The Celtics… Dirty? | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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The Celtics… Dirty?

That's what Tom Ziller is saying on FanHouse today.

That flagrant foul on Anderson Varejao might be the dirtiest NBA play since … Perkins violently threw Jason Maxiell to the floor in January. Is it a pattern yet?

Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau haven't told their players to decapitate the opponent, I'm sure. But the style the Celtics play with Garnett as leader (even from the bench) is wild, fast and violent. The forwards and guards have to fly around to deny shots. Sometimes, when caught out of position, they flail … and rope the opponent around the neck.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion… but I wonder how many Celtics game Tom Ziller has watched this year.  Leveling the "dirty" accusation is pretty heavy.  This piece makes it sound like the Celtics are pulling Laimbeer-esque dirty plays on a daily basis.

Don't confuse a hard foul with dirty play.  Maybe, like Doc said last night, I'm from a different generation.  Maybe I understand the difference between Glen Davis' hard foul and a dirty play.

But just in case people want an explanation:  Baby went for the ball, and his goal was to make Varejao earn his points from the line.  Dammit, it's what you're taught to do as a player.  He didn't undercut him.  He didn't just swipe at his head.  He didn't just lay into him with the body.  He went for the ball.

It was intended to be a hard foul.  He was out of position and it was a harder foul than intended.  I don't want to see players go to the floor awkwardly like that.   Davis was punished for it, and by the way the rules are written, he was punished accordingly (despite my disagreement with the spirit of the rule).  But please, don't confuse that with a dirty play.  A dirty play is different… and if you're going to level that kind of accusation, you have to know the difference.

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  • JD

    Isn’t Tom Ziller the guy who said Mikki Moore was the second coming of Mark Blount? Yeah, there’s a reason why he’s writing for “Fanhouse” and not ESPN.

  • I don’t want this to turn into a Ziller-hate fest. I respect the guy. I just think he’s way off here.

  • “Davis was punished for it, and by the way the rules are written, he was punished accordingly”
    I said this in the post. Davis shouldn’t be suspended or even fined. A Flagrant-2 was the appropriate punishment.
    I just noted that there’s a pattern here of hard-to-dirty play, and it can be attributed to the defensive style which Boston plays. I’m not saying that Boston isn’t great or that the league should crack down. (Again, I wrote in the post that the punishment fits, and has fit.) Why is any and all criticism of the team taken as some sort of martial accusation of war crimes? I think the Celtics play pretty dirty basketball. They are the champs. They still might repeat.

  • who da guy

    that was not even close to a dirty shot. I would put all of those clippers hacking at pierce’s thumb the other night more dirty. He got hacked so many times, and the refs weren’t calling anything, that after it popped out the second time pierce stopped driving hard to the basket. Big baby went for the ball. Good solid basketball. Varajao flopped like a futbol player. He acted all hurt, then when Big Z and bron bron got into big baby’s face he popped right back up like he just popped a viagra.

  • OCLakers

    I’m happy LeBron got spanked last night!! I agree with the official call, but not with Zeller’s comments. Baby hooked Varejao’s neck with his forearm using a downward motion and forced him to the hardwood. The foul didn’t look like a play for the ball to me. I like the Celtics hard style of play. I hope Rondo’s ankle is okay. He was somewhat tepid after the sprain. Games are more enjoyable when he’s playing well.

  • ShooterMcGavin

    so be it if we are or people think we are dirty
    after rooting for the sox and pats and now the celts over this decade, i’m done trying to defend the teams i root for to people because they’ll never change their opinion
    if playing hard and dirty gets us another title, then i want them to play dirty

  • Danno

    2 flagrant fouls (by 2 different individuals) in 62 games, 29th in the league in techs, 10th overall in fouls called.
    Could this article be any more of an exaggeration in his indictment of the Celtics as a “dirty team”? The Stats simply prove, FACTUALLY that this article is patently wrong, and little more than a knee-jerk reaction attempting to garner viewers.
    The sad thing about that site he’s writing for – in order to post comments, you need to have an AOL account.
    AOL. More like LOL.
    It’s 2009, Tom. Unless I plan on firing up the wayback machine to head back to 1997, I don’t think I’m going to be using AOL any time soon. Fortunately for you – I won’t be able to put you in your place, then. So really, your article is about as useless and outdated as the service it’s sponsored by.

  • venus

    Oh please. Varejao is a premier flopper this is the 2nd game this week his oscar worthy performances have gotten someone kicked out. His own teammates didn’t even bother to check on him when he went down.
    A dirty play maybe its debatable but using two incidents to label the team dirty is just irresponsible journalism especially for someone who watches a lot of Celtics games.

  • Gant

    The Celtics play uplifting basketball that makes the spirit take wing.
    “Dirty” is such an unclean and incorrect word. The Celtics are the only team in this league capable of holding off the forces of evil.
    If they have to occasionally use firm methods to keep the universe from plunging into the type of chaos we saw from 1987 through 2007, then such methods must be used!
    Big Baby and his compadres took back the interior and won the game. His play on Varejao and the resulting victory was a strong statement that this new green epoch will continue.
    I am grateful for Baby’s self sacrifice, dedication, and enormous forearms. Bravo Mr. Baby! Bravo!! The great green nation salutes you.

  • droopy

    fact of the matter is everyone wants a piece of the champs and wants to see them fall.. its just that i dont think were going to do it yet. so keep hatin everyone

  • tuka

    2 plays!? He bases his theory on 2 plays over the course of an entire season? I guess it’s clear why he’s a journalist and not a scientist.
    Here’s my theory from 4 or so of his posts here: He’s an idiot.

  • DRJ: You’re right. Not the dirtiest play since the Big ‘Drick flagrant. West … Z-Bo’s punch … probably a half-dozen others. That statement was a reach. I’ll edit in the morning to reflect. Maybe at the end of the season I’ll put together a “dirtiest plays of the season” … Glen’s flagrant won’t likely make the list.
    I still think the Celtics are the dirtiest team in the league, and I think the flying defense is a reason why. (Also, Bruce Bowen’s aging would be a reason why.)

  • Josh

    Since when is physical basketball “dirty?”
    Just because you don’t like a team, doesn’t make them “dirty” for banging.

  • Two-Buck Chuck

    Wild, fast and violent? Sounds like my idea of a good time in the sack.

  • 11rings

    Ziller, the Celtics’ help defenders intentionally foul at times to avoid giving up easy baskets, but with a couple of exceptions (Perk and Baby’s flagrants) they are not being “violent.” In fact they have given up numerous and-1’s because the foul was not hard enough.

  • Nickels

    ^ha, Mbenga gets a good swat in garbage time vs. the twolves and all of a sudden Lakers trolls think he’ll see pt in the finals. I don’t care what he’s a black belt in…

  • Juan

    What is this guy talking about! This is the way the game should be played! I love the hard nose D and the passion the C’s play with on the defensive end. The NBA would be better if more teams played like the C’s.