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June 18, 2008

Emerald Elation

When I first moved to the Hub in 1997 the first thing that made me feel as if I were truly in Boston was seeing the shell of Boston Garden when I rode the Green Line to Lechmere one dazzling winter morning. It was the first time I was on elevated mass transportation and I was amazed at how the train seemed determined to plow itself into the structure only to make a sudden turn into the dilapidated edifice that was once North Station.

A few years later Paul Pierce was gravely wounded in a stabbing incident and I thought to myself, “What sort of city have I moved to? If a basketball star couldn’t be safe, what chances does a transplanted girl from Maui have?”

But I settled in, and the Celtics also settled. Settled for a sub-500 record under Rick Pitino from 1997 to 2001. Settled for getting into the playoffs but never making it into the finals from 2001 to 2005. Settled for tanking the 2006-7 season to rebuild the team via the lottery.

Danny Ainge played the odds. What were the odds that the Celtics would lose out on Greg Oden or Kevin Durant as they did Tim Duncan?

[Insert Bill Simmons conspiracy theory here.]

I’m no basketball maven. I can’t break down roundball strategy, I can’t tell zone from man-to-man defense, I don’t know what a foul is (but neither do the referees, so I don’t think I’m alone in that particular instance).

Basketball is a visceral experience for me, something that grabs hold of my heart and makes it pound, pound, pound, sounding as loud as when Eddie House bounced the ball against the parquet in the final seconds of Game 6.

The sensory bombardment that I would find distasteful in baseball is entirely appropriate in this sport: the fireworks searing my eyes, the music so loud my chest vibrates in sympathy, the taste of a primal scream ripping off my head. My holler isn’t anything close to Kevin Garnett’s, but with practice perhaps it will be.

Anything is possible!

May 17, 2008

Bamboozled by Basketball Officials

In Game 6 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics playoff series, Dick Bavetta, Joe DeRosa, and Joe Forte won, 74-69. The three teams return to Boston for a final showdown in Boston.

I fully realize MLB umpires make their fair share of horrific calls, but watching NBA referees in action is akin to catching your local butcher placing his thumb on the scale. The officials obviously care more about following the dicta of David Stern than calling the game in front of them.

May 4, 2008

Going Green

Game 7s make me nauseated. I haven’t been able to collect my thoughts about last night’s blowout Red Sox win between worrying about the Celtics and supporting my friend’s soccer team Ipswich Town (who won but missed the playoffs by one point), so I’ll be writing about Saturday and Sunday’s games later on this evening.

Go Cs!

April 24, 2008

Jumping on the Bandwagon

The Celtics surged against the Hawks again last night in a 96-77 victory in Game two of the first NBA playoff series.

Mike Bibby, who called Celtic fans bandwagon jumpers, came to regret his words as each time he touched the ball jeers rained down on him. When he came to the line the booing intensified and the point guard missed two of ten free throws. Perhaps the crowd didn’t get to Bibby completely, but his 12 points, single assist, and complete lack of steals didn’t compare favorably to Rajon Rondo’s 12 points, eight assists, and four steals.

In the spring the green returns to the scene.

Bruce Willis took in the game.

Glen Davis had his hands full matched up against Al Horford.

Continue reading “Jumping on the Bandwagon” »

April 23, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Thanks to some wonderful friends I am going to the Celtics game tonight. I’ll be wearing my Garnett player tee. It will be my first playoff game since the last game of the 2005 ALDS, but I don’t that fate will befall these Celtics. Pictures to follow.

Also, hooray for DVRs. I’ll get to see Jon Lester (on just three days rest) start in place of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jed Lowrie replace Kevin Youkilis later this evening.

January 6, 2008

Less Than Million Dollar Baby

The Celtics played a tremendous game against the Auburn Hill Pistons last night, perhaps at last silencing sports pundits who have written off the team as untested against the league elite. Rookie Glen Davis broke through with a 20-point performance in just 23 minutes of play; he was also the highest scorer on either team. He’s the second-lowest paid player on Boston’s roster.

I was at his first NBA start back on December 12 against the Kings. Clearly excited by the opportunity, Davis came out early to take warm-up shots that night. As soon as a “Big Baby 11” player t-shirt is available, I’m placing an order.

Big Baby hit the parquet early.

Although the scoreboard wasn’t updated at the time, this was Davis’s first start.

Mike Gorman is laughing now, but little does he know he is the target of Kevin Garnett’s ploy.

Is Greg Dickerson on Gorman or Garnett’s side? Who is on the other end of this surreptitious phone call?

The power forward stalks his prey.

Davis anxious to begin the game and oblivious to his teammate’s machinations.

Garnett in range...

...and he successfully unleashes his attack on the hapless Gorman.

Garnett congratulates Davis after their triumphant foray.

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