Only garbage-time minutes could save Brian Scalabrine from one of the single most ignominious performances I’ve ever seen. (He finished with 3 points, 2 rebounds and only 1 turnover in 3 minutes of play.) Had the Celtics not pulled away so they could re-insert Scal towards the end of the game, he would have played only four seconds and registered nothing but a turnover leading to a potentially game-changing Portland score.
And not just any turnover. No, this one was a head scratcher. Scalabrine didn’t just throw the ball away. He tossed it directly into the hands of a waiting Jerryd Bayless. Bayless wasn’t even really covering Rajon Rondo, Scal’s attempted target. Scal actually threw the ball about five feet away from Rondo, where Bayless was hanging out. It wasn’t even close to hitting Rondo’s hands, but it hit Bayless in perfect stride. A couple seconds later, Bayless laid the ball in the hole as Scal frantically — and unsuccessfully — tried to keep himself from registering an assist for the wrong team. The lead that had been 22 was suddenly 12.
The game turned out to be a blowout, but Scal’s lone play actually had the potential to be a game-changer. When Portland continued its run into the fourth quarter, I was ready to choke Scal out. The lead dropped to nine, and I couldn’t stop thinking that Scal’s brain fart had helped get the crowd back into it and convince the Blazers they had more than a fighting chance.
In the end, Ray Allen assured Scal wouldn’t be seen as a goat. After a 20-point win, it doesn’t matter that Scal was a bit of a dumbass in his one pre-garbage time play.
But you still have to wonder…
What the hell was Scal thinking?