to calling every little bump on the Celtics then it is going to be tough. Maybe game 4 was a sign that the refs are loosening up and will let them play from here on out. We can only hope.
I've been a fan of Tim Donaghy since reading his book shortly after it came out. I think he makes a lot of very logical and believable points that are very obviously being illustrated by the officials in the games. In games 1-3, the refs were absolutely controlling the games and there were almost as many stories about the terrible officiating as there were about the games. Game 4 was the first decently officiated game in the series. Henry Abbott (who always picks against the Celtics in every series, so that shows you something) has a piece on TrueHoop that is anything but true. He uses semi-truths and facts out of context to make his point. Mr Donaghy refutes the article here, on his Facebook page.
In the end, Mr Abbott says to let our eyes, ears and intuition be our guide in deciding whether the current referee corps is compromised. Well I have done that and what I have seen absolutely bears out what Tim Donaghy says in his book and in his interviews. In reading Celtics boards, opponents boards, and all the news articles about the officiating in these finals, I would have to say that the majority of fans and writers have also come to this conclusion. There is a problem with the officiating in the NBA and something must change. That is Tim Donaghy's message. That has to be the message of every NBA fan if we want the league to regain it's credibility.