Posted by Jesse Nunes
May 29, 2008 01:12 AM
I can't even begin to describe the emotional roller coaster that was Celtics' thrilling 106-102 win in Game 5. In fact, I'm surprised I can even type right now. Feels like trying to play whack-a-mole with wet noodles. Regardless, here's a slew of what will most likely be incoherent thoughts.
- I will never say anything bad about Kendrick Perkins again. Well, at least until he starts getting 3 fouls in the first quarter again on offensive boards and moving screens. Seriously though, you can tell how a game is called by officials really affects a players' effectiveness. In Game 5, you pretty much had to cripple a guy to get called for a foul on the boards.
That style of play is perfect for Perk, who used his size and aggressiveness under the boards to send away all challengers for the rebounds. It was great to watch … he was going to do anything to make sure the man closest to him would not steal a rebound from him. If that were a regular season game against the Heat, he would have probably been called for 5 fouls on rebounding alone.
But I like how they called it in this game. That's how basketball should be played … barring any egregiously heinous acts, the guys under the boards should be able to battle it out for those rebounds. And Perk put on a clinic in the first half.
- Is there anything that's as simultaneously exciting and terrifying as Perk dribbling the ball the length of the court on a fast break. And can it even be called a fast break when it's Perk dribbling?
- I really want a T-shirt with a picture of a brow-furrowing Kendrick surrounded by the words "Perk Angry!" in crumbling letters.
- Can the Celtics win the championship, let alone this series, with Rondo playing 46 minutes a game? I don't think so. He was gassed in the fourth. I think it's obvious that Sam's time on the court has been a disaster, and Eddie cannot bring the ball up under moderate pressure, let alone the furious on-the-ball defense and trapping that the Pistons employ, but can't there be another way? Late in the Cleveland series, Pierce took the responsibility of bringing the ball up court when House was struggling with the pressure. Can't they do the same against the Pistons to give Rajon a little more rest?
- Losing that 18-point third-quarter lead slowly over the rest of the game felt like watching a parachutist slowly glide into the middle of an active volcano. It took forever, there was an impending sense of doom, and the worst-case scenario seemed inevitable. Then, just as they were about to drop into the crater, a gust of wind blew them within arms length of the side, and they grabbed and held on. That's the best way I can describe the utter relief of winning that game. They came close to certain death. I can't believe they survived.
The way technicals are being called in this series, I wouldn't be surprised if KG gets one while spraying the scorer's table with chalk prior to Game 6. If not that, then Posey will definitely get a flagrant for his pre-game hugs.
KG – 11-17 shooting, clinching free throws, continued solid defense, hit two hugely difficult shots at the shot clock buzzer … sure, it's frustrating when he passes up an open shot to try and get a teammate an open look (and there were a few bad ones in Game 5), but you can't cherry-pick that aspect of his game and ignore the rest. He's been huge all playoffs, in almost every facet of the game. It's been fantastic to watch. The "he can't do it in the clutch" sounds more ridiculous with every passing game. I know, it won't stop until he wins a championship, and the A-Rod comparisons will continue until then, but they shouldn't.
Ray Allen – 9-15 shooting, 5-6 from three, 6-6 from the line … wait, I thought shooting guards in the thirties couldn't do stuff like that? Then again, maybe I shouldn't talk until he does it in consecutive games. Still, you can't deny he came up with the biggest shots of the game. The threes helped the C's build that huge cushion and they ended up needing every one of them, and then his clutch jumpers late in the game made sure Detroit never got over the hump. The confidence is back. I hope.
I enjoyed that ESPN halftime feature way too much on Rip Hamilton putting on a variety of masks. Spiderman, Hannibal Lecter, Napoleon Dynamite … "Chauncey, pass me the ball. Gosh!" As annoying as he is to play against, I really hope he's healthy for Game 6; his arm injury looked like it could be a lingering thing, but I want the C's to beat the Pistons at full strength.
The C's left Sheed open for way too many threes, especially in the first half. I mean, after he made the first two, you think they'd put a guy on him. It's not hard to figure out he's going to drift away from the basket after setting a screen.
Fantastic move by Doc to foul Detroit twice in the last 10 seconds rather than give them a look at a three. You see so many games where teams hit big three-pointers at the buzzer to send a game to OT in that situation, and you always hear people ask "why didn't they just foul them?" … yet you almost never see it done. Kudos for Doc for employing the strategy, which admittedly carries its own risks, but it worked to perfection in Game 5.
Just pointing out that I almost had a heart attack when I saw Scalabrine was suited up for the game.
I was surprised to see that Paul had 16 points in that game ... that was a quiet 16 points. Still, he played solid team defense, made some good passes, and didn't hurt the team with turnovers. Solid game from the Captain.
I love Rajon, although his horrific shooting continues to handicap the offense, but those little lob passes into tightly guarded teammates need to stop. There were way too many down the stretch in Game 5, and one rotating defender in the right place or the correctly timed reach-in by an on-the-man defender and those are fastbreak layups for the Pistons. He's lucky those didn't end up hurting the C's in that game.
One more win for the Celtics, one more win for the Lakers, and we have the Finals match-up everyone wants. Scalpers in L.A. and Boston may have enough money after the playoffs to put an end to the housing slump.
I'll let you all continue the ramblings in the comments.
Statistical (and nervous) breakdowns from fans of Danny's boys.
Bird and McHale aren't walking through that door, but these Celtics fans are. Introducing our contributors:
He's got a bad case of Ed Pinck-eye and a Kevin Gamble-ing addiction.
Ian still calls it the Fleetcenter. He doesn't love Walter.