(This Gaffney dunk was one of the few plays during the game that kept me from dozing off.)
I knew I was in for a bad night when I heard Rick Kamla’s voice.
Almost immediately, Kamla started salivating about Jrue Holiday’s swagger like Holiday was Michael Jordan or someone. A couple minutes later, Kamla tried to convince me you could tell Evan Turner was smooth just by listening to him speak. Kamla’s convincing speech might have worked… had I never heard Turner’s voice, which actually sounds like a 13-year old who just inhaled helium. Oh, Rick Kamla. Oh, NBA Summer League.
Oh, the ugliest first half I’ve ever seen. Would you believe me if I told you the Celtics were ahead 15-3 after about five minutes, then down 39-33 at half-time? Would you believe me if I told you the C’s shot less than 30% in the first half? Of course you would! It was the NBA summer league! Those aren’t All-Stars out there, after all. And they certainly didn’t play like they were, either – the game was was uglier than Tyrone Hill.
Here are my notes of the game I wish I hadn’t watched:
- It was the Tony Gaffney show early. First, he cut to the hoop for a bucket. Then he got fouled and hit the two free throws. He blocked a shot, drew a couples charges from Evan Turner, snagged five boards and hit a jumper from the corner. This wasn’t the same Tony Gaffney I saw yesterday, that’s for damn sure. And, oh yeah, he also had a vicious dunk after running the wing on a fast break. Kamla had this to say about Gaffney: “He’s like a spider out there. He’s very long, and he kind of multiplies out there on the court.” I wasn’t aware that spiders multiplied, Rick.
- Gaffney also did a great job defending Evan Turner. I can see the Human Spider becoming a solid role player down the line if he does one thing: Learn to hit the corner jumper. Think Bruce Bowen. There are a lot of guys who can D up, but the ones who succeed in the league can do at least one thing right offensively. As of now, Gaffney has no offensive game. Give him a reliable jumper, though, and he’d be a very valuable reserve.
- Gaffney also got injured at the end of the game. He told A. Sherrod Blakely it was a twisted left ankle. Gaffney should be okay.
- Luke Harangody doesn’t have runway looks and he doesn’t have a prototypical NBA body. He’s simply a basketball player and a competitor. Whether that translates to the NBA is a question for another day, but I get the feeling Harangody will always be able to produce offensively. He struggled against the length of Trent Plaisted and Mareese Speights at times today (and I suppose struggling against Trent Plaisted’s length is never a greatsign), but still put up 14 points and 12 boards. If Harangody can adjust defensively to guard some of the longer fours, he’ll find a spot in the league.
- I am falling in love with Jaycee Carroll’s game, little by little. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’ll ever play in the NBA. He’s an unathletic 6’2″ shooting guard, and you won’t find too many of those in the Assocation. But he’s one crafty dude, and he can shoot. Somehow, someway, Jaycee Carroll continues to find space to get his shots off. I’m sorry if this is weird, but I have a small crush on his game.
- Oliver Lafayette was a letdown. I was about to write the excuse, “He was being defended by Jrue Holiday, so it’s excusable that he had a bad game,” then realized,Shit, Jrue Holiday was one of the NBA’s worst point guards last season. Lafayette struggled a little with Philadelphia’s fierce ball pressure, as did his backup Rodney Green. To be fair, even though he wasn’t anywhere close to amazing last season, Holiday is a big, strong, quick defender with all the tools to be a lockdown player in the NBA.
- Today was the first day of the Slava Kravtsov era, and if today was any indication, it will be a short-lived era. Kravtsov is a beast physically, but often seemed to have no idea what in the world he was doing. He did have a nice putback dunk, a block or two and a lefty hook shot in the lane, but Slava didn’t impress on me much.
- Steve Smith’s analysis of Harangody’s jumper: “It hurts watching it, but it goes in.” Yup, that sounds about right. It’s also a really gross “that’s what she said.”
- Kamla and Steve Smith brought up Chris Duhon during the fourth quarter. Kamla tried to say Duhon is one of the top backup PGs in the league. My thoughts? The Magic might as well have burned $15 million in a bonfire. Duhon played 31 minutes per game last season for an offensive mastermind and still put up only the following, miserable numbers: 37.3% FG, 7.4 ppg, 5.6 apg. Coincidentally, those numbers are exactly what John Hollinger projected I would average in 31 minutes in a Mike D’Antoni offense.
- Ryan Wittman only played a few minutes, but hit some tough shots. I’m pretty sure his passion bucket was filled to the brim.
- A day after outplaying Semih Erden and prompting a few C’s fans to ask why he wasn’t starting, Art Parakhouski drew the start. He was then pretty non-existent, scoring 5 points and pulling in only two rebounds. Erden sat out the game with a tweaked back.
- Rodney Green had as many turnovers (four) as he had points, rebounds and assists combined. I think it’s safe to say he isn’t the backup point guard we’ve been looking for.
- What can I say about Ryan Thompson and DeShawn Sims? Umm, a couple of times I actually noticed they were on the court.
- Matt Janning got a DNP-CD, I believe. And I would bet my life a few spectators mistook him for the water boy. The Northeastern product still hasn’t had much of a chance to strut his stuff.
The Celtics play again tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Let’s hope tomorrow’s game is more enjoyable. Please. I’m begging. And that Rick Kamla isn’t the announcer.