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Red's Army

Hungry dogs defending their last scrap of food

RedsArmyAdmin May 15, 2009 Uncategorized 19 Comments

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It's become very clear that the Celtics simply don't have enough left to win a championship (although I will still find some way to explain how they could if they win game 7).  They are too hurt… too run down… too reliant on guys who should be getting 15-20 minutes per game, rather than 35-40.  And despite some of the comments that this team is playing poorly and stupidly… they are playing on sheer guts.  It's not that they're not hungry.  They are.  And they've got a scrap of food left… the championship they're trying to defend.  Even when they seem out-gunned… their desire to defend that food keeps them fighting. 

The Magic are not helping off Ray Allen, and it has thrown him into a funk. He's even rushing his open shots.  They're also running two guys at Paul Pierce every chance he gets.  He's being doubled teamed 30 feet from the rim.  Yet we get on his case and wonder why he can't just take over.  They're even setting Courtney Lee up inside Eddie House's jock so he can't go off.  They're daring Rondo to shoot tear drops and last-second jumpers.

The Celtics offense is often coming from Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Brian Scalabrine… because the Celtics have no other options.  Amazingly, Perk, Baby and Scal are hitting more shots than they should.  But how far can this team go with those guys carrying the load? 

Let's face it.  Doc was spot on when he said Kevin Garnett is the Celtics run-stopper.  How would last night's game had turned out if the Celtics could have turned to KG in the post, or on a pick and roll with Pierce or Ray, in the scoreless final 3:46?  How many times would Rashard Lewis have changed his shot when he got into the lane?  And what about having Leon Powe in there as yet another big man to push and hack Dwight Howard?  The game, and the series, would be much different. 

Luckily, the Celtics are facing a Magic team that has no clue how to win.  The Celtics will probably take advantage of home court (and probably some home cookin') to win a series they should have lost in 5 or 6 games.  They're undermanned and overworked, yet they continue to fight. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm frustrated after last night too.  That's a product of high expectations.  We see that green and white out there and we EXPECT to win… to dominate… to close things out.  And those high expectations breed emotional overreactions.  That's natural. But step back and look at what we're doing… and who is doing it.

But this is no eulogy.  I expect the C's to win game 7.  And I'll figure out some argument for how they'll beat Cleveland.  But they're doing it on heart.  They're defending their scrap of food with everything they've got.  You'll have to kill them to get it.  And that should be admired.

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570423591970b KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    Thank you Reds-finally a voice of reason. I think everyone was just pretty frustrated/emotional last night after that loss. Some of the comments I was reading were pretty ignorant, as I’m sure some of mine probably are too. But no matter what happens, this team defied the odds and got further on sheer blood sweat and tears than anyone thought they would. For guys like Rondo, Baby, Perk, Billy Walker and a couple others, these are good building blocks and learning experiences. Thx for that nod to Scal as well. As much crap as he takes, Scal is a very smart guy bball wise. He knows the game and does the little things. Good piece.

  • Alex

    I have to apologize last night with all the overreacting I’ve done. It was disappointing to see the Celtics lose Game 6 the way they did. I still think they should have won Game 6 but because they were acting careless with the turnovers, it finally cost us the game…
    Orlando Magic don’t know how to win. I don’t even want to see them in the Eastern Finals just because they don’t deserve to even reach there by the fact that their team points fingers at each other and their coach is indeed “the master of panic” according to Shaquille O’Neal (and boy, do I agree with him).
    I think the Cavaliers will have a tougher time beating the Boston Celtics than the Orlando Magic. I know both of these teams might not be able to beat the Cavs but still, I want to see the Celtics reach the Eastern Finals even without KG and Powe playing. That would be an amazing accomplishment. If the Celtics DO win the Eastern Finals and win the NBA Finals, I swear to you, everyone will remember the Celtics as Legends of the NBA. To be able to beat the tough, almost undefeatable at home, uninjured Cleveland Cavaliers and also to beat the tough, big-hearted Denver Nuggets would be such an accomplishment.
    I really hope the Celtics wins Game 7 and I really hope they play PERFECT basketball during the Cavaliers series if we even want a chance to go to the NBA Finals and win it all. Hell, if we actually beat the Cavaliers, we are sure to win another banner, no doubt about that!

  • G4L

    True that!!

  • NineSevenEight

    I wasn’t too shocked that the Celtics lost last night. The turnovers were daggers all night and you just knew it would come back to bite them. I don’t care how poorly the Magic shot, you can’t give them 20 extra opportunites to shoot the ball because eventually one is going to fall-Turk’s 3ptr. You could clearly see the Celtics were out of it on the inbounds that Rondo threw to open space in the last few minutes. You can’t play that carelessly in a playoff game on the road against a team that’s facing elimination. For as poorly as the Magic shot, the could have won this game by double digits had they converted free throws. Dwight Howard took one less than the entire Celtics team and had a pretty shocking number of offensive rebounds, 10! That’s where all his offense came from. Like Doc said, the Magic scored off turnovers, at the line and on offensive rebounds. Aside from those three things, the Magic continued to play inconsistent basketball and the Celtics gift wrapped them a win. They didn’t run anything offensively and if they did they weren’t too successful. I don’t know why people are overreacting about how the Magic closed out a game. Actually, the Celtics helped the Magic close out the game by turning it over and not scoring and holding the ball. The Celtics shot themselves in the foot, it wasn’t anything the Magic did.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Love the post, and noones going to argue the celtics are playing with heart. similar thing going on in houston as well, but there was still no reason to lose last nights game…rondo admitted they choked, perk said the magic were about to lay down (and they wouldve if you just got the lead to 15) we were right there all night, and in the end beat ourselves by not playing smart. is it to much to ask to play with heart, AND SMARTS? they need to instead of playing with the heart of a champion, they needed to play with the smarts of a champion last night, and simply folded up like a tent after those pierce missed free throws. pierce and allen have yet to play a good game together in these playoffs, all the excuses we have, I dont think they legitimately kick in until (if) we make it to the eastern conference finals. theres really no excuse for going 7 against the bulls, and you have noone to blame about being tired but themselves, and there was really no excuse to lose last night.
    weird happeneings. they are losing when they should be winning, and winning when it looks like they should lose. I just dont get it. Orlando is hurt too. the bulls had injuries. so, lets get honest here.
    My biggest positive are Rondo, Perkins, and even BBD, who have played phenomanal and its a great peak to the future of this team. not only are perk and rondo the future, they are the current backbone RIGHT NOW, there 2 future hall of famers have been consistently letting them down in these playoffs. PP and RA have been as wildly inconsistent as anyone ive ever seen

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570423591970b KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    No apology neccessary dude-it was a frustrating loss. It’s tough when you watch Ray go from Jesus Shuttlesworth saving the day to 2 of 11 from the field. It may sound lame, but with that last Bulls series, all the overtimes etc, these guys are just too gassed. They may have to dig extra deep Sunday, or go into the 4th with a huge lead. Either way, let’s just get the “W”-that’s all that matters.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Oh and not to be even more of a debbie downer…but couldnt you say the same thing about the magic? they are clearly without their leader in jameer nelson, got out of a tough series against the 6ers in 6 without dwight howard, lost there starting PG for a game in this series, yet they keep plugging away, theyre pretty beat up themselves and are in the same position we are.. so in that sense theres definetly no excuse not to win this series….there are excuses not to beat the cavs (although they are good enough to beat us healthy anyways) the cavs are healthy, rested and the whole nine yards. again I cant give this team a ton of credit for stuggling against the bulls or magic. they SHOULD beat these teams regarless, and the bulls shouldve been in 5

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Oh and you could also throw in courney lee missing half the series, I mean JJ reddick is a bench warmer in this league

  • NineSevenEight

    This is going to sound like a desperation move but the Celtics have got to play that way in a Game 7 if they show no signs of life in the early goings, especially Ray. Someone on TATB suggested putting Ray, Eddie and Pierce on the floor at the same time with Paul running the offense while Rondo’s getting a breather. We all know Paul can play any position and carry the team when there’s no other option. Since Ray and Eddie are being targeted seperately when they’re on the court by the Magic defense, you have to believe that that may free up some space for Ray and Eddie to get a better shot selection. If not that, then it should leave Baby or Perk in a hell of a lot better position to get easy buckets. The Orlando has learned they have to respect Perk and BBD too since they’ve been so consistent. The Magic know Eddie’s deadly, they know Ray’s deadly, they know Paul is deadly. It goes back to picking your poison with those guys. They’ve spent their entire defensive schemes on keeping Ray and Eddie from getting open shots, but what would happen if they were both on the floor at the same time? You have to think there’d be some miscues and panic which could lead to sloppy covers, fouls, etc.
    Obviously you give up some defensively when Eddie’s out there, but this is nothing new. He’ll give it his best on the defensive end, but he knows what his strengths are. But look at the Marbury lineup that kept us in position to win the game in Game 5. I don’t think a starter was on the floor, save for the struggling Ray. The Magic haven’t shot (with wide open looks) well throughout the entire playoffs, not just this series. It’s a gamble, but Doc has to figure out a way to dicombobulate the Magic’s train of thought.
    Celtics gotta play chess, not checkers.

  • NineSevenEight

    Just to clear up what I said before, after re-reading it and realizing it may not have been clear: Since the Magic devote so much time to covering Ray when he’s on the floor, and the same to Eddie when he’s on the floor, why not keep Pierce in the mix? If it’s Rondo, House and Ray it won’t work because they’ll just force Rondo to beat them with the jumper which he hasn’t been able to do. But if it’s Pierce, Ray and House, they can’t double Pierce, if they do they’re going to give opportunities to the open man who can shot from the outside or Perk down low. Baby, Ray, Eddie and Pierce have jumpers. We all know all it takes is one or two shots for Ray to get comfy. Perk, Pierce and Ray (sometimes) have moves to get to the rim. Throw in some upfakes and create contact…it might work. Pierce can obviously create his own shot, but when he’s running the offense, it forces him to pass-which is something the Celtics didn’t have down the stretch though they needed it desperately. Once the ball starts moving the the Magic are forced to move defensively, that has the potential to free things up.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570539554970b Ryan (UNH)

    Haha you all sound like a guy whos apologizing after having a fight with his girlfriend or something.
    It’s easy to piss and moan and say the celtics don’t have it this year even though that may be the case. The fact is this team lost a player like KG and are still DEFENDING the title. They might not win, but they’re showing every1 why we won the title last year. If game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi’s is where the road ends then so be it, but you gotta be proud of this team. They are running on fumes and putting up a fight. This is why I love the Boston Celtics and basketball.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570539554970b Ryan (UNH)

    I still think we’re winning on Sunday though.

  • Lakerhater

    Amen.
    Redsarmy- its time to post the John Belushi “was it over when the germans bombed pearl harbor?” speech, the faithful need to rally behind this team.
    CELTICS IN 7

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    You know that’s coming on Sunday night.

  • Jp

    Pish posh I say. Sir you speak as if from your hind-side. Nothing less than a Championship will be acceptable. If Pierce had some heart, if Rondo would stop playing for his own stats, if Perkins could get the ball above his head, if Doc had a freaking clue, if Ray Ray would just hit the gym and practice a jump shot, and Scal shoulda spent some time after the Championship looking up diets and less time chatting up the press conference. Fire em and trade em all if we don’t have a parade this June.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, the voices say I have to fill the tub up with Cheerios and apple juice for my bi-daily nutrient wash.

  • DRJ

    I once had faith, but I must admit, I’ve lost it. Just as they lost their heart… which I think they must have dropped in Houston at some point, because the Rockets seem to have found it.
    I would exclude Perk, Eddie and Steph… those guys are still fighting all the way. But 2 of them hardly play… Doc apparently would rather keep Ray Allen in for 43 minutes, making more turnovers than baskets, than use a red-hot, fired-up Eddie House. That’s Doc giving up, saying “Hey, this is RAY FRIGGIN ALLEN. I’m ENTITLED to have Ray Allen shoot lights out and save the game.” Our season, in a nutshell.
    But hey… there’s always next year.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570539554970b Ryan (UNH)

    To address the Ray Allen situation, I could copy and paste posts from this time last season that said the exact same thing. So yes, Rays been off but he can turn it all around very quickly.
    I honestly don’t think people we’re being realistic coming into the playoffs. As a Celtics fan, I want this team to go all the way soooo bad. Back-to-back titles only happen to special teams. As a basketball fan however, making the Eastern Conference Finals with this squad would be saying something. You realize Glen Davis was given and hit a game-winning shot? This team has no depth like they had last year yet they are one game away from the ECF.
    I have faith like every Celtic’s fan, but to actually give up on this team means you were expecting way too much out of them from the very beginning.

  • cb

    Love the photo and headline. The Cs should tack it up on their white board in the locker room.

  • CorndogsRUs

    Just a well written article that was spot…need i say more