The C’s travel to the Izod Center tonight, squaring off with the 4-1 New Jersey Nets. Most pre-season predictions tagged the Nets as one of the powers in the East, mainly due to the return of Nenad Krstic. But their early success stems greatly from Richard Jefferson’s output. Currently fifth in the league in scoring, Jefferson is the complete player that Carter has never quite been for New Jersey. My theory is that he catches a lot of flak from opposing players about owning the worst tattoo in the league (it’s a hand drawn sun-ish thing around the block initials “RJ”—except it looks like a three year old used their weak hand to draw it), and this has, after all these years, enraged him to the point where he has turned into the equivalent of the Incredible Hulk. We’ll see if he throws someone through the backboard tonight.
• Jason Kidd uncharacteristically turns the ball over on the Nets first possession, leading to a Ray Allen floater on the other end. How does someone with no rotation have such a soft touch? For the last six years (since an article pointed it out) I have been baffled by this fact. I suppose I should accept that his nickname is Jesus for reasons beyond Spike Lee’s joint.
• Kidd to Carter for a reverse alley-oop. Carter looks comatose.
• Rondo with his second jumper in two games. He has met his quota for the month and I expect nothing more from him (translation: don’t shoot any more jumpers Earthworm Jim)
• Rondo shoots another jumper. He misses.
• After watching Kidd hit a long jumper, and seeing him regularly hit international threes this summer for Team USA, I am convinced that, given enough years, anyone can become a decent shooter. Except Shaq. Shooting is beneath the Big Aristotle.
• For the third trip in a row, the Celtics rush to beat the clock (failing this time—shot-clock violation on Pierce). Rivers criticized them for over-dribbling last night and forcing themselves to rush shots as the clock ran down. He appears to have a point.
• Garnett utilizes his pivot to hit a turnaround on the baseline. With his back to the basket, Garnett uses his pivot better than anyone else has since Hakeem retired (although Yao had a nasty “Dream Shake” last week that caused me to jump off the couch—wait, did I just type that a Dream Shake made me jump off the couch?)
• Interesting stat: the Nets are 27th in the league in points per game and 28th in FG percentage, yet they’re still 4-1. No wonder Jefferson is averaging 10 boards a game.
• My Mom just commented that Vince Carter “looks like he has undiagnosed Downs Syndrome” and that Jefferson looks like an alien.
• Right now the Celtics are losing to retarded aliens.
• Tony Allen checks in and immediately airs a three. He pains my insides this year.
• Jefferson drives the lane off of a Carter feed and crushes a one-hand tomahawk dunk, giving him 13 points already in the first.
• Tony Allen gets a lay-up pinned of the glass by two Nets at the same time, and both of them used both hands. Allen just got blocked by FOUR HANDS AT ONCE! His athleticism has gone the way of Britney’s career.
• Darrel Armstrong is on the Nets? Their average point guard age is 40!
• Antoine Wright hits a top of the key 3-pointer. His nickname in college was Superman. You probably don’t care. Neither do I. I’m stuck with that tid-bit though.
• KG gets called for a bogus foul, then is T’d up for jawing at the ref. The Celtics announcers agree that the ref is “weak” for making a bad call and then giving Garnett a T for arguing said obviously bad call. Weak? There should be a rule about announcers and slang. Like don’t do it. Evah!
• Tony Allen catches a ball while standing on the baseline. Perhaps he has Downs Syndrome as well. Tony Allen = the new Wally Sczerbiack as the dumbest player on the Celtics.
• Big Baby checks in with 8 left the first half! Big Baby gets nothing but exclamation points! He DEMANDS exclamation points!
• “I like Big Baby!” states Heinsohn. “I LIKE BIG BABY!” No one else understands why this is type worthy unless they have heard Heinsohn before.
• Mom: “What is that guy (Heinsohn) yelling about? Who’s Big Baby?”
Me: “Number 11.”
Mom: “Why do they call him that?”
Me: “It’s his nickname from college.”
Mom: “Wait, I thought he was Boobie.”
Me: “That’s Daniel Gibson—different team.”
Dad (looking up from my Men’s Health): “It looks like he might have boobies to me.”
• If I recall, Bostjan Nachbar did stuff like this last year. So why is he only shooting and threes tonight? And why doesn’t he try making some?
• When Tommy Heinsohn talks, he sounds like a Masshole version of Droopy Dog.
• You know, Richard Jefferson and Luke Walton work out together at this suspect court at a 24 Hour Fitness in Encinitas, CA. Apparently they are willing to shoot around with and help out any local kids that get up early enough to be on the court with them. I’m thinking that more NBA players should take up this habit, because the good karma is working wonders for that pair this year.
• My favorite part about the foreign invasion over the past 5 years has to be the increase in balding white guys. Nothing says globalism like the “Friar Tuck” cut.
• Okay, 14 seconds left in the half, Doc calls a time out to set up a play. Lets see what transpires. Rondo dribbles toward Kidd at the three-point line… and takes it one-on-one, without even a screen-and-roll play with KG. Kidd knocks the ball from Rondo’s hands and out of bounds. KG hits a deep turnaround as the half runs out, making Rivers look smart. Basically, that’s the whole reason Garnett and Allen are on the team this year, to make Rivers look smart. You know what? It’s working. Celtics 59, Nets 52 at half.
• Two minutes into the third, Mom remarks that “Baby Cakes” is coming in. Everything about this season is nonsensical so far.
• Watching the Nets play should come with warnings about possible side effects of drowsiness and suicidal thoughts.
• On successive possessions, the Nets are whistled for offensive 3 seconds and traveling. John Wooden just smiled somewhere. And Bill Walton lit one up. “That was the most scintillating display of officiating ever witnessed from this hemp couch here in my hookah lounge!” It’s a wonder Luke Walton has normal tendencies.
• Heinsohn picks up on something that I’ve been noticing all season: the Celtics’ guards are funneling penetration into the middle. Now, Kevin Garnett is a shot blocking presence, but with little reliable depth at the forward positions, is it really that smart to welcome opposing slashers into the lane? It’s not like House and Tony Allen wouldn’t allow them to get there eventually anyway, why not kill some clock first? The last thing you need is KG in foul trouble.
• Pierce nails yet another three. The third quarter has been Paul’s time. And the Nets, with 4 minutes left, have yet to score a field goal in this half (they’ve scored 3 points in 8 minutes).
• Pierce with another three, this one in front of the Nets bench. I love that Pierce always takes it up a notch against the Nets. Anyone remember this? Or how about this?
• Late in the 3rd Carter puts down a half contested dunk on Garnett, and when he lands, his right ankle just crumples. Thankfully for Nets fans, Carter gingerly walks off the court under (mostly) his own power, a good omen to be taken from this situation if there is one.
• Nachbar misses iron on another three, making him 0-4. It’s like Elton Brand, Tim Duncan, and Samuel Dalembert all threatened his life if he ever tried to drive the lane again.
• With the Nets down 23, Paul Frank decides it’s time to unleash Sean Williams. I have been interested to see Williams on the court all summer long. Hopefully he starts a brawl with the Izod Center crowd. It’s not really that far fetched.
• I mentioned this yesterday, but it’s worth repeating: the atmosphere of games in the 4th quarter this year is almost exactly the same as it was in the 4th last year. The crowd is quiet, the players are unenthusiastic, and the announcers are feigning enthusiasm. The only difference, of course, is that this year’s games end with a W for Boston.
• Five minutes left, lead down to 12. The crowd of grandmothers and children are trying to make the building loud. No dice.
• Jefferson scores off yet another step back jumper. The step back is the alien move of choice. Just ask Sam-I-Am.
• Armstrong can still throw his body at the rim with the best of them, this time with a pretty block of Rondo’s lay-up attempt.
• This is why I have grown to love Jason Kidd. After Rondo is blocked for the fourth time this game, Kidd ends up with the ball on the right wing and the Nets on a delayed break. Kidd inexplicably lofts a soft pass to directly above the charge circle in the center of the lane, yet there are no Nets in the picture. Out of nowhere, Sean Williams flies in, taking off from the dotted circle below the free throw line, and puts the ball down with two hands. Kidd has a gift.
• The game ends quietly with Boston winning by 10. And speaking of quietly, Ray Allen had a mute 27, 10, and 5. The Celtics improve to 5-0. And no one remembers the Draft Lottery Disaster. Not even Tommy.