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Old 06-05-2008, 10:54 PM   #321
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Well that was ugly....just like the commentator said, "its only Game 1"...

Its two in Boston, 3 in LA and then 2 back in Beantown, so anything can happen ...one observation, Kobe did NOT look comfortable tonight; at times he was triple-teamed...he's gonna have to start taking shots early and forget about spreading the ball around especially if Odom can't get it going....
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:04 PM   #322
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Insane.

Cannot wait for Game 2.
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:06 AM   #323
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Great, great game. Pierce is all heart, KG was the man at the end, the Celtics team defense was tremendous, and they were knocking shots down right and left. Great to see Ray Allen over his funk and playing well now.

I guess I'm the only one here routing for the Celtics to win this series. I want KG, Pierce, and Allen to get rings. Say what you will, but Kobe already has three rings, and Odom and Gasol, imo, don't deserve rings as much as Garnett and Pierce do. Especially Garnett. He's the second best PF of his generation and very, very arguably a top 5 player of his generation, and he won't get the respect he deserves if he doesn't win a ring. Same with Pierce...he's been on this team for ten years, and save for 2002, they were, for the most part, lousy teams. But I never heard him demand or even ask for a trade. And Shuttlesworth is the best shooter in the NBA in a time when shooting is down the tubes, he deserves a ring for that alone.

I'm really liking the supporting cast, too. I've always liked Cassell, I've grew to like PJ Brown when he was on my Bulls ,(Yes Headache, we know you hate him for flipping Charlie Ward), and I'm really liking Rondo as well, kid looks very, very solid. Kendrick Perkins is a solid role-player center as well. Posey...I hated him when he was on Miami, because he took a cheap shot or two at Kirk Hinrich, but I can't deny he's a very solid sixth man.

It irritates me seeing how all the so-called experts on ESPN are picking the Lakers, and a lot of people in the general basketball-watching public are picking the Lakers, like beating the Celtics would be easy. Like 66 wins, the #1 defense in the NBA, the defensive player of the year, and the fact they GOT to the finals going through LeBron and the Pistons don't mean anything.

You lose a couple games to a Hawks team that was much younger and faster than you and suddenly people don't take you as seriously. Notice how much better the Celtics have played in the ECF and in this Game 1 when they're playing against other half-court teams and they don't have to out-run or out-jump anyone.

Go Celtics!
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:00 AM   #324
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I was out this evening and had to TiVo the game. I watched live up until 19-14 Celts in the first period. While I was out, I was being updated (thanks Carlos ) Got home and watched the game, already knowing the outcome. Seemed to be a pretty good/tight game all the way til the end of the third/early 4th (for the Lakers). But Pierce coming back with those back to back 3 pointers after his injury, and it just seemed the momentum turned or something just shifted And the Lakers were missing so many shots. Got to give it up to Garnett, Pierce and the rest of the Celtics. I was hoping the Lakers could pull out a game 1 win. I knew it would be difficult to win game 1 in Boston. This is gonna be one tough series!

BTW, on the ABC 7 newscast prior to the pre-show, the sports guy Rob Fukuzaki was talking to their guy who was live at Staples Center (apparently you can go there to pay & watch the game telecast from Boston). He took the Celtics in 6. I couldn't believe it, especially saying that from the location he was in. Maybe there were no fans around to hear him or something
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Old 06-06-2008, 06:23 AM   #325
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I guess I'm the only one here routing for the Celtics to win this series.!
No, I certainly am, and I think I can safely say phanan and randhail are also rooting for the Celts.

Funny how a different officiating crew changes things, Pierce's 4 point play was pretty much identical to the play in game 6 vs Detroit and there it was an offensive foul (a block).

And the save from a back court by KG was tremendous.

Worth staying up late for.
1 down, 3 to go.
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:59 AM   #326
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That save by KG was tremendous. I thought the Celts did a generally good job on Kobe and he still had 24 and, like he said, he missed some bunnies. They really tightened up the D in the 2nd half which was pretty impressive.

Apparently people are suggesting that Paul Pierce was faking...
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:35 AM   #327
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that save by KG was probably a back court violation that wasn't called because the refs don't know where the line is because of the silly gynormous championship trophy in the middle of the parque great hustle play none the less.

the back court that was called on pao gasol in the first quarter, on the other hand, wasn't a back court violation because all three points never crossed, as breen pointed out. again, probably confusion by the refs due to the ridiculous giant logo in the center of the court. look... we get it... it's the finals... we know, okay?


i've never been a big paul pierce fan... disliked him even. thought he took too many bad shots. but i can't tell you enough how much respect i've gained for him based on the way he's played in these playoffs... he's played great defense, made timely shots, been totaly unselfish, and has been a true leader on the court, which i never saw from him before. last night's performance only cements that.

as for the kobe/mj comparisons... jordan would have won that game. kobe did not. kobe's the best player in the league today. he's not michael jordan, and that's not an insult.

i hate mark jackson... but i love van gundy.

sam cassell really has become awful. it's amazing how many times you see guys like pierce and allen yelling at a veteran with championship experience like cassell after sam i am an alien does something incredibly retarded that he probably could have done 5 years ago, can't anymore, but still thinks he can.

both teams had tremendous defensive schemes... and i think rondo's ability to hit (or not hit) an outside jumper will be the difference in at least one game in this series.

one down, 6 to go.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:36 AM   #328
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I only was able to catch the game starting around the time when Pierce hit the back to back threes, but wow what it enteraining game. Great defense buy the C's in the 4th quarter. Though the way some of the Lakers shots were rimming out, it made me wonder if Red's ghost tightened those rims up at halftime.

It was nice to see Cassell actually hit some shots last night too, rather than the standard rapid fire brick launching I've come to expect from him. Though he still takes way too many friggin shots when he's in there.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:18 AM   #329
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Lakers are a better matchup for Cassell but I really cringe when he's in the game. Yeah he hit some shots yesterday and you could see him really feeling it...but the offense just looks like crap with Sam at the point. I'd rather see House.

Yeah the refs missed on both those backcourt plays, the Gasol one in particular. The KG one was more like the "save out of bounds" type plays that guys seem to usually get the call because they hustled. Overall I thought the game was officiated pretty well though, the 2 really questionable ones I saw were a foul by Gasol on KG that looked like a pretty good block, and one on Perk that might have been a rep call as Perkins is something of a foul magnet.

Ray Allen had a really nice game too, very active, got a bunch of boards, pretty good D guarding Kobe.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:00 AM   #330
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i think the fact that cassell actually made some shots, which he hadn't done in so long, actually disguised yet another poor performance. the offense stands still when he's in the game. even one of the shots he made... he had james posey standing bare ass naked for a corner three, but he took a contested jumper instead. it was a bad shot, it just happened to go in.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:06 AM   #331
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Apparently people are suggesting that Paul Pierce was faking...
i imagine big cheif triangle, who is looking more and more like colonel sanders every day, might try to play some psychological bullshit mindgames with the pierce injury... but anyone who thinks that he would fake that injury as a way to get his team more pumped up is too dumb to acknowledge their existance.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:14 AM   #332
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FUCK.

Fuck.

FUCK FUCK FUCK.
Exactly.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:17 AM   #333
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Yeah, I hate Boston and want them to lose, but not like that....glad Pierce returned....
I actually do not hate Boston. For me to hate a team it would have to be like Sacramento a few years back with Doug, Divoc and the other losers. But I respect Garnett, I think he is awesome.
Also, I kinda agree with the comment that someone said last night, that if either team wins...it would not be considerd an upset.
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:35 AM   #334
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i think this number will be relevant in this series...

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Old 06-06-2008, 12:10 PM   #335
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Wow, a Dee Brown sighting.
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:14 PM   #336
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hey, um, pao? ya got some shit in your face there..

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Old 06-06-2008, 12:15 PM   #337
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Wow, a Dee Brown sighting.
Yeah, but here's the REAL Dee Brown...

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Old 06-06-2008, 12:21 PM   #338
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yes yes... you're from illinois. we get it.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:29 PM   #339
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there was a terrific article on deadspin.com about game 1 by paul shirley, who's bounced around the ranks of professional basketball for many a year, both in the nba and overseas... he actually played with both kobe and garnett so he has a pretty good insight on the personalities of both.

Quote:
Los Angeles 1, Boston 0.

No, that’s not a typo.

From my vantage point, the Lakers won Game 1 of the NBA Finals. I’m not making such a claim in protest — I’m not questioning a particular foul call or coaching move. I’m making that claim because I stopped watching near the end of the second quarter. The Lakers were ahead 45 to 42 and I was sitting in the kitchen, watching the game on my computer. And I was tired. In my defense, it was 4:13 in the morning.

I wasn’t using TiVo or a DVR or the old 2-head RCA my parents held onto until its work to tape-digestion ratio was 1:3. The explanation is simpler: I’m in Spain. That I was able to watch the game at all is a minor miracle. That I made the effort to suffer through extreme fatigue to view a basketball game can only be explained by two things. The first is the same reason shared by anyone else born prior to 1980 — for historical reasons, it’s a compelling series.

The second reason is a little more interesting. I haven’t seen a single NBA game this year. I don’t watch much basketball anyway, but my location for the season — playing for a team on the island of Menorca, where TNT isn’t exactly a fixture on the local channel menu — didn’t help.

My lack of exposure to the NBA was disappointing because of the Boston Celtics.

Like 70 percent of the white males my age, I grew up idolizing Larry Bird. Like those same guys, I hated the Lakers. Like them, too, I learned about basketball by watching the Celtics.

But that’s not why I wanted to watch the Celtics this year. I’ve played in the NBA. Not to be condescending — I, of anyone, have no room to judge — but once I saw what went on outside the big top, the circus lost its luster.

However, there have been some singular personalities along the way. One of them is Kevin Garnett. After spending a training camp with Garnett in Minnesota, I was oddly fascinated with how he would adapt to a new team.

Because I know how to read, and because the phone company in Menorca was able to hook up an internet connection in eight short weeks, I was able to keep up with the Celtics’ progress. It seemed like they were doing okay without my constant observation.

At the same time, another man around whom I spent some time in training camp, one Kobe Bryant, was making a run toward the postseason, and toward the MVP award.

As the Finals drew near, I was actually a little excited by the prospect of watching basketball. The Lakers against the Celtics. Again, obviously, a big deal. But more important, from my perspective anyway, it was a matchup of two of the most impressive basketball personalities with whom I’ve spent any time. They were impressive for completely different reasons, but I’ll get to that.

First, I have to explain how I came to be able to watch the game at all.

When my season ended in Menorca, I “moved” to Barcelona. I’m in the city for reasons that are part of a moderately romantic story that would pique the interest of anyone with a pulse. But that story isn’t why we’re here.

Basketball is big in Spain, but it has not yet climbed any higher than number 16 in the ranking of the country’s most popular sport. Number one being by Champions League Soccer, number 15 being rec soccer played by sufferers of spina bifida.

While basketball continues to play the proverbial second fiddle, its popularity has grown thanks to a very tall Spaniard who plays almost no on-the-ball defense and who wears the raggediest beard this side of Artis Gilmore.

Pau Gasol is from Barcelona. As such, and because these are the NBA Finals , I assumed that it wouldn’t be difficult to find a place to watch the game. Big city, Spanish participant — surely the late start wouldn’t be a problem.

By 2:24 a.m., I had finally succeeded. I was settled in a stool in a Mexican bar on my street, watching Robin Roberts dissect the evolution of the sky hook. I didn’t know why she was dissecting the evolution of the sky hook. Maybe, I thought, they were about to show the 1987 NBA Finals.

Getting to Robin Roberts took some doing.

I started on the Rambla — the street every tourist in Barcelona knows. I hoped that an Irish pub I’d seen might be of some help.

It was not. I did receiver my first clue though: a map marked with the locations of other similarly themed places of business. I quickly learned though, that the Irish and the English have even less interest in basketball…

“The N – B – what?”

Next plan: canvass the neighborhood. I had another lead, given to me by one of my few friends in the city. But the place was closed for construction. Upon exiting the former Linea 6.25, I asked a waiter at a nearby restaurant if he had any ideas. He did: a bar called Bagoa, which he claimed was always open til 5 and which supposedly showed NBA games—a fact to which he could attest, having stopped by many times after work. For some reason, his lazy eye actually made him seem more trustworthy, at least on this particular subject.

After some sleuthery, I found Bagoa. The bartender seemed shocked that I would imply that they would stay open past 2 am. Tip-off—3 a.m. I was beginning to lose faith. And my dwindling hopes were thanks to encounters with the one problem I didn’t think I’d have. In Spain, supper doesn’t even start til midnight.

I went next door, where the bartender said, “Did you try Bagoa? They’re always open until at least 4 or 5.” Obviously, there was a breakdown in communication between proprietor and the general public at the venerable Bagoa.

Next up: another English pub. According to the blond youth behind the counter, they MIGHT be open until 3.

I put some other Barcelona contacts on the case…nothing.

I asked around in the district known as the Born. Everyone looked at me like I was an insane person.

And then, inspiration: Why not the Mexican bar that is all of 4 paces from my front door? It wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned, which was a rowdy pub filled with Spanish dudes, some of whom were clapping me on the back whenever Gasol made a fallaway. In fact, when Robin Roberts was on the screen, I wasn’t even sure I’d make it to tip-off; it looked for all the world like they were about to throw me out. But at least I can say that I watched James Taylor do the national anthem in El Ultimo Agave.

Of course, I’m not sure if what they were showing was ’08 James Taylor or ’87 James Taylor. I doubt the crowd recognized much of a difference.

When El Ultimo Agave kicked out its ultimo customer (me), I reported upstairs to my computer. I had done some work earlier in the evening and had learned a little about how to watch live sports over the internet using means of questionable legality. For me, the answer was a program or protocol or plugin called SopCast. I had doubts as to whether it would work consistently but, lo and behold, there was Mark Jackson making grand statements with a complete lack of any sense of restraint or irony.

It didn’t take me long to remember why I had wanted to watch the game in the first place.

I should add a disclaimer here. I wrote a book about a few years of my basketball career. In that book, I did my best not to be too judgmental. But I failed on several occasions. Certain people were just that difficult to be around. One of those people is Kobe Bryant.

My first NBA training camp was with the Los Angeles Lakers. I quickly realized that Kobe Bryant was selfish, arrogant, and completely insufferable. I also quickly realized that he is extraordinarily talented. Like, really, really good. But then, something else: People allowed all of the former because of the latter. In fact, many people assumed that part of the reason for the latter was the former: that Kobe Bryant is so good BECAUSE he’s selfish, arrogant, and completely insufferable. For a while, even though I couldn’t stand him as a human being, I bought their reasoning. They must be right, I thought—these people probably know more about basketball than I do.

But then I made a few more stops on the career Tilt-a-Whirl. I spent time with Steve Nash, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, and, most applicable to this discussion, with Kevin Garnett.

Kevin Garnett is also extraordinarily talented. Like, really, really good. And at first, I was afraid that he too suffered from the same syndrome as Bryant. His first words to me weren’t even spoken to me—they were spoken around me, as I ventured onto the court for my first pre-preseason pickup game.

“I don’t know who that white boy is. He doesn’t get to play yet.”

It was not love at first sight.

But over the three weeks I spent around the man in training camp, I developed a relatively deep respect for him. I qualify that respect only because I realize that three weeks doesn’t seem all that long. An experience like an NBA training camp is something of a pressure cooker, though, and teammates learn about one another’s character very quickly.

Kevin Garnett shares some of Bryant’s personality traits. He’s arrogant…but he realizes it. He can be insufferable…but he laughs about it. He’s intense…but he can turn it off.

The contrast between the two was evident even in the first quarter of the first game of this year’s Finals. Bryant took bad shot after bad shot, with no one questioning his decisions. For whatever reason, people—including the self-professed guru of coaching team-oriented basketball—assume that closely guarded fadeaways with a 25% likelihood of success are better since they’re taken by the team’s superstar.

Meanwhile, Garnett was playing fairly well. But that’s not the important part. It was evident, just from watching his face that Garnett was, of all things, nervous.

And I guess that’s why I liked him so much when I spent three weeks in the Timberwolves’ training camp. Kevin Garnett is almost like the rest of us. He’s gets nervous like the rest of us…laughs at himself like the rest of us…sees how ridiculous his job is, just like the rest of us. Kobe Bryant thinks that it’s perfectly normal that he is widely considered to be the best player in basketball.

Kevin Garnett is like the sane person who thinks he might be going crazy. Kobe Bryant is the crazy person who thinks that everyone else is insane.
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:43 PM   #340
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hey, um, pao? ya got some shit in your face there..

Lovely. KG is da man.

There you go, you overrated Gasol you...

(still pissed because Spain beat Argentina by 1 point at the semifinals of the last World Cup).
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