Friday, May 30, 2008

The Rivalry is Back

(Photo by D. Lippitt/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Wow! I mean Wow! The Celtics are really going back to the championship and against the Lakers. Think about this time last season. The Celtics were obviously the worst team in the league, had just missed getting a top 2 pick, and Paul Pierce wanted out. The Lakers didn't look like a playoff team at all, they were talking about where they were going to trade Kobe. Now these two historic teams will meet up for the finals. It's pretty amazing

Game 6 itself was another hard game to watch for a couple reasons. First, the Celtics have Doc Rivers as a coach so your always cringing watching that. The Refs were just awful. That Paul Pierce offensive foul that should have been a 4 point play was definitely one of the worst calls I've ever seen. I lost my mind after that happened. Also, watching KG play basketball in a close game is like watching an old blind lady walk across a busy road. KG is so intense that when the adrenaline of a close game hits him he is about to explode. He's very unsure when he gets the ball and his footwork is not as smooth. Luckily he was able to gather himself and hit a few shots. O and one more thing, Ray Allen sitting on the bench for almost the whole 4th quarter was tough for me. I know Posey is the better defender but Ray was playing very well. More Ray would have made me feel a little more comfortable. But Posey played great and the Celtics won so I'm happy for that.

There was a Leon Powe siting in game 6. I almost forgot he was on the team. When he stepped on the floor I said, "O ya, I forgot about that guy, I write a blog about him." Well what do you know, Leon comes in and forces a turnover in his first few seconds. After that he makes a huge three point play and gets to the line once more after that. Leon should have got to the line once more at the end of the half when he was hacked going to the hoop but what's it matter now. The point is he brought a spark to the game just like we already new he could do. Hopefully with the way the Celtics and Lakers match up, Leon will get a decent amount of minutes.

I don't think I have to set this championship up for anyone. We all know the history and we all know the story of the current players. I'd like to give a prediction but I don't know how much playing time Leon will get. If Leon plays the Celtics will definitely win the championship. If Leon doesn't play then it's going to be a lot harder. Even though I'd love to see the Celtics sweep LA. It would be pretty damn cool to see a game 7 in Boston.

One more observation... Kevin Garnett was being interviewed and asked about how he feels about going to the championship. KG responded by saying he feels neutral, as in he isn't content with just going there. During that interview Doc Rivers was running around as if he won the championship and the lottery at the same time. Ya, I know people celebrate differently but it seemed like he was saying we're happy with just getting there. Obviously Doc wants to win the championship but I've just never seen a coach act like that after winning a conference finals. I know I'm being picky by making this observation but it was something that was a little weird to me. Anywho, go Celtics! Beat L.A!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hooray for Kendrick Perkins!

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

By the grace of God the Boston Celtics won last night without Leon Powe. This was thanks mostly to Ray Allen and Kendrick "I always have an angry face" Perkins. Ray finally got his shot going hitting 5 three pointers and scoring 29 points, including a huge shot from the corner with under a minute to go. Now Kendrick Perkins had the game of his life. A lot of it had to do with being in the right place at the right time, but I hear he's been working hard in practice so it's nice to see that pay off for him.

Perkins had playoff career highs with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Now I know everyone including myself is just gushing over this performance, but I realized last night that this is what Perkins was suppose to be doing all season. Kendrick was the starting center, he's suppose to average double digits in rebounds and in points. I know it's hard not to get excited when he does this because we're all hoping this will be a career changing moment that will bring confidence to Perk for his up and coming years in Boston. But we have to realize this is what a big guy is suppose to do. This is what we've been waiting for him to bring to the game. Perk needs to be having games like this all the time.
Usually when Perk plays a good game he follows it up with a few bad ones. But I feel like he's riding some confidence. We could see a new Kendrick "Angry Face" Perkins for the next few games and seasons. Maybe he'll be that double-double guy we've all been waiting for him to be.

To Leon Powe now...

Perk absolutely saved Doc Rivers last night. If the Celtics lost while not playing Leon, he would have been murdered by the billions of Leon Powe fans waiting outside the arena. Perk made it easier on Doc to make a decision not to play Powe or Davis which is exactly what Rivers needed. My complaint now is that Leon should be getting some if not all of P.J. Brown's minutes. While I've said that I like Brown's experience on the floor during the end of the game, I don't like him playing at any other time. He is still too old and slow to keep up with the more athletic and strong Pistons big men. Brown has been torched on defense and gives nothing on offense. He's been playing 18 minutes a game in this series and only averages 3 points and 2.8 rebounds. He is virtually unproductive out there and doesn't give the spark needed off the bench that Leon has showed he can provide. So once again, hopefully Doc can see this and put Leon in before it's too late.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No Leon Proves Costly Once Again

I'd love to go on a huge rant for everyone today about the Celtics loss in game 4, and the lack of playing time for Leon, but what's point? I've said everything already a thousand times. I will say this though....

Big Baby was eaten alive by Jason Maxiell. I believe it was 4 times in a row down the court Maxiell scored because Big Baby was in the wrong spot defensively. If Leon did that once he'd be pulled for the next 7 games. But because of the double standard Doc has enforced, Baby was able to stay in the game to kill the Celtics more. I won't go into the lack of offense Davis brings to the game and the fact that he has no basketball sense. I'll go into all of that another day or you can read some of my past post. The only time Davis should step on the floor for the rest of the playoffs is to start a fight with Rasheed Wallace so we can get Rasheed suspended. 

Now I like P.J. Brown and the veteran leadership and calm he brings to the team. But during the middle of the game he gets taken pretty badly in all aspects against younger and more athletic players. The time Brown should be on the court is near the end of the game when his experience can help. Brown should be giving up some minutes to Leon during the middle of the game so the Celtics can get some scoring and better one on one defense. 

Yes, that's right, Leon is a great one on one defender. I know Leon is smaller than most the guys he's guarding, but he makes up for that with long arms and quicker feet. Powe does such a great job drawing offensive fouls. Countless times Leon has taken charges on players and frustrated them to the point where they're taken out of their game. Leon fouled David West out of a game when they played New Orleans later in the year. What Leon did was get in David's face so he couldn't shoot jump shots. This forced West to put the ball on the ground and go to the hoop which is fine with Leon because he kept taking charges and being physical with the easily angered West. Powe was completely in David's head and this wasn't the only time Leon has done this to a player. Shaq said Leon was one of the toughest guys he's ever had guard him. O'neal went on to say Leon has a very bright future. That was all after Leon shut down Shaq during a Celtics win last year. But back to the present day, Jason Maxiell has been killing the Celtics and the player that resembles Maxiell the most is David West. If Leon can eat up West, then I'm sure he can handle Maxiell. On top of it all Leon brings a very nice offensive presence to the game that non of the other Celtic big man can bring with the exception of KG. So once again, lets play Leon Doc!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Celtics put an end to Road Woes

The Celtics won game 3 in convincing fashion on Saturday. They showed up determined and prepared to end the road skid. It was a very nice team effort and I was pleased.

But I'm bitter that Leon did not play. Doc like I said in previous post, just doesn't like Leon. He played Big Baby who for the first time since I can remember went a full 6 minutes and didn't foul anyone. Even though he did end up falling on the floor a few times. So I'll give Davis credit for not committing a foul in his few minutes of playing time.

I guess all the great games and proving he is good enough won't cut it for Leon. He'll need to prove himself all over again. But he can only do that when he gets another chance to play. From the looks of things, Doc will want Leon traded by the end of the year for no good reason. I'll be very upset about that because I'm both a huge Celtics fan and Leon Powe fan. But it's a crime to keep such a special player on the bench. Hopefully this decision by Doc not to play Leon anymore won't come back to bite the Celtics.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Doc Rivers Doesn't Like Leon

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Well the Celtics lose for the first time at home during the playoffs. This is not a surprise considering the amount of playing time Leon got. Powe played 2 minutes and grabbed 2 rebounds in that time and was then pulled. You may ask why was Leon pulled? Well during a 4 on 3 break Leon got stuck guarding more than one guy because P.J Brown was too slow to get back on defense. Leon then went to cover one guy and Tayshaun Prince was then left open for a dunk. Yes, Leon should have seen it coming and opened up quicker but I'm sorry he isn't perfect like Doc Rivers. Powe was then pulled never to be seen again. Instead of Leon we got 7 excruciating minutes of Glen Davis. He was awful and the during his time on the floor the Pistons went on a run. The thing about this is that Davis, Perkins, and Brown can mess up over and over again and stay in the game. But if Powe makes one slip up he never touches the floor again. How many times do we have to watch Perkins be lazy and walk up the floor, or how many times will he decide not to box a guy out. How many times do I have to watch Big Baby do something stupid or just fall into people. It's very frustrating to watch. I think P.J Brown has done a very fine job in the playoffs although he lacks the athletic ability of his younger days. I think Brown should be splitting time with Leon as a back up. Leon should get more of the minutes during the middle of the game because of the energy and spark he provides. With Brown getting the nod during crunch time because of his experience. But hey, I'm no genius like Doc Rivers so what do I know.

I have to say this to close... Doc Rivers doesn't like Leon Powe and it's very obvious. Doc has stressed over and over again how he loves to play guys that are always loud and outgoing and real cheerleaders. Leon is a little more shy and reserved and gets penalized for it. This isn't middle school basketball. Just because one guy cheers harder than the other doesn't mean he should be playing over the better basketball player. Brian Scalabrine cheered so hard that he got to start a few games for the Celtics. He was playing ahead of Leon just because he was the team kiss ass. Big Baby shouts and screams so Doc thinks that means he'll be the best player. It's ludicrous. It's always great to have players be enthusiastic but it doesn't always translate into production on the court. Leon is a quiet dude that goes about his business and has always been successful doing so. Doc shouldn't penalize Leon for his personality.

Leon made one questionable mistake in game 2 and was pulled for it. Is that what you want to teach your young guys? Make a mistake and you'll never touch the floor again. That's a lot of pressure to put on anybody. There shouldn't be a double standard for Leon. If Davis is aloud to go around hacking people and making dumb decisions, then Leon should be aloud to make one minor defensive mistake and still be able to stay on the floor. Especially with all the other great things Leon does for this team.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Celts Stay Perfect at Home

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

The Celtics took game one with another win at home. It was just an all around solid basketball game with nothing in particular that was great or awful. KG did a very solid job as did Paul Pierce, but Ray is still just not on his game. All it takes is one game and he could be right back in the swing of things.

Of course I'd like to see a few more minuets for Leon, but I guess I'll be alright with it for the moment since they won. Powe chipped in with 4 points and 2 rebounds in 7 minuets. So good job Leon, and good job Celtics.

I felt good about this game. I've been worried lately but I like the way things went tonight. There was just a different feeling after this game and I think they can get the job done in Detroit for at least one game. I like the direction they're headed in, So we'll see.

Friday, May 16, 2008

No Leon Proves Costly for Celtics

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

I found this video of Michigan's women coach Kevin Borseth, It sums up how I feel (Click Here to watch).
What can I say about this game? Yes, the Refs made some horrible calls down the stretch but this game should not be blamed on the refs. Losing to a team that shot under 33% is ridiculous. Getting destroyed on the offensive glass has nothing to do with the refs. Having Leon Powe sit on the bench was not Dick Bavetta's decision. So as bad as the officiating was, you can't dwell on that with how bad everything else was.

Eddie House came in and gave a spark showing why he is the guy that deserves to be backing up Rondo. Not selfish Sam Cassell. It's always nice to see a guy prove Doc Rivers wrong. So nice job Eddie.

Eddie House was the good. Everything else was the bad. I could go on a very long rant about Doc Rivers right now but I'm going to try and keep it short. I said in my most recent post that Glen "Big Baby" Davis is like blackjack. He can be hot for a moment but most of the time he's going to be cold. Everyone got excited and started betting once they saw Baby make a few layups, but then he went cold the rest of the game. Davis couldn't make a shot and couldn't stop fouling people. He is a big ball of unproductive energy. He may become a nice player someday. But this post season isn't the time to try new things. Leon always produces on offense and makes things hard for guys on defense. Most importantly he knows how to box someone out unlike any other player in the NBA. I'm sick of making the case for why Leon should be playing. He has proven himself over and over again this season. Every time someone doubts Powe, he steps up and has an amazing game. How many more times does he have to show Doc that he is the best guy off the bench. As far as I'm concerned, if Leon gets more than 10 minuets in this next game the Celtics will win. If he gets less than 10 minuets the Celtics will lose and Doc Rivers will be out of a job. When Leon plays more than 10 minuets, the Celtics win more than a 90% of those games. That increases with the amount of time Leon gets. It's simple, put Leon in and the Celtics win, I've been saying it all year and I've been right every time I say it. Doc's going to blow the season because he is too stubborn to play Leon and it's making me sick.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rondo's Heroics Save Doc and the Celtics

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Despite the efforts of Doc Rivers, the Boston Celtics were able to pull off a game 5 victory. I'm just kidding, I know Doc isn't trying to mess up on purpose and the Celtics won so I shouldn't be too negative. But Doc got saved by Rajon Rondo tonight. If the Celtics didn't win this game, everyone would be calling for Rivers' head. Rondo played an amazing game and proved Doc wrong by dramatically out playing the 0-14 Sam Cassell. Rivers should give Rajon a big hug tonight for saving his ass. Up until Rondo went off, Doc looked like a fool once again.

I guess you could say Glen "Big Baby" Davis saved Doc for this game also. Putting in the inexperienced, clumsy, foul happy Davis in a close game was not a smart move. But lucky for everyone, Davis was able to make 3 lay ups tonight. Using Big Baby is kind of like playing Blackjack... He may get hot for a while, but eventually he will cool off. The house always wins, and Davis always makes more bad plays than good in the long run. Davis made a few good plays which impressed some people and made Doc look smart, but he eventually started to commit dumb fouls. Doc at least started to recognize that and pulled Big Baby. Hopefully Rivers won't keep going back to the well with Davis. The problem with this is now we have competitions forming for playing time during the playoffs. Figuring out who fits where on the roster is stuff that should have been sorted out months ago. Now you have guys like Leon, Rajon, and Perk always looking over their shoulder when they make a mistake. Leon played 4 solid minuets and he doesn't see the floor after that. That's something that hurts your confidence a little.

I'll give Big Baby his credit for making a couple lay ups and not completely imploding. He helped out nicely and I'm happy to see that he could become a player down the road. But for this post season he should be a 10th man and that's it. It's not time to start screwing around with rotations. We're lucky Rondo was able to keep his confidence after his minuets were cut for a less talented veteran. If it's not broke then don't fix it Doc. Just because the Celtics are in the playoffs doesn't mean you have to play your experienced players. You play the best players then maybe at the end of games you stick in guys like Cassell and P.J. Brown.

I'm very happy with the outcome of this game. It was very close to being a nightmare situation, so thank Rondo for that. I know we're all happy for the moment, but the future isn't bright with the way things are being run. So it's hard to be too positive when you see the team you live and die for making very elementary mistakes that could cost them down the road.

note: Celtics are 30-5 when Leon plays over 15 minuets. More Leon Please!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Boston's Bench Leads the Way

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

After an ugly game one win, the Celtics were able to follow that up with a more convincing performance and win in game two. Things were ugly in the first quarter, but bench guys like Leon Powe, Sam Cassell, and James Posey were able to pick up the slack of the starters. Powe came in for Kendrick Perkins after he picked up his second foul and scored 9 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in the first half. Leon finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds, but it was probably his defense that was most important tonight. There were a lot of times where Powe got matched up on Lebron and was able to handle the quicker James very well. Not a lot of people are aware than Leon and Lebron were teammates for a couple years on the same AAU team in Oakland when they were younger. So it probably wasn't the first time Leon had to guard James. I'm sure that helped a little bit.

Leon's really getting the hang of playoff basketball now. He led the Celtics with a +20 +/- rating. That really shows his value and how important he's becoming. Kendrick Perkins was last on the team with -9 so it was crucial that Leon could step in for the struggling Perkins. The bench is starting to become a strength for the Celtics. Doc can call on just about anyone and they don't really miss a beat. Now they just have to figure out how to get the job done on the road.

Quick stat for everyone... The Celtics are 22-2 when Leon scores over 10 points.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I'd say Sunday is going to be a big win for the Celtics

''Well, they had their chance,''They had a big chance. Their fans were in it. They were thinking it was all over. I'm sure they were confident. We've been getting a lot of flak. Our shots are going to be dropping, We'll be running faster. I'd say Sunday is going to be a big win for the Celtics.''

-Larry Bird prior to game 7 against the Hawks in 1988

My guess is Leon Powe would have made this same prediction but is a little more reserved with the media. As long as Leon gets his minuets you can be sure Sunday will be a big win for the Celtics. I should also add that Doc Rivers was on the other end of that Larry Bird prediction. I don't know if that means anything. I just hope Doc, who has never won a game 7 brings his best stuff.