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Keeping the Cats in the Bag

 

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics played the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.  Seriously.  The Bobcats got played on Saturday night to the tune of 92-to- 63.  No Celtic starter logged more than 31 minutes which gives them ample time to rest up before Wednesday night’s showdown with the surging Knicks.  Earlier today, Rich Keefe got you caught up on how well the Knicks are playing this season.  Before we get to those Knickerbockers, let’s dwell for a bit on the hilarity that ensued on Saturday night.

I, unfortunately, was not able to adequately watch this contest live for I was attending the inaugural Christmas On The Cape Annual Holiday Blowout- or as it was so dubbed after a few Eggnogs.  Despite feeling very festive, I was level headed enough to witness the unbalanced point differential.  However, I did not get to really appreciate just how truly lopsided this game was until I threw on my DVR for a little pre-Pats game entertainment.

After rewatching this stink fest with a critical eye, I was still unable to glean anything of season-reflecting significance.  After coming to grips with this reality, I decided to present you with a few scattered thoughts that you won’t read about elsewhere (okay, so maybe you will.  I haven’t checked) in lieu of any real substance.

Picture of the Night:

Most lopsided positional matchup in the league?

That’s right folks.  This was Saturday’s backup point guard matchup du jour.  On the right, standing 4’11″ 5’9″ tall and weighing in at a stocky 180 pounds, your very own Nate Robinson!  And his opponent, towering over all others at a height of 6’7″, Shaun Livingston!  Has there been a more lopsided height differential this season?  Oh right, the Bobcats have played the Bucks twice this season.

The best part of the this picture is the fact that Nate Robinson is standing up straight and Shaun Livingston is bent over at the waist.  I don’t care who has more talent, that has to be an imposing figure for Nate Robinson to play against.  Scarily enough, these guys are in the same MMA weight class.  Any promoter want to pony up the dough to get these two in the octagon?  I’ll offer you free advertising space on CelticsHub.com.

If you’re new to the NBA and do not know who Shaun Livingston is, he is the former fourth overall pick and point guard-of-the-future for the Los Angeles Clippers.  Why did the Clippers sign Baron Davis and draft two point guards in the last few years?  Cause this happened (I warn all of those who at in the least bit squeamish to not click on that link and just continue to not know who Shaun Livingston is)

Now that presumably no one has fainted, we’ll move on.  After all, that was three years ago and after long road to recovery, Livingston is back in the league.  Simply amazing.  Not to mention that he’s playing pretty well this season.  On Saturday, the funniest matchup of the night played out to a push.  Both Livingston and Robinson had six points, committed two turnovers, and posed for pictures with Manute and Muggsy (too soon?).

Play of the Night (Offense and Defense)

The Bobcats are a prime example of a team that makes good teams play down to their level- at least offensively.  Exhibit A: the afore-posted video.  Kevin Garnett is dribbling around the court like a mad man.  Or more like the guy in a pickup game who is so oppressively bad that you’ll solidify your spot in hell if you play defense (think Philip Seymour Hoffman).  Once KG stops dribbling aimlessly with his head down, he passes the ball to Rajon Rondo, who passes the ball to Paul Pierce, who passes the ball to Ray Allen.  All of those previously mentioned players proceed to dribble way too much and Allen eventually takes an off-balance jumper in the lane.

After Allen’s brick bounces off the back rim, the Bobcats are off in running.  Luckily for the Celtics, they remembered to bring their defense to Charlotte and Glen Davis picked up his league leading 1,234,567th charge of the season on the Bobcats next possession.  Admittedly, Davis is probably still sliding in when the contact from Gerald Wallace is absorbed.  Still, you have to give everyone an A for effort in this clip– because that’s what you give youth basketball participants and that’s about the skill level encapsulated in this clip.

Side Note:

When the Bobcats went small, Gerald Wallace played the power forward and was defended by Glen Davis.  How Wallace failed to go off is mind-boggling but the matchup did provide even more comic relief than the Robinson vs. Livingston one.  There was a ton of contact between these two but none of it seemed malicious.  Sometimes you get a feel for players offcourt personalities from their oncourt play and this has been the cause for my unreasonable affinity for Gerald Wallace.  I can’t explain it, but Wallace just seems like a good dude.

Danny Ainge’s Pat-Yourself-On-The-Back/Bullet Dodging Moment of the Night:

I am sure most people are going to point to the trade that never was that would have sent Glen Davis to Charlotte for D.J. Augustin.  Usually, when you can swap a former second rounder for a former first it’s a good thing.  With the Celtics big man injury woes and the emergence of Glen Davis as Sixth Man of the Year material, this non-deal is an easy candidate.  However, I’m going to point to a more relevant instance.  A more relevant and infinitely scarier prospect.  For a time this offseason, there was a battle for third string free agent center.  The decision?  Shaquille O’Neal or Kwame Brown.

Like I said, scary.  The funniest part of the whole thing is that at the time Brown wanted more from the Celtics than the veteran minimum.  What?  Brown should be paying the Washington Wizards back for conning them into thinking he knew what a basketball was, not demanding more money.  Brown is a Player’s Association nightmare.  When the CBA meetings are underway next year and the concept of guaranteed contracts is brought up, the owners should just repeat “Kwame Brown” over and over again until the PA says “uncle.”

Shaq’s numbers obviously blow Brown’s out of the water.  In the “Hayesian” analysis of +/-  (O’Neal +143, Brown -26), it’s pretty clear that Brown would be on the wrong side of the salvation line should he have been signed.  To put it another way, Kwame Brown’s numbers are on par with Semih Erden, the Celtics fourth string/rookie/injured center.  (Basketball-Reference.com and 82-Games.com)

Most Interesting Stat of the Night

Saturday was the third time this season where Glen Davis scored 16 points and 7 rebounds.  This repetitive box score entry might not have much to do with anything in the NBA (besides solid contribution from a bench player), but it may have a far greater significance in pop culture.  When the Lost writers sober up and realize that they haven’t actually explained anything, they can take this stat line and draw even more irrelevant conclusions.  Just a few more games of Baby putting up these numbers and he’ll be well on his way to being Hurley’s next roommate in the asylum.

  • nick

    That Shaun Livingston warning wasn't strong enough! I thought that was going to be some kind of a joke! wow.

    • Tom W

      i knew it wasn't a joke, i knew what was coming, and i still cringed, gasped and dropped an F bomb. good lord.

    • misel

      i watched it like i would any scary movie: both hands over my eyes, peeking between my fingers. oof. >.<

  • Batman

    Ugh you mentioning the Patriots reminded me how difficult it is to be a Celtics fan from New York
    Talking basketball is great with you bostonians, but once football/baseball comes into the picture……i wanna kill all boston fans

    • BrendanJackson

      haha, sorry. I meant to put in a preemptive apology to all non-natives.

  • JP-

    So glad we went with Shaq over Kwame, how did Kwame almost rope the Celts into signing him? How is he on an NBA roster?

  • Batman

    I was looking over the unrestricted free agents for next year and I'm thinking: Who are we gonna definitely resign?

    Delonte West
    Marquis Daniels
    Kendrick Perkins
    Von Wafer
    Glen Davis

    Do we resign Marquis?

    • BrendanJackson

      Way too early to start thinking about free agency, but if you can't help it I would suggest hypothesizing about who may be available at the midlevel exception. Lots of older/former all stars could be had for that kind of dough and the Cs will definitely need more depth next year (assuming next year actually happens).

      • CelticNut

        Bjack, good article. Not easy to find something to talk about in that useless game. It's a shame Livingston's career took the turn that it did…he could have been another young talented PG in a league flush with talent at that position.

  • complexity

    I haven't heard anyone talk about it, probably because it's not near trade dead line, but will the fact that there could be a lock out next year impact unlikely trades for the Celtics mid season. I couldn't imagine with them so determined to win a title?

  • Berkcelt

    LET IT RAIN!

    lol, good call! I thought KG was going to dribble out the clock.

  • Nate Teh Great

    All of you are missing the real message in the first video (KG excessive dribbling). Look at how lively KG's gait is. He's got a spring in his step that we didn't see all last season! I get the feeling the Knicks are going to be severely punished for their hubris (all the talk about wanting to play the C's) on Wednesday.

  • deb

    K G is doing great this year..can't wait until perk comes back and as for Jermaine O'Neal he is a joke. sure hope they get rid of him he hasen't played and hasen't done any thing for this team.he makes 56 thousand dollars a game for sitting his butt on the bench. he is so useless

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