Posted Thursday, May 27, 2010 02:41 PM
There will be a Game 6 Friday night in Boston, but fans in New England are getting the uneasy feeling that for Boston this is actually Game 7. A loss Friday – which would be the third straight for the Celtics after going up 3-0 in the series – and police would have to put extra personnel to prevent fans from jumping off the Zakim Bridge, which overlooks the Charles River and is just a stone’s throw from the TD Garden.
Celtics fans – and I’m one – never seem to have a firm grasp on the proper relationship between their team and the referees who work their games, and at this moment they are more than a little ticked at the Game 5 officials. From a sea of early calls against the Celtics that put the Magic on the line and tested Boston’s bench, to the ridiculous technicals called against Glen Davis, the referees seemed locked and loaded to force a Game 6.
So with that in mind it seemed a good time to call former ref Tim Donaghy, whose book Personal Foul: A First Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA seemed to validate the suspicions that many fans had about the Association and the way it goes about officiating games, especially playoff games.
Donaghy didn’t disappoint:
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Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 09:32 PM
It drives Celtics fans absolutely nutso.
At the end of the game, half or quarter, if the Celtics have the ball, it's pretty much a lockdown certainly that Paul Pierce gets to dribble the clock down to around 4 or 5 seconds, then make a move. It happened in Game 4 at the end of regulation, and chances are it will happen again before the playoffs are over, if not Wednesday night in Game 5 in Orlando.
A few points:
1. The Celtics have enough shooters to force a team to defend the entire halfcourt. Ray Allen may be the best outside shooter in the history of the NBA. He hardly saw the ball at all in the fourth quarter of Game 4, let alone coming close to seeing it with the game on the line.
2. Pierce is a diva/drama queen who has been a great scorer over the course of his career, but he no longer has a quick-enough first step to get past perimeter defenders and into the paint.
3. By waiting until there are only a few seconds left (on Monday night there were 5), Pierce assures that he will be unable to make a move, dish to an open teammate and allow Allen or anyone else to get off a game-winning shot.
4. The defense is not stupid. Orlando knew that Pierce demanded the ball in that case, and could pinch its defense accordingly.
5. Doc Rivers has a dilemma. If Pierce doesn't get the ball and a chance to win the game, the forward may brood about it and it will affect his next game(s). It would be the basketball equi... [More]
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010 11:25 AM
Time for the Orlando Magic "It's Not Over Yet" Committee to meet an consider Plan B.
Cause Plan A certainly isn't working, and if you think the Magic can lose on Saturday and pull a Flyers-type playoff miracle and win four straight, you are delirious enough to be hired as an NBA referee.
Some questions for Magic followers:
1. Does your team want it enough? Dwight Howard was actually laughing with fans late in Game 2. This doesn't sound like a guy whose head is on straight.
2. What do you do if your 3-pointers don't drop? If you take the ball to the hoop and you know what the Celtics front line will do to you. Dump it in to Howard and see how many free throws he can make in Boston with 20,000 fans frothing at the mouth and screaming at him. Your options are limited because you've lived the good life all season with stress-free outside shooting. That's over with.
3. Do you realize that the Celtics are 40-50 percent better with Kevin Garnett than they were without him in last year's playoffs? Rashard Lewis could sit in the corner and fire 3s at will last season, knowing that Big Baby Davis didn't have the foot speed to stay with him. But Garnett changes the equation the way a bully changes things on a middle school playground.
4. Does Vince Carter make your team better? Sure he has scored less in trying to fit in, but you got him to make BIG SHOTS in BIG SITUATIONS. If he's going to be anyth... [More]
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010 01:52 PM
Do oddsmakers and bettors hate the Boston Celtics?
Think about it.
The Celtics are one of the best road teams in the NBA. They bitched-slapped the Magic in Game 1 in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final scoire indicates. They neutralized Dwight Howard's inside game without sacrificing coverage on the perimeter. [The last time Ortlando had scored as few as 88 points in a game was March 24.] The Celtics are as healthy asw they have been all season. Ray Allen is shooting lights out, Paul Pierce is lovin' not having to guard LeBron James and Rajon Rondo is becoming a superstar before our very eyes.
Yet Boston is still a 7.5 dog for Game 2 as oddsmakers obviously figure the Magic can't shoot 5 for 22 from 3-point turf again tonight, and that Orlando will play nose to the wall, knowing that going down 2-0 to the Celts pretty much means a death sentence.
But 7.5? Just seems way too high.
Bet the NBA Eastern Conference finals at BetJamaica.com.
Posted Sunday, May 02, 2010 07:42 PM
The numbers don't lie.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost 22 games this season, including once in the playoffs. They actually lost some of those games with LeBron James in the lineup. The only question is how they lost.
How can Cleveland ever lose a game when James can go to the foul line any time he wants? The Cavs need only pass the ball to James, who then puts his head down and dribbles into a crowd of defenders. If there is no contact, James will dunk. If there is contact, the referee closest to the play will then blow his whistle, pick out a player on the opposing team, assign him the foul and send James to the free throw line. The next time down court it happens again.
Superstar calls are a time-honored tradition in the NBA. Magic, Larry, Michael all milked them for all they were worth. When Utah actually took a one-point lead against the Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoff series Sunday, did anyone who has seen more than one playoffs not think that Kobe Bryant would get the ball on every Lakers' possession, get fouled, go to the line and win it for LA?
James, however, takes superstar calls to another level. He makes absolutely no pretense of what he plans to do. On Saturday night in the fourth quarter against Boston, James barrelled his way into the lane. Paul Pierce and Glen Davis both had established defensive position and were actually retreat... [More]