Boston Celtics – Top Of The World

For all you Celtics fans, this is the new book written by Peter May chronicling the C’s championship run last year.

top of the world

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The Boston Celtics – 2008 NBA Champions

It was a Boston massacre and that’s pretty much all there is to say about that. The Celtics blew the Lakers out by 38pts last night to win their 17th NBA Championship. Paul Pierce took home the Finals MVP which really came as a surprise to no one as he was clearly the most dominant player in the series (sorry Kobe). Doc RIvers (Chi-Town!!) became the second African-American coach to win an NBA Championship since K.C. Jones did it 22 years ago with ironically, the Boston Celtics. P2 along with Kevin Garnett (Chi-Town!!) and Ray Allen finally got a chance to stand on the podium and hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy and it was a just a great night to be a Boston fan. Because I am such a big fan of the game of basketball in general, it was great to see Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett finally get a chance to win a championship. It legitimizes them as being three of the games greatest players and it cements their legacies as Hall of Fame players. They will also forever be a part of the history of the Celtics organization which is pretty special in itself and I’m really happy for those guys.

So as the NBA season comes to a close, think about this. Does it really come as a surprise that the Celtics won it all this year? I don’t know about you but once I found out that they had picked up KG and Ray Allen, I pretty much penciled them in as the champions. I will say that I didn’t expect the Lakers to make it this far. I do expect them to be back here next year once Andrew Bynum comes back and I see a rematch on the horizon. I guess we’ll find out in three and a half months! Congratulations to the Celtics, all of their fans, the city of Boston and the entire New England area.

Paul Pierce – The Truth

“Take this down, my name is Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce is the mother******* truth. Quote me on that and don’t take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth.”

And that’s how it all started. The man who’s given himself more nicknames than Darryl Dawkins  gave his dunks pulled a Boston reporter to the side and gave him that revelation after Pierce put the Celtics on his back and beat the Lakers during a regular season game back in 2001.

I personally have never been a Paul Pierce fan. I remember reading about him when he was in HS and when I finally saw him play the first thing that jumped out at me was that he was kind of chubby. Not only that but he couldn’t run real fast or jump real high and he had a horrible looking shot. To me, he didn’t “look” like a basketball player and there was something about him that seemed kind of, well…goofy. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. There was no denying his talent though.

He was a McDonald’s All-American in 1995 alongside Kevin Garnett, Stephon Marbury and Vince Carter. He starred for Roy Williams at Kansas for 3 years. He was the 10th pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and he’s been an All-Star 6 times since then. But none of that mattered to me; I still couldn’t bring myself to like him. Why? Well for one, he played for the Celtics and two, he isn’t athletic and his game isn’t smooth. To me it’s very unorthodox and ugly at the same time. Even still, for almost 10 years P2 has been quietly going about his business as being one of the best players in the NBA and I’ve never given him one single prop for it…until now.

I’m a die-hard Bulls fan, so I didn’t watch a lot of Boston games this year. I wasn’t caught up like everybody else in all the hype around the team bringing in K.G. and Jesus Shuttlesworth either. It was obvious that Danny Ainge was being very aggressive in his pursuit of an NBA championship; I just wished John Paxson would do the same thing. So of the few games I did catch, those two guys are the only reason that I was even remotely interested. But during this year’s playoffs and especially in the Finals, I “discovered” Paul Pierce and saw that beauty can be found in something ugly.

Paul Pierce has been torching teams throughout the postseason this year and it seems like the bigger the name is on the other team, the more he steps his game up. In the first round against Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks, he averaged 18ppg. In the conference semi-finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, he averaged 19.4ppg including  a game 7 duel with “King James” where he scored 41pts to offset LeBron’s 45. In the eastern conference finals against the Detroit Pistons he averaged 19.7ppg and in the NBA Finals so far against the Lakers and Kobe Bryant he’s averaging 22.8ppg. See what I mean?

Paul Pierce gets it done; period. I can no longer deny him a spot in my book as one of the best players in the game right now and certainly one of the best to ever wear a Celtics uniform. I mentioned in an earlier post that if Boston won the championship this year I would be happy for Kevin Garnett because he deserves it; but Paul Pierce deserves it too. He’s been the face of that franchise for a long time now and should they win it all he would be the most deserving. I guess it doesn’t really matter how ugly your game is as long as it’s effective and you can step up and produce when it counts. 

My nom de plume is B.C., and Paul Pierce is the truth. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the mother***** truth…and you can quote me on that.

NBA Finals Game 4 – LA Meltdown

 

Seeing as though I’m not an actual “reporter”, I’m not obligated to write about every single game that’s being played in this year’s NBA Finals. But after what happened last night in the Staples Center how could I not write about it? One word…unreal!! History was made last night…twice. The Lakers had a 21 point lead after the first quarter (history). They also led by as many as 24 points in the game and ended up losing by 6 points (history). I guess there are a few angles that one could take in breaking down the biggest choke in the history of the finals, but it all begins and ends with one man…Kobe Bryant.

Make no mistake about it, Kobe is my guy. I’m not only a fan, but a supporter as well. It’s hard for me to explain his performance last night though. The Lakers were up by 18 in the first half and Kobe only had 3 points. He didn’t make his first FG until the 3rd quarter and he finished the game with 17 points, 10 of those in the 4th quarter. That right there made it hard for me to sleep last night. The Kobe and Michael Jordan comparisons can officially be put to rest now because the G.O.A.T NEVER had a 3 point scoring half in the Finals! Imagine if Kobe would’ve had 15 points in the first half. That would’ve put them up by 33 points and we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. Is the Boston defense really that good or is Kobe too focused on making sure the other guys stay involved? I believe it’s a little bit of both. The problem is that when the team needed Kobe to take the game over, it was already too late. Most great scorers need to get into a rhythm early in the game. Kobe needed to put pressure on the Boston D from the jump ball like he did in game 3 which would’ve made things easier on the supporting cast late in the game.

And speaking of supporting cast, where were they down the stretch? They were on fire in the 1st half and they were the ones who put the team up by 18. But when it mattered most they were invisible offensively and defensively. Sasha, how could you just let Ray “Jesus Shuttlesworth” Allen just walk straight to the basket the way he did at the end of the game? No move, not even a hard drive to the basket…you just let him go. Shame on you! How is it that James Posey’s 3 pointers in the corner were all wide open and virtually uncontested? LO, where did you go after the first half? Pau, you couldn’t even hold on to the freakin’ ball! The second half of that ballgame was an embarrassment to the Laker fans, the organization, the players, and the city of Los Angeles. It just goes to show that with the exception of Kobe, Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher – because they’ve all been here before – the rest of the team has the mental toughness of cotton and they have no idea of what it takes to be champions. No conspiracy here, the refs had nothing to do with what happened last night. In the post game interview Phil Jackson said that “It’s not over. This series is not over,”…yes it is Phil, yes it is.

NBA Conspiracy Theory

nba-logoOK, I’m a conspiracy theorist. Like Juvenile…I get it from my mama! I’m of the belief that things that can’t be explained logically…are fixed. And when it comes to NBA conspiracies…I believe in ’em just like Rasheed Wallace. I’m crazy right? OK…

Does anybody think that it was merely a coincidence that in the same year the self-proclaimed “King of Akron” LeBron James declared for the NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers got the #1 pick? How about the Chicago Bulls picking first this year where Derrick Rose (being from Chicago) has decided to come out despite the team basically having a slim-to-none chance of even getting the top pick? Eerily similar to 1985 when Patrick Ewing, the biggest prize in college basketball went to the New York Knicks, the leagues biggest market in the first ever draft lottery. Is there no such thing as traveling anymore? What is a foul these days? How come everyone in the NBA is actually an inch or two shorter than listed in real life? Tim Donaghy? The NBA is so focused on being global and that’s why the San Antonio Spurs have won the NBA Championship 4 times because isn’t their team essentially the United Nations? Which also explains the Cavs vs Spurs in last years Finals because LeBron James’ Nike affiliation has made him China’s most popular non-asian athlete (who coincidentally will host this years Olympics). And the biggest of them all, Lakers vs Celtics in this years NBA Finals! How convenient that the rivalry that pretty much shaped the league is being played out again 20 years after their last title meeting. Ratings and revenue my friends…ratings and revenue. I’m crazy right? OK…

Paul Pierce “injuring” his knee in game one? Carried off the court, taken back to the locker room in a wheel chair and then coming back a la Willis Reed? Fake. The Los Angeles Lakers only shooting 10 free throws in game 2? Fixed. We can even go back to game 4 of the Spurs/Lakers series. That no call on Derek Fisher at the end? Hmmm… There really is somebody in the grassy knoll, and his name is David Stern. The Lakers/Celtics series is going to go 7 games with the final game being played in Boston and the Celtics will probably end up hanging banner 17. No way is the league going to let Los Angeles beat Boston when the Lakers just won a title 6 years ago and the Celtics haven’t won in 22 years! I ordinarily wouldn’t bet against the best player on the planet a/k/a Kobe Bryant, but even he isn’t more powerful than Comissioner Stern a/k/a The NBA.

2008 NBA Finals – Lakers vs Celtics

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21 years, that’s how long it’s been since these two teams last played for an NBA Championship. 1987, that was the last time the Boston Celtics even played in the Finals! Boston hasn’t won a title since 1986; LA has won 3 more championships since then. You have to have been living under a rock not to know the history and the storied rivalry between these two franchises. Who hasn’t heard of the famous battles between Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell or Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird? Well, now we have Kobe Bryant and company taking on Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce…a/k/a Jesus, The Ticket and The Truth. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is going to be the most watched NBA Finals series ever. Young and old alike will be tuned in to check out this matchup. Not only will this be great for fans, but it’s going to be even better for the League; this marks the 11th time that LA and Boston have met to play for a championship (Boston is 8-2 in their Finals matchups against the Lakers).

I have to say that I haven’t been this excited about the NBA Finals since MJ was bringing titles home to the west side of Chicago. I know that I don’t speak for everybody but I was sick of watching the San Antonio Spurs play in the Finals (booorrrrriiiiinnnnnggggg). I will say that everytime the Spurs played for the ‘ship, I didn’t watch. Especially not last year because not only am I not a Spurs fan, I’m not a huge Lebron James fan either (although I did enjoy watching him thrash the Detroit Pistons by himself). But the Finals this year will be way more interesting. We have two “new” teams in the Finals, a rivalry has been resurrected and the leage MVP will face the defensive POY and that hasn’t happened since 1996 (Michael Jordan & Gary Payton). How cool is it going to be on June 5th when the crowd in Boston will start chanting “Beat LA!”…if you’re a true fan of basketball, you’ve got to be pumped up about this one!

 

Boston Wins The East…Will Play LA In The Finals

Well, it’s official…a rivalry will be renewed! The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics will meet in the NBA Finals this year. The C’s dismissed the Detroit Pistons to win the series 4-2 to advance to the Finals. I have to say, I’m a very big fan of Kevin Garnett and I’m really happy to see him have a chance to play for a ring…he’s earned it and he certainly deserves it. But there’s just something about betting against the “Black Mamba”. I’m going to be impartial on this one and I’m going to just sit back and enjoy it. On the one hand, I’d love to see Kobe win a ring without Shaq which essentially would legitimize his greatness. On the other hand, being from Chicago I would love to see KG get a ring. I’m so torn and conflicted on this one. From my emotional standpoint, it’s a win/win but honestly speaking…I want to see Kobe bring it home. But that’s not a prediction!!