What better way to celebrate the Final Four than talk pro hoops? Just a quick thought on the Tourney, though: why the hell did Bruce Pearl wait till five minutes left to start trapping? FIVE MINUTES!? No, I’m just kidding. I was in the library. I have no idea what happened. Congrats on a solid year, coach.
Alright, so you probably weren’t one of the four people that read my last “24” post. Here’s how it works: I DVR a game on Sundays because this is typically the day I spend holed up in Library West, pounding away at a week’s worth of Research Methods homework (read: tweeting #nbaplayerlotions… Al-Faruq Aveeno, Emeka Aquafor, etc.). In light of my severe bout with procrastination, I end up cranking out recaps of NBA second halves i.e. the last 24 minutes. Lucky for you, this game started at 8 p.m. So I’m just going to knock out the whole damn thing. You should probably quit right now. I imagine this post could be a tremendous waste of your time.
Here’s the setup. The Spurs, my secret favorite team, are on the decline due to fielding half their team from a retirement home. This is a huge compliment to Richard Jefferson, who is in fact dead. As QBKILLA (aka Warren Sapp) broke the news this morning via Twitter: “Spurs almost in 8th Place!!” Warren is on it, though actually the Spurs are in seventh, and have pretty much secured a playoff spot. They’re six games out of ninth and only four out of the second seed. And need to avoid the Lakers in the first round at all costs.
The Celtics, on the other hand, have used my bulletin board material – I eulogized the Big 3 two weeks ago – to kick their season into gear. They’ve won 7 of 10 and leapfrogged the fourth-seeded Hawks. Rasheed Wallace still has massive tits.
First Quarter (From Boston)
12:00: The major perk to this game is that Hubie Brown is doing color. He’s prone to exaggeration, so I feel like we’re kindred spirits. Also, if he was a hand lotion, he would be Yu-Be Brown. Yes, I spent all day thinking of these.
11:28: It’s taken exactly 32 seconds for Richard Jefferson to pick up two fouls. He’s going to the bench. Coach Pop sends in live body Keith Bogans.
9:00: C’s forward Kevin Garnett “looks as healthy as he’s looked all season,” according to play-by-play guy Dan Shulman. Blind guys totally agree with this. Pierce finds KG on a lob, but he doesn’t have the legs to dunk it. I’ve compared Garnett both to an 11-year-old golden retriever and Heather Mills, and as far as I can tell, he hasn’t gotten any younger in the last two weeks. 10-6, Celtics.
6:03: “Kevin Garnett is getting stronger by the day,” says exaggerator Hubie Brown, as The Big Ticket hits a baseline 15-footer. Here’s KG’s splits by month… You be the judge.
October: 13 pts, 7 Reb, 53% FG; November: 14.4, 7.4, 52.4%, December: 16.2, 8, 58%; January: 12.2, 5.8, 47%; February: 14, 7.6, 55%; March: 14, 7.8, 50%
1:34: Speaking of old legs, Duncan misses a reverse layup and trudges back down the floor like an 8-months-pregnant woman. He’s 0-4 shooting tonight. Meanwhile, point guards George Hill and Rajon Rondo are putting on a clinic. I hope they both hit 20 points. I feel like Hubie has a Bird-Dominique comparison in him.
0:48: The Spurs are getting dominated on the boards, which is no surprise because they’re dead last in offensive rebounding. I’m more intrigued by walking corpse Michael Finley, who asked out of San Antonio because they have better assisted living facilities in Boston. Cold weather’s apparently good for one’s three-point stroke, though: 31.7% in S.A, 43% in 11 games with Boston. 23-19, Celtics.
10:00: I preface the following statement by telling you that I picked the Cavs and Spurs to make the finals at the beginning of the year, and have $20 on both in a bet with my friend PK… If the Spurs make a run (I know, I know), it’s going to be because of Manu “Manu” Ginobili. He’s averaging 22 points a game in March, and looking very much like the athlete of ’07. Too bad there’s a high correlation between the guy’s bald spot and his team’s overall relevance. Bald spot bigger, title chances lower.
7:38: Manu gets his 11th point. 31-27, San Antonio, as Dukie Shelden William swaps in for Big Baby Davis. I was really enjoying the Rasheed-Baby tandem. Between the two of them, I thought I was watching the cast of “Baywatch: Harlem.”
6:00: “One of the best in the league that we have,” says Hubie, as Ginobili weaves through the lane and makes an acrobatic layup. The “in the league that we have” is totally Hubie’s crutch. He’ll say it 20 times tonight. I hope one of them is, “Rasheed Wallace has the best pair that we have in this league. You know Dan, he reminds me of a young Pam Anderson.” Manu’s got 13. 38-30, Spurs.
4:03: A hustling ‘Sheed dives for a loose ball, and flings a perfect outlet pass to an in-stride Rondo. Just kidding. But he did just hit a wide-open three, a rarity since he’s only shooting 28% from distance. Wallace has pretty much filled the exact same role that Antoine “No Benjamins” Walker mastered… Reporter: “Antoine, why do you shoot so many threes?” Antoine: “‘Cause there’s no fours.” 7-0 Celtics run. 40-37, Spurs.
3:01: Timmy sinks his first basket of the game with a line-drive jumper from the foul line. On the other end, Ginobili sends KG sprawling to his back on a full-ball rejection. All of these old people in one sentence gives me the opportunity to point out the advanced age of both teams… Celtics Geezers: Ray Allen (34), Michael Finley (37), KG (33), Paul Pierce (32), Brian Scalabrine (32), Rasheed (35)… Spurs Geezers: Duncan (33), Manu (32), Antonio McDyess (35), Richard Jefferson (deceased).
0:00: “I like what we’re seeing… We’re just seeing poor shooting at both ends of the floor,” Hubie says. Besides the house worth of bricks on each side, totally agree – love turnovers and missed shots. I feel like Hubie could have been a White House secretary in another life. 44-43, Spurs. You know how people say that the fourth quarter of NBA games is the only thing worth watching? They’re 100 percent correct.
11:15: Fun fact as Manu finds a cutting Jefferson for a baseline layup: Hubie Brown is in the Hall of Fame. Why is this fun you ask? Because he’s got a career .492 win percentage, .368 in the NBA.
9:41: “Vintage Jefferson!” says Shulman as the 29-year-old gets his own offensive rebound, cuts through the lane and lays the ball in over an outstretched Garnett… I hope I’m not dead by 29. And I hope my friends aren’t referring to “Vintage Hilson!” when I’m 29. 56-48, Spurs.
7:11: Remember when people were comparing Paul Pierce to Kobe and LeBron after the ’08 Finals? That wasn’t that long ago, right? He’s got a quiet 13 tonight and getting worked on both ends by Ginobili. Nice drive to the hole, though. (Michael Scott: “That’s what she said.” Thanks, Mike)
5:58: The refs just annulled a Rajon Rondo three after four minutes of game time. The ball was in his fingertips at the shot clock expired. Annulled after four minutes… Rondo three eerily similar to Brittany Spears’ fist marriage. 58-49, Spurs. Also, Paul Pierce just fell awkwardly on his shoulder. Pierce clanks his first free-throw and promptly clutches said shoulder like it’s been hacked with a machete.
4:22: Even as the lead increases to 62-49, the Spurs fall in the standings. Portland just won and Warren Sapp is garnering Nostradamus comparisons. In other news, Richard Jefferson hits another off-balance jumper and two minutes later gets to the line by out-sprinting three C’s defenders to chase down a crafty 20-foot bounce pass from Duncan. Is this the play of a dead man? No. Will I stop making dead man jokes about him? (*thinking*)
2:19: Pierce steps to the line and swishes a pair of free-throws for only the 9th and 10th Celtics points of the quarter. Miraculously, the shoulder is all better. Ric Bucher reports a “stinger.” I’m reporting “bruised pride.”
0:38: “We can’t say enough good things about Shelden Williams,” says Hubie in a fit of Dukie affection. Big Shelden’s averaging a 3.6 and 2.8 as a Celtic this season. He gives very enthusiastic high fives, though, and is killing it on the boards tonight.
0:00: Hey, if you watch NBA games long enough, something spectacular is bound to happen. Ginobili whispers to himself, “This one’s for you, Holt” before darting down the left sideline and banking home a one-handed three over two Celtics defenders at the buzzer. “The NBA: Where Amazing Happens… Eventually.” 77-60, Spurs, as I contemplate sparing you the fourth quarter.
12:00: Still here. Your loss.
11:20: This is the point of the game where ESPN feels obligated to share goofy stats to compensate for an increasingly non-competitive affair. So here you go: The Celtics were 70-12 at home during ’07-’08 and ’08-’09; they’ve already lost 12 games at home this year. Since I started writing this paragraph, KG failed to close out UF alum/redhead Matt Bonner on an open three, and then Ginobili and Hill both scored on drives into the porous Celtics paint defense. 84-67, as the PA guy plays “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” over the sound system in a vein attempt to keep people in the building.
8:11: Sill here. Your loss.
7:00: “Boy, there is some grumbling in the stands right now,” says Shulman, as the Spurs pull down their fourth offensive rebound of the quarter. He adds, “This is maybe the ugliest half of basketball the Celtics have played all season.” Yep. Picked a perfect game to blog. Then again, as Cleveland’s Shaquille O’Neal might say: It’s all about fillin’ space, holmes. 84-67, Spurs.
5:00: The superlatives continue to role in. Shulman: “Really a lifeless second half for the Celtics.” Doc sends in Michael Finley, Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen, Nate Robinson and Big Baby amid a shower of boos. 90-67, as half the Spurs head for the locker room, Pops and Timmy toast a shot of Cap’n Morgan’s, and I begin to wonder how Versus’ coverage of the D League hijacked my flat screen.
2:00: Don’t worry, we’re not talking about this game anymore. (“You have to punch the clock for the full 48 tonight,” Shulman tells Hubie in a secret nod to Yours Truly.) Nope, instead we’re talking about women’s college basketball. Baylor center Brittney Griner’s blocked 24 shots over the last two games of the Tourney, which is fitting given that my friend and I were blocked 24 times at the The Top last night. Dear girls with boyfriends and an all-female posse: please stay home.
0:00: 94-73, Spurs, as I begin to think that a victory over Cleveland and a victory over Boston in three days means that I didn’t totally light my $20 on fire. One more, Timmy. For me.