(Taking a deep breath.)
(Woosah. Woosah. Woosah.)
That went well, huh? I mean, if you don’t count KG ball-tapping Channing Frye. Or the ensuing (and ultimately anticlimactic) screaming fit that resulted in six straight Phoenix free throw attempts. Or Doc Rivers’ ejection. Or the Celtics getting destroyed on the interior. Or scoring 35 points in the first half. Or scoring 71 total points. Or playing hero ball, accumulating 14 total assists — for reference, one more than Rajon Rondo’s average. Or Glen Davis’ strained hamstring, which occurred at some point in the first half. Or the fact that Rondo’s talents were stolen by the Monstars before this Western Conference road trip. Or seeing Vince Carter play like it was 2000. Or the best game of Marcin Gortat’s career. Or Nate Robinson’s late pull-up three-pointer, which halted the Celtics’ only (brief) run of inspired play and led to a classic Bill Walton line: “One of the worst shots in Celtics franchise history.” Or being outrebounded by the Phoenix Suns. Or being pushed around by the Phoenix Suns. THE PHOENIX SUNS, people.
Other than all that, almost everything went handsomely.
I actually had pregame jitters (of sorts) for this one. It was the first time Shaq and Perk played on the same night, and they were playing the frail and weak Phoenix Suns. Thus, I expected the C’s to assert their physical dominance, and to toss around the unworthy Suns all night long.
What resulted was actually the antithesis of my expectations. The Suns looked like they ate their spinach this afternoon, and the C’s enforcers both earned early foul trouble trying to defend the “unstoppable” Robin Lopez-Marcin Gortat pairing. Night one of the Shaq-Perkins Era became a failure, but — to be fair — it wasn’t entirely their fault. When an NBA team doesn’t bring any energy and doesn’t take care of the little things, that’s a recipe for a blowout loss.
One of my college coaches used to say every day at practice, “If we take care of the pennies, we’ll make the big bucks.” I used to hate that saying, mostly because my coach used it more than Charlie Sheen uses drugs. But tonight the Celtics didn’t take care of the pennies, and the Suns walked away with the big bucks. And I can’t believe I just used that saying in a post. I honestly used to make fun of my coach for that saying every single day.
If you’re looking for positives, there weren’t very many of them. KG can easily handle Hakim Warrick in the low post, but you probably already knew that. Von Wafer looked good, again, and continues to earn minutes the hard way. By my count, two of Nate Robinson’s eight field goal attempts were good shots. I say that as a positive, but that means (*carry the four*) six of them were bad shots, and at least three of them could be considered in Walton’s “one of the worst shots in Celtics franchise history” category. Robinson’s shot selection, already bad to begin with, somehow grows worse by the day. Okay, so I couldn’t get through an entire paragraph of positives without letting out my fury. Do you blame me?
I’ll end this recap with one more positive:
It’s over. Finally.
I need to sleep this one off.