Post-game Reactions

If you read one thing today, make it John Hollinger’s take on last night’s game. Just go read it. I’m going to break out one short excerpt here, but Hollinger gets into several topics, and the whole thing is well, well, well worth your time.

Excerpt, on KG:

“He was off today, the answer is yes, but I think he’s OK [physically],” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Some days you wake up and you just don’t have it.”

Left unanswered was the question of whether Garnett might find it. While the Celtics and Garnett continue to insist that everything will be fine, after what happened last year they have virtually no credibility in this department. Observers who saw Garnett laboring up and down the court a week after he supposedly had a clean bill of health should feel free to wonder if things are worse than the Celtics have acknowledged publicly — much as they were a year ago.

Of course, Lewis’s drive wouldn’t have succeeded except that no help defense came from behind Garnett, despite having ample time to do so. The closest defender, Wallace, inexplicably stayed next to Dwight Howard at the opposite block rather than rotating down to the baseline to stop Lewis’s drive.

Three things:

1) I have no clue if KG is hurt. But I would not read a terribly huge amount into that last play. This was Garnett’s third game back from injury, and you’re going to be tired at the end of a tough game that happens to be your third game back from injury.

2) Hollinger is, sadly, right about the Celtics credibility when it comes to KG’s health. But I don’t blame the Celtics for this. It is not in their interest to disclose everything they know about KG’s health—especially when they are themselves uncertain about how his body will progress over time.

3) Hollinger is spot on about Rasheed Wallace’s help defense. During the live chat of Boston’s first game of the season, David Thorpe pointed out how slowly Sheed was rotating to provide weak side help. He said it would be something to watch all season.

He was right. I watch it every game. There is no way to generalize about Sheed’s help defense, except to say that it is inconsistent and that he is the worst help defender among Boston’s big guys. (Which really isn’t saying much—this team rotates like mad).

In big spots, it has to be better.

Oh, and for all the replay time spent playing the “What if Eddie House could get his damn feet off the three-point line?” game last night, no one ever plays this game: “What if Sheed would just shut his mouth and not draw technical fouls?” For some reason, people forget the techs during crunch time of close games, because they are not (like Eddie’s foot problems) basketball errors.

But they are costly.

Jeff Clark at CelticsBlog tweeted last night about the Sheed Rules, arguing that the refs would not have called a technical on most players for what Sheed did last night.

You know what? I don’t really care. I don’t. If there are Sheed Rules, guess what? He’s earned them, and he needs to adjust to them. He needs to understand that waving his arms and screaming “And One!” could get him a technical.

Update: As a commenter notes, Sheed had a technical rescinded earlier this season for a similar “And One!” outburst. You know what? I still don’t care. The point the opposing team earns on the technical free throw never gets rescinded, and you can’t expect refs, in the heat of the moment, to think to themselves, “I would like to call a technical here, but, wait, didn’t the league rescind one of Sheed’s techs for a similar outburst, therefore setting a precedent which I should follow?”

In any case, I expect some massive Celtic hysteria if Boston loses the next two games to Atlanta and LA. Get a win tonight, fellas.

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Zach Lowe

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  • DRJ1

    – That last play was KG getting beat on a drive. He actually leaned in the wrong direction, and Lewis went by him. It happens to the best, healthiest defenders too. There’s nothing to read into that one.
    – KG’s 2 missed alley-oops… those were troubling. No lift.
    – It’s true that the Cs have no credibility re KG’s health based on past events. But KG does. HE did not lie to us last season, as I recall. So if KG says he just “played like crap” (euphemism inserted)… I believe him.
    – But we’ll soon see it all, won’t we.
    – Sheed had a prior tech for saying “And 1”. It got rescinded. Given that it was rescinded, isn’t it fair for him to assume that the league has ruled that saying “And 1”, per se, is insufficient reason for a tech? And that doing so would certainly not earn him another tech… given that the last ref who tried that got shot down? I think so.
    – But I have to agree that he should nevertheless keep his mouth shut. The point never comes back.
    – On the other hand… this is his passion coming out. I’d rather have it than not. His passion and energy will be vital for this team down the road.
    – And that ref was a jerk (euphemism inserted).

  • Billy Bob Thorton

    Garnett calls himself a 76 pinto.

    What else do we need to know?

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  • denotn

    Haven’t seen anyone mention this yet– why wasn’t Perk out there for the last play? We all love 2nd guessing Doc, and here’s yet another occasion to do so. Have to think Perk would have rotated a step faster than Wallace. KG getting beat isn’t the story– for the Celtics, where was the help should always be the story.

  • Micah

    the more and more i watch the C’s this year one thing becomes very clear…we are turning into a San Antonio Spurs type team…by that i mean we are no longer a top 3 team in the east during the regular season and the only reason we will be the fourth seed is because our division is weak (and don’t say what about toronto because their only good player is in a contract year and he is ballin outrageous)…BUT with that being said it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be the four seed in the east. let’s use some of that experience and take a back seat into the playoffs. the way it will work is that we will play miami in round one (clearly a team we can beat) then we will play cleveland round two (of the top three in the east definitely our easiest challenge) and play either orlando or atlanta in round three (but after they have gone through each other) and then we play the Lakers and win number 18. So you see its not always going to be about the record in season. i’d rather win our division by a half game and take the four seed with a completely healthy team than to with the top in the east at the cost of multiple players not being at 100 percent…i’m just saying

  • al

    had sheed been there earlier, DHoward would have been wide open for an alley-oop, if you watch the replays howard was getting ready for a rebound, had lewis missed, he would’ve slammed down the miss, i know everyone loves to pile on sheed, but he played a great game last night

  • @al: Hey may have been wide open for a pass—maybe. I have to watch the tape again to see if any C’s were in a position to rotate to Howard to disrupt him from behind.

    But you have to force Lewis to make that pass under pressure with two seconds left when the alternative is a lay-up. You have to.

  • Elvis#9

    I am proud to say that KG has been my favorite player since MJ left the game, and it truly is maddening to see him playing like this. The lift, the agility is not there and while you get all of these encouraging words by Doc, you know there must be something wrong because KG just can’t seem to move, jump, or react well, plus his stat drop-off is just too steep, can someone honestly tell me that if he went back to Minnesota and had to do the solo act again he can pull the 20/10/5??? Not even I would bet on it. You know he is struggling when everyone on his team talks about being the “vocal leader”, what? That’s it for KG? He doesn’t lead his team in any significant stat (any stat?) Can this be the same player that lead the league two years in rebounding? Many more in double-doubles and has been every fantasy league’s player of the decade?? Is this the same player that had me jumping up and down my apartment during the 2004 playoffs when he invented the point/center position, you remember, when KG used to bring the ball down the court, start the offense, set a couple of screens, get the ball back, face up Webber, pump fake from 18 feet, one dribble and jam, or hit an unblockable turnaroud, or finish a fast break with a “I dare you to jump” slam?? Oh man, it does hurt to see KG play nowadays. I just hope, HOPE, that for once those Celtics doctors have it right and KG ‘just’ has to get his timing and legs under him. There was a strech this season where he showed vintage KG, that spurt where he couldn’t miss, and seemed to have his legs under him. That was after he had that terrible game at MSG but hit the game winner. I still believe in KG, he won’t jump out the gym like he used to, but he is a much better scorer (all of his career) and rebounder (this last seasons at BOS) than he has showed. I won’t dare write him off the championship parade if he is playing in the playoffs. Stay healthy KG!!!!

  • cmoney

    Garnett is clearly, clearly not 100%. He’s got a limp in his walk and run and he keeps his right leg fairly stiff. I think KG is largely “done”, in that we don’t see his vintage form (with expected decline, rather than sharp decline) ever again. It’s a shame. Just a freak injury. He was fine last year up until it happened.

    However, Garnett gets beat on that drive in ’08. He hasn’t been good staying in front of guys on the perimeter for a long time. Shard’s a particularly tough cover because you HAVE to crowd him due to his shooting prowess, so there’s a decent shot you get beat there.

  • Jim MacIndoe

    I am beginning to accept the facts, we are no longer a championship team. Ray Allen plays way too many minutes, Perkins cannot hit foul shots, Rondo cannot hit foul shots or open jumpers, Rasheed is getting old and cannot defend, Eddy House has looked lousy most of the year , Tony Allen turns the ball over much too often and our recent draft picks do not belong in the NBA. We barely held on to beat the Clippers who then when on to get beat by the Nets and I lose hope by the day. Danny I am sad to say this team needs to be broken up while we still can get something for some of these guys. I think its over and I am sad to say so. Time catches up with us all . Please someone tell me why I should not jump off the bandwagon. Does anyone think we really will have any kind of chance against the Lakers? We just cannot play a whole game anymore.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Really good post Elvis

  • nowayout

    I know it’s kind of unrelated but…what do you think about a Ray Allen for Kirk Hinrich + John Salmons trade? and maybe Ray getting bought out and coming back?

  • David

    @Jim MacIndoe , no shame in being honest. You are absolutely right the Celtics,just got beat by Atlanta for the fourth time. The Celtics bigs can’t rebound, this team is no way a championship team. At least they did when one, Boston fans should be happy with that. At least your not New Jersey Nets. But if Danny A, doesn’t make any future moves, Boston will be the Nets in about two-three years from now.

  • rav

    well David, any deal where we get back what we lose is pretty good.

    the only problem would be possible salary ramifications. but hinrich fills the big, defensive open 3 backup PG/SG need and Salmons the create your own shot okay defense backup SF need

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