• The Herald reports that C’s fans have taken to Craigslist to try and negotiate for Finals tickets:
Red Sox fans even are willing to cough up two-for-one deals to anyone lucky enough to have a home seat to the 2010 NBA Finals.
One eager rooter offered his PlayStation 3, a PlayStation Portable and some games for just one ticket. Another tried to trade a new iPhone for C’s ducats.
That was fast. At this rate, we may not even hit the work week before someone emulates the Philly woman who allegedly offered sex in exchange for World Series tickets last year.
• Were you waiting for an LA-based columnist to churn out some schlocky, unoriginal jokes to get fans fired up to hate the Celtics? I know I was! So thank you, Ted Green of the LA Times, for taking the mantle from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer‘s Bud Shaw and giving us these gems!
The Celtics cry. They cry more than Best Actress winners at the Oscars. They cry like every game is a wedding. Every time a call goes against them, there will be more tears than Kleenex can handle.
But the Celtics’ captain flops more than a large-mouthed bass taking his last breath while dangling from a fishing line at the end of a pier.
Yes! A flopping joke! I bet I know what comes next—a wheelchair joke. I know you’ll deliver for me, Ted.
Two years ago, he fell during the Finals against the Lakers and went off in a wheelchair. An actual wheelchair! Five minutes later, he was dropping three-pointers all over TD Banknorth Garden. He actually came back into the game with the music from “Rocky” blaring over the public-adress system. Yo, Paulie, that was such a bad con job, Sylvester Stallone is a better actor than your are.
Oh, yes. Yes. Give me more. Where to next? KG? Ray Allen? How about Ray Allen’s Mom!
[Ray's] also a heckuva nice guy, even though his momma stands up too much and looks like she’s even cockier than K.G.
Onto Rajon Rondo, who has done very little to inspire any hatred, but we can try, right?
He has trouble making open five-footers in empty gyms, much less full arenas. Just remember this kid is, like, 8 years old and already as arrogant as the rest of them.
Should I send Ted to Hoopdata and point out that Rondo makes five-footers more proficiently than almost any point guard in the league? Or is that sort of “research” and “work” not really merited here?
All that’s missing is a Glen Davis fat joke. Come on, Ted. Don’t make me wait any more.
They call this one Big Baby. Right on both counts. Right now he’s about two Krispy Kremes shy of Stanley Roberts, who ate himself out of the league.
YES! I need a cigarette.
• Dan Shaughnessy writes a column about himself. Can you tell I’m cranky today? The general theme: He was right about the Celtics all along, which is true, to a point.
• Julian Benbow John Powers at the Globe has a nice profile of Kendrick Perkins that reflects on Perk’s current role and Danny Ainge’s decision to make Perk the first high-schooler the C’s organization ever acquired on draft day:
The Celtics never had taken a high schooler when they swapped with Memphis, who had drafted him 27th overall, and they understood that the Perkins Project would take some time.
“There are risks with all of the players left on the board at 27,’’ general manager Danny Ainge said that day. “But looking down the road in two years, we could be looking back at this draft and be saying we did something special.’’
And Perk understands he absolutely cannot pick up another technical foul:
“Doc always says that the bigger man walks away,’’ he says. “You’ve got to go out there and play basketball. You can’t let guys get in your head.
“There’s going to be a lot of things trying to distract you. You’ve just got to go out there and play Celtic ball.’’
Just check the stats: The C’s are doing great work against opposing front lines. Opposing power forwards have fallen apart against Boston in these playoffs, while centers have ranged from awful (Jermaine O’Neal) to wildly inconsistent (Dwight Howard, Shaq).
And now comes the best front line the Celtics have faced in the post-season: Pau Gasol, shooting 57 percent in the playoffs; Andrew Bynum, contributing interior defense when he can stay on the court; and Lamar Odom, who just got done slicing through the Phoenix zone for a bundle of offensive rebounds.
It seems unfair to even suggest it, but Perk, KG and the rest of the C’s front line will have to play even better if the C’s want to beat the Lakers. What a tough, tough job the NBA is in May and June .
• In a separate piece, the Globe’s Julian Benbow lists the payout each playoff team splits depending on how far they get. This is the money the Russell-era C’s always talked about as a key motivator, back in the day when Tommy Heinsohn was selling insurance in the off-season to make extra cash:
The total amount of the 2010 playoff pool is $12 million. As the fourth seed in the East, the Celtics were awarded $142,800. Each team in the first round received $179,092. The prize for reaching the second round was $213,095 for each team. The conference finals payout was $352,137. The team that loses the Finals gets $1,408,168, to the winner’s $2,125,137. To put the numbers in perspective, players and coaches split a $50,000 pool in the 1951 playoffs.
• The Herald’s Steve Bulpett points out something I’ve been thinking a lot about:
For years, the Magic have trumpeted the fact they won the last game played at the hallowed Boston Garden, a 95-92 decision on May 5, 1995, that gave them a 3-1 victory in the former best-of-five first round.
The Celtics didn’t win the last game played at Amway Arena, but by closing out the Eastern Conference finals Friday, they essentially reached down to central Florida and put an NBA padlock on the joint.
I was a senior in high school in 1995, and I genuinely believed the C’s, the 8th seed that season, had a legitimate chance to upset the Magic in the first round. I was in Mexico with some high school buddies doing the cliché American senior year trip when the Magic won Game 1 in Orlando by 47 points. That is not a typo. My friends laughed at me.
Guess what? The Celtics won Game 2 in Orlando, as Dino Radja, Dominique Wilkins, Sherman Douglas and Dee Brown each scored at least 18 points.
Orlando won the next two games in Boston by a combined 8 points, and both games were up in the air down the stretch. After Game 4, Shaq, wearing sunglasses because he was already that cool (I’m not being sarcastic, I promise), gave an interview in which he pronounced the Boston Garden closed for business.
I remember thinking: This is a lot of bravado from a top-seeded team who barely squeaked past an 8th-seed starting Eric Montross at center and asking Dominique Wilkins to carry the scoring load.
In any case: Amway Arena is closed, as if anyone outside of Orlando actually cares or knows anything about Amway Arena. (Note: This goes for basically any NBA arena at this point, save Madison Square Garden).
• At ESPNBoston.com, Chris Forsberg has an early preview of the Finals which features this interesting nugget:
The visitors won both regular-season meetings, which would bode well for the Celtics. In fact, Boston is the first NBA finalist with a better record on the road (26-15) than at home (24-17) in the regular season, and is 6-3 away from home this postseason.
He also raises one of the central questions of this series: How will the Lakers defend Rajon Rondo? The answer is, of course, that they’ll do a lot of different things against Rajon. But I don’t expect Phil Jackson to sic Kobe on Rondo immediately. He has made it clear that he would does not like Bryant guarding star point guards over the course of a full series because it saps Kobe’s energy. He waited until late in the first round, for instance, to try Kobe on Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, and barely had Kobe spend any time on Steve Nash.
But you know it’s coming, and you know Bryant will ignore Rondo just like he did in the ’08 Finals and just like Dwyane Wade, Jared Jeffries and a host of others have done since. The Celtics should be ready for this by now.
Still: It’ll be Derek Fisher early, and it’ll be Derek Fisher for the bulk of the series. And it’s a match-up Boston has to win, handily, if they are going to beat the Lakers four times in seven games.
• Last thing: You might want to bookmark Forum Blue & Gold, Silver Screen and Roll and all the great Laker writers at ESPN Los Angeles for the next couple of weeks. These are not rah-rah Lakers sites making Glen Davis fat jokes, so do not be afraid. This is rigorous analysis and good writing, and you will learn about the Lakers by reading them.