By Sammy Newman-Beck

Game Notes: Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 10/26/07

With the Boston sports scene booming right now (For all of you who live under a rock, the Red Sox are World Series champs, the Patriots are on track to go undefeated, Boston College football is for the first time ranked #2 in the nation and the Bruins…uhh..wait nevermind) the Boston Celtics are set to be another part of this New England fanaticism. With the defending eastern conference champions in the house—not to mention King LeBron—I decided to head out to the TD Banknorth Garden and check out the scene for the Celts final preseason game.

Pregame:

-Arrived at the garden pretty early. Had a quick dinner while sitting in the same room with Tommy Heinson—if you don’t know him, then you don’t deserve a “Tommy Point!”. Also ran into Tommy’s co-anchor Mike Gorman as well as numerous scouts for the Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets.
-Paul Pierce addressed the locker room about his beloved Kansas Jayhawks football team. Pierce stayed strong with his theory that his Jayhawks are being hustled out of the top 5 college football rankings. “They’re undefeated,” he continuously stated—yet somehow could not seem to muster up what quality teams they had actually beaten.
– Before I go on, I want to point out that the new Sports Illustrated has the Celts on the cover and has picked Paul Pierce as runner-up to the MVP and Doc Rivers as preseason coach of the year. With that being said—Pierce insisted that he would rather see his KU football squad win the national chip than be on the cover of SI.
– After having 9 assists in the previous game, Tony Allen had this to say, “I was surprised I had nine assists. It wasn’t wrong either (drawing laughter from the other reporters as well as himself), I looked at the tape. I counted ‘em all!”

Gametime:

-Immediately noticeable was the atmosphere and how it was different than previous years. The noise level was up, the overall excitement level seem outstanding and the crowd was a pretty good size.
-Dana Barros (who turned down a Northeastern University assistant coaching job, is now a director in the Boston Parks and Rec) was in the house.
– KG’s introduction brought out the loudest cheers of the night from the fans. Welcome to Boston big man!

1st Qtr

– The big green started off the game strong with a Paul Pierce and-1 bucket and a KG dunk. At the first TV timeout the score was 15-11 Celts.
– Second thing I noticed was KG’s astounding passing ability and while many say he is a great passer for a big man, I must say he is a great passer for any position.
-KG Hustles 24/7 Man!
– To end the first quarter Rajon Rondo drove the length of the court and kicked it out to instant offense man—also known as Eddie House—for a three at the buzzer. 1st quarter score: 33-22, Boston.
– KG’s stats at the end of the first: 7 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists.
– Oh and by the way, LeBron is a BEAST!

2nd Qtr

-Quarter starts with a Larry Hughes technical foul—way to go Larry!
– 41-31 with 7:50 left in the 2nd.
– The announcer tells the crowd that Sox owner John Henry and Patriots player Adalius Thomas are in the crowd…the crowd goes bananas.
-My main man Big Baby checks into the game and immediately he shows off his surprising agility.
– LeBron makes a couple plays that just make you wonder how he is human. I then realize that when LeBron jumps he is actually so high that he justs throws the ball down at the hoop…utterly amazing.
– KG gets in foul trouble and the Cavs make a little comeback
– The absence of Varejo and Pavlovich is definitely hurting the Cavs.
– Score at the half 57-51, Boston.

Halftime:

-Pretty much just stayed in my seat but I did walk by Danny Ainge and Tommy Heinson and realized how big they really are. Tommy is a good 6’7 and Danny is a big 6’5. Man I’m small, and I’m 6’2.

3rd Qtr:

-Game stays pretty close for a while—Celtics up 4 with 5:24 left in third.
– Kendrick Perkins has a better touch this year. Not quite Al Jefferson-esque but definitely improved and appears to have more confidence.
– While Larry Hughes is not what he used to be, he seems a lot more aggressive this year and that should help Cleveland. Also with both PG’s out (Daniel Gibson and Eric Snow) the Cavs struggle.
– James Posey checks in at the Power Forward position which makes me wonder can he handle that.
– I spoke too soon. Posey goes onto hit two threes and plays extremely well at the four spot. Good thing were not in the west!
– 74-68 Celts up with 3:11 left in the third.
– My early vote for 6th man of the year goes to James Posey
– Most teams will let Rajon Rondo shoot. However, even when they play 5 feet off of him it seems that he can still get to the hoop whenever he wants. And by the way, Rondo’s shot is not as bad as most people say.
– After some tranisiton jumpers the Celtics break open the lead—86-73 at the end of the third.

4th Qtr

– As the momentum seemed to shift to the home team KG scored about 5 straight buckets on the big Zydrunas Ilgauskas—man I love his name!
– The game is over, basically. Celts 94, Cavs 73, 9:15 left in game.
– Midway through the 4th Paul Pierce started to cramp up. Makes that injury question linger in the back of your mind.
– KG throws a full court pass to a streaking Eddie House for a layup as well as KG’s 10th assist giving him a pre-season triple double.
– With about 6 mintues left, James Posey hits a couple more jumpers and the score inflates to 103-80.
– With 4 minutes left the crowd starts chanting “Lets Go Red Sox”. You got to love these Boston fans. Of course you could hate them too.
– As the game winds down to under 40 seconds I notice KG is on the ground by the bench cheering his team on and making sure they do everything correct…oh yeah, he’s doing this with his team up by 28.
– Final Score: Celtics 118, Cavs 89—I can’t remember the last time the Celtics scored that many points in a regulation game.

Stats:

Boston

Kevin Garnett: 21 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists
Ray Allen: 20 points, 5 rebounds
Paul Pierce: 12 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds
Rajon Rondo: 10 points, 6 assists, 4 steals
Kendrick Perkins: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assits
Eddie House: 16 points, 3 rebounds

Cleveland

LeBron James: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Larry Hughes: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
Zydrunas Ilgauskas: 14 points, 6 rebounds

Postgame

Kevin Garnett hits the podium and seems exhausted yet at the same time very emotional—to the point where it’s almost scary. He speaks as if the game he just played and the games he is going to play are the most important events occurring in his life right now. While he humbly shakes off the mention of his triple-double and then reiterates how thankful he is for his two fellow superstars, one cannot help but wonder how good this team may actually be. Novemeber 2nd is when it all starts. Suggestion to the Washington Wizards—try not to let KG post a triple-double…key-word…try.