Game Notes: New Jersey at Boston
Losing can wait.
by Ben Collins
- Not much going on pregame, but I can tell you that I saw Cyrus from The Real World and I’m pretty sure we’re the only game report that is going to tell you that.
- This pregame presentation is still so impressive, even without the pyro.
- Okay, I just realized that James Posey hugs/molests everyone like they’re getting on a plane to Pakistan tomorrow morning before every game. He’s a loving guy, I know, but it’s just really awkward for the people in the first fifteen rows behind him, that’s all.
- Yeah, that’s right, Celtics fans! Boo that tap violation!
- Jason Kidd gets a free lane to the basket. Then drains a three on a broken play. He’s gonna make me go on my Jason Kidd is the best player to watch in person rant, isn’t he? It’s worse than the Notebook. I swear to God.
- Rondo jumper off the mark. +$5
- Richard Jefferson is going to shoot 100,000 free throws this year and, without VC tonight, he might shoot 90,000 of them tonight.
- All right Jason, you made me do it. He has the team’s first seven points. I used to hate this guy, then I saw him play in person and his ball-handling is… life-affirming. O.K.? It’s life-affirming. Watching Jason Kidd play in person is my inner-Southerner going to a Megachurch. Ace of Base should reunite just to write a song about how Jason Kidd’s ballhandling makes the world feel all right when they’re lonely. There. He made me do it.
- Celtics look more disheveled than Chris Kaman after a night with Aubrey Huff, but they have a chance to tie this up after a pair of free throws from a noisy Pierce-to-Perkins alley-oop. 2-for-2. 8-7 Celtics.
- Rajon Rondo has this John Havlicekian, “I’m not going to sweat for you, or for anybody!” thing going on. We’re more than half-way through this quarter. He should probably get that checked out.
- Just as I was about to write, “I’m not sure Antoine Wright has ever played basketball before,” he drains a three from the corner. 12-10, Nets. But, really, he has the same dribble-drive moves as Shaq does in pickup games against tiny Chinese people.
- Sean Williams just absolutely threw down an alleyoop and landed like an airplane on a runway. I am formally and officially afraid of him. For, like, fifteen reasons.
- KG responds with a throwdown from one of those Rondo passes that made the kid untradeable this summer. 17-12 Nets.
- Another violent Sean Williams putback, this time in layup form. 19-12. Man, this New Jersey team is pumped about this one. This is the first time the Celtics have been outplayed to start a game this season.
- The Celtics are down seven, so they counter with James Posey, Tony Allen and Big Baby. Fannnnntastic!
- Jersey beat guy, “There’s too many Allens in this game!” This isn’t funny, but he sounds legitimately perturbed – I mean, really pissed – that there are two guys in this game that have the last name Allen.
- Darrell Armstrong jumps off the bench like there’s a horrible locust infestation.
- Tony Allen is playing point guard and I’m gouging my eyes out with something rusty.
- The Nets have missed three of four free throws, which is a tactic directly contradictory to their previously established, “draw contact, flail like you’re covered in poison ivy and see what happens” strategy. Lawrence Frank is pissed that he might have to actually draw up a play now. 23-17, Nets to end the quarter.
- Eddie House sprained his ankle at some point last game, I guess, so the Celtics shooting percentage will be up four or five percentage points effective immediately.
- Don’t call a foul on Big Baby or Boston will hate you forever. (Seriously, when did this guy become untouchable in this town? He’s too goofy looking for that.)
- Snackbar is in and he just performed his patented tap-back to no one.
- There are two very old-timey Jersey beat reporters behind me and I’m loving it. They’re the Tommy Heinsohn or the Statler & Waldorf of Nets basketball.
- Richard Jefferson is 0/6 from the field and ½ from the free throw line and the Nets are still up 26-21.
- Jefferson jumper. Magic powers, baby! 28-23 Nets.
- Rondo shows off his cannon and rifles it over to KG, probably the only 6’11” guy in the game who could hold onto that sort of pass, for a 15-footer. 28-25.
- After he drains a foot-on-the-line two, Darrell Armstrong just yelled at Doc Rivers and I have no idea why. 30-25. It’s starting to get a little chippy.
- KG looks like he’s wearing a bullet-proof shin-protector. It truly looks like it’s made of Teflon. I wouldn’t be surprised.
- Conversation between KG and a ref, after he calls a shooting foul: KG: “That’s not a shooting foul and you know that.” Ref: (Petrified) “Okay.” KG: “Okay, as long as you know that.” Thankfully, for him, the Nets are shooting 41.7-percent from the line, which is one-percent better than what they’re shooting from the field.
- Pierce steal and up-and-under layup ties the game at 30, which just kind of seemed inevitable after the slow start.
- More inevitability: Kidd nails the wide open 15-footer. 32-30. Slugfest!
- This is the most arduous two-point game I’ve ever seen.
- Kidd-to-Jefferson pressing the R-button on a broken play for an alley-oop. Beautiful thing. 34-32.
- TOTALLY UNFAIR timeout challenge: there’s this eight-year-old kid dominating these four-year-old kids in the Get The Oversized Jersey and Shoes on Then Run Around like You’re Being Dragged Around by a Wild Boar challenge. I’m calling BS on this. It’s gotta be Danny Ainge’s kid. Gotta be.
- After a Nenad Krstic post move that looks like giving birth and a couple of wasted possessions, Pierce knocks down a buzzer-beating jumper and, HEY EVERYONE THE CELTICS HAVE THE LEAD BACK. Shocker. 36-34 at the half.
- Heckler: “C’mon KG, get in the game!” Uh, he kinda already is.
- Rondo from his power corner. My Rondo Is The Bruce Bowen of Point Guards theory is coming true. 43-38.
- Word comes in from my email (from ruwatchingthis.com, to be exact, a site that Sam showed me) that Davidson is down one against UNC. This 1 – reminds me that I should post about this tomorrow because the amount of week-one upsets is flat-out excessive and 2 – sends me in a scramble to reroute my monitor to see if we can get ESPN. No dice. Gametrack, baby.
- Another sequence that I could copy and paste three or four times this game: Pierce jumper (this time a three) followed by Kidd layup when they don’t get back on defense.
- KG, with Jason Collins on him like glue, nails a 17-footer, prompting a “he’s tough” from the Jersey beat guys. Uh-huh. 50-41.
- Apparently the Davidson game ends when a guy named Boris Meno, who I’ll be calling Boris MenoMena from hereon forth, misses a dunk. Doot-dooooo-doo-doo-doo. (Two Muppets references in one night! Aubrey Huff has some catching up to do.)
- Garnett. Again. From 15. You’d figure they’d cut that kind of thing off at this point.
- Jefferson keeps flopping, but it’s working and getting him through the night. He’s 4/12 with no VC, but it’s not a total loss. Still, they’re shooting 40% from the line in part because RJ is 3/6 with the freebies today.
- Sean Williams with a beautiful block that’s probably a goaltend, but no one here even seems to care. Good God. You know how we were talking about how he’d be better than K-Mart (he actually plays defense) if he can just – to put it bluntly – get his s—t together. Well, he seems to have his s—t together.
- Snackbar returns to lockdown the paint. Very Gently.
- Kidd grabs the rebound, goes the length of the floor and quietly has 19, 8 rebounds and five dimes. The Nets just kind of snuck back into this game because of Williams and Kidd: it’s 56-52.
- Celtics timeout, but this is the weird part: KG and Pierce conduct the huddle for more than half the timeout while Doc goes to talk to the refs.
- Pierce-to-Perkins on that divecut play that gives Perkins 10 & 8. Dilemma for Emry (which will, from now on be called a Dillemry): can he still be an ultimo-fantasy sleeper, Emry, if we kind of knew he was going to get all of these opportunities, he just happened to capitalize on it?
- Tony Allen through-the-lane jumphook ends the quarter at 62-54. Well, kind of. Big Baby got blocked then launched a three, but, uh, I don’t want to remember that.
- Hey, a Celtics game in the fourth quarter at the Garden and it’s still kinda close.
- Big Baby with a block much bigger than his name gets this crowd working into a chant. Dude needs to start a cult. I wonder if you can spike hamburgers.
- Tony Allen quietly racks up his tenth point and Snackbar collects his third foul, which is also how many points he has in 15 minutes. I hope he doesn’t read Hollinger.
- James Posey, who has been in the game for a while, I suppose, but there’s no scientific proof of this, just knocked down a three to make it 68-54. I can’t see the Nets putting up 14 more points the rest of this game, nevermind unanswered, so it may be time to check out the ol’ League Pass. Cleveland-Orlando is a barnburner!
- Brian Scalabrine is making fun of Big Baby’s crazy-eyed jumbotron appearance. That’s right, Brian Scalabrine is laughing at someone else’s expense. I wonder how well he understands irony. I also wonder why I talk about Brian Scalabrine like he’s a lost puppy.
- Sean Williams just picked up his fourth block of the night, but that just spurred this frenzied, fast-break Rondo-to-Ray Allen three sequence. This is the Nets’ night epitomized. Don’t hold doors on the way out or anything, Sean, because someone might just punch you in the face.
- Because Darrell Armstrong is in the game, Ray Allen is covering Jason Kidd and doing a hell of a job of it.
- Big Baby gets a standing ovation for his zero point, ten-minute performance. I don’t know when we voted, as a city, that Big Baby is to be That Guy, but I’d like to be involved in that process next time.
- Allen cleans up his own mess after a missed three (he’s 4/14 tonight, but the s—tshow hasn’t been that visible) and this lead is up to 18 again. 76-68.
- Boisterous Pierce block followed by a pick-and-roll Pierce-to-Rondo three-point play seals this thing. 79-60 and out goes Ray Allen.
- Something happened here, blah blah blah, but, as I type this, LeBron has 37, 14 and 13 and I’m gettin’ antsy for highlights.
- KG walks all over Malik Allen and it’s 84-64. If you’re wondering, the Celtics record for consecutive wins is 14. That’s also the league record for consecutive wins to start the season.
- Pierce leaves with 15, 3 and 3.
- KG peaces out with 16, 8 and 2. The funny part is that this is an off-night and he did it in 30 minutes.
- KG doesn’t much like the way Antoine Wright uses his elbow and he’s still telling the refs about it. Bu he doesn’t want to validate existence with a name, or anything, so he calls him, “number 21.”
- Somebody just landed on Darrell Armstrong’s stomach or chest and it’s not looking good. It’s tough because you know how hard this guy plays. He’s down for a really long time and I was starting to get nervous before he finally sat up. Hopefully he just got the wind knocked out of him.
- Perk has KG’s facial hair and KG no longer has his own facial hair. What happened? You can’t just trade like that, can you? Can this game be over, please?
- Final: 91-67.
- Big Baby, postgame: “Just to know that I helped the team score as many points as I can is enough for me. You know the guys in the picture where you can just see their hands? This year, I wanna be that guy. Somebody’s gonna have to take a backseat.”
- We get to talking and he’s pumped about his first paycheck, but not pumped about the schedule that has him flying in at 2 a.m. the day of the game. But, still, he’s playing minutes with everyone healthy by the time he gets his first paycheck. Life is good for the Large Infant.
- KG, the brand new press room quote factory: “We’re not into how it looks. It’s not decorated; there’s no brand name on it – we’re just focused on winning.”
- And: “Tonight was a ‘come into the bar, trying to find a seat, you’re talking to my girl bar fight.’” Pierce loves this.
- Somebody asks KG if he thought the going 7-0 to start the season. “Anything is possible. I mean, ‘Impossible I Nothing’ That’s the adidas line. (Pause.) Buy my sneaker.” This prompts Pierce to put his Nike shoe on the table. He says, “in stores now!” Isn’t putting your shoe on the table bad luck? Does that kind of thing even matter with a team this good?