May 14, 2008

Page 2's Bill Simmons channels Doc Rivers: A knee-jerk tirade to an un-expected loss that upon more sober reflection turns into a tongue-in-cheek commentary on coaching.

posted by irunfromclones to basketball at 04:46 PM - 22 comments

Well gee, Bill, tell us how you really feel. In truth, I've been trying to figure out just what Rivers is doing during the playoffs. In the 4th quarter of game 4, with all of his outside shooters ineffective, likely because of fatigue, he leaves a rested Eddie House, one of the team's best shooters, on the bench. Cleveland is packing the defenses in down low, daring Boston to shoot, knowing they can't. Boston is not pushing the ball up court, and on the few occasions that they do, they are not looking for a quick drive before the defense sets up. In short, It was Dr. Jekyll during the season and Mr. Hyde in the playoffs. Boston has a team that can win it all, but they're playing like they are afraid to lose.

posted by Howard_T at 05:22 PM on May 14, 2008

If Bill Simmons wasn't a little metro for me, I'd kiss him.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:15 PM on May 14, 2008

I cannot take this team's morph from an attack the basket and swarm on defense to normal, crappy jump-shooting team. I'd like to think the second half last night meant something, but I know better. Sam Cassell is getting a lot of minutes for a guy who's a hell of a defender, judging by the way he stops Boston's offense cold. And it's a weird time for Doc to make up new rotations (as Simmons suggests).

posted by yerfatma at 06:36 AM on May 15, 2008

I'm sorry but being a Celtics fan, I take great offense to this.....who am I kiddin'? That right there was outright hilarious. Even in jest, truth is being spoken, er...written. I just hope that the C's can actually win a road game against the Pistons as soon as we (why do we fans always use 'we' when speaking of our favorite team as if we're being called in off the bench?) knock off the Cavs.

posted by BornIcon at 07:06 AM on May 15, 2008

Maybe ESPN can get a homer for every other city in the USA. Simmons is ok, but it really gets tiresome reading about the Celtics, Pats and Sox. He should be a writer for the Boston Globe, not There are other teams out there, Bill.

posted by Chargdres at 08:40 AM on May 15, 2008

That was hilarious! Maybe Bill isn't so bad after all. On second thought, he still sucks.

posted by curlyelk at 08:50 AM on May 15, 2008

soon as we . . . knock off the Cavs. That's the question for me: can they? And, if so, if it takes 7 games, would it be worth it? I was talking to a fellow long-time C's sufferer last night and we both agreed (perhaps over-dramatically) we'd rather see them flame out here than limp into a series with the Pistons if the Celtics are going to play like this. The Cavs played the Celtics hard all season, but the Celtics never looked bad, as far as I remember. If this were December-January, I'd be all "Bring on the Pistons", but right now I'm scared of having to sit through a slaughter.

posted by yerfatma at 10:43 AM on May 15, 2008

I'd just as soon they beat the Cavs. We have a three year window for a title with the current team; I don't expect them to win it this year, but it's important to get Rondo, Perkins, Powe, and Davis as many playoff games as possible. In about that order. Rondo's almost never the best player on the court, but he is almost always the most important player on the court, because the three stars aren't really great at directing the flow of the game. Fortunately we happen to have the best point guard Tubby Smith ever taught at hand, so there's a decent chance he'll mature into a Tony Parker before the three amigos age out. Playoff experience is gonna help there, no matter how painful it is to watch.

posted by Bryant at 10:46 AM on May 15, 2008

Call me a homer, but I think the Celts have a shot at closing it out in 6. I don't have any analysis or statistics to back up my statements, just a feeling that I have inside. Maybe I'm just looking forward too much to an 80s rematch of the Celts and Lakers.

posted by crqri at 11:13 AM on May 15, 2008

If this were December-January, I'd be all "Bring on the Pistons", but right now I'm scared of having to sit through a slaughter. posted by yerfatma I don't expect them to win it this year.... posted by Bryant Let me address the first statement as eloquently as possible: Are you freakin' kidding me? The Celtics are gonna put the mighty Pistons out of their misery as soon as they get passed those pesky Cavs. Now, as for the 2nd comment. Have you been watching the Celtics at all this year? I agree that they have a 3-4 year window to win a title but I do believe that thru all these trials & tribulations that the Celtics are going thru during road games, that that'll change eventually. I cannot predict when but I think that either in the East Conference Finals or even the NBA Finals itself, the Celtics will form like Voltron and become the powerhouse that they've been all year long to produce a 66-16 record. Also, people must remember that they did in fact have a winning record against the West this season as well. That must count for something....or at least I'm hoping it does.

posted by BornIcon at 12:09 PM on May 15, 2008

Last night, at least, I was really struck by how much the Celts looked like the KG-led, outside-shooting Wolves teams I used to watch fall apart under Flip Saunders in the playoffs every year. So if the Celts do go on to play the Pistons, I'm kind of afraid of some sort of reality-destroying Flip-Saunders-induced feedback loop. Watch out.

posted by cobra! at 12:56 PM on May 15, 2008

Let me address the first statement as eloquently as possible: Are you freakin' kidding me? The Celtics are gonna put the mighty Pistons out of their misery as soon as they get passed those pesky Cavs So the Celtics squeak past the Hawks (the Eastern Conference's worst playoff team) and are having troubles with Cleveland and you think they will just storm past the Pistons just like that? I have a feeling you are going to be in for an unpleasant suprise.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:35 PM on May 15, 2008

I have a feeling you are going to be in for an unpleasant suprise. And I have a feeling that you'll be eating those words while saying to yourself, "That damn BornIcon was right about the Celtics....THAT FUCKER!!!" It seems like every team is having a difficult time playing on the road this year in the playoffs (minus the Pistons' 1 win versus the Orlando Magic) so it's not just the C's. UBUNTU

posted by BornIcon at 05:44 AM on May 16, 2008

Except the Celtics look like shit compared to themselves during the regular season. "Ubuntu" is about all Doc Rivers has given them to go on. And if this were a Linux distro, right now it'd be Defecating Dog.

posted by yerfatma at 07:10 AM on May 16, 2008

Except the Celtics look like shit compared to themselves during the regular season They can look like shit but the question is: Are they still winning? Tonight, we'll find out if the Celtics/Cavs series is over or if there will be a Game 7 at Boston. With the way things been looking so far in both the east & west, there will be a Game 7 and Boston will win. When they face the Pistons, not only will the Celtics have home court advantage but they'll also have home court advantage in the NBA Final.

posted by BornIcon at 07:19 AM on May 16, 2008

BornIcon, the Pistons are the only team to win a road playoff game in the semifinal round. There were several road wins in the quarterfinals. Secondly, your point about the Pistons being the only to win on the road so far in the semifinals seems to mean that the Pistons are at an advantage despite the home court advantage the Celtics would hold if they advanced. The Pistons can win on the road and the Celtics don't appear to be able to so the over all Home Court Advantage would actually belong to the Pistons. And finally, the Celtics still need to win 5 more games before the finals come along and acting like they are guaranteed to represent the east is putting the cart before the horse. Which is a good idea of if you don't want to smell equestrian gas but a bad idea if you actually want to go somewhere. yerf, that linux joke was awesome.

posted by apoch at 08:39 AM on May 16, 2008

Stats on the Celtics and Pistons performance in the playoffs by round. Stats are Celtics / Pistons Season Point Differential: 10.3 / 7.4 Divisional Round Point Differential: 12 / 7 Average Margin of Victory: 25.25 / 16.5 Average Margin of Loss: 5.6 / 12 Results: 4 home wins - 3 road losses (winner) / 3h1r win - 1h1r losses (winner) Semifinal Round Point Differential: -1.6 / 1.4 Average Margin of Victory: 6.75 / 8 Average Margin of Loss: 8.75 / 25 Results: 3 home wins - 2 road losses(ongoing) / 3h1r win - 1 road loss (winner) I'm not sure what this all means except when the Celtics win they tend to win big and when they Pistons lose they tend to really lose.

posted by apoch at 09:15 AM on May 16, 2008

The Pistons can win on the road.. Why? Because they won once? I dont buy it, so excuse me but we're going to have to agree to disagree. I'll give you that the Celtics haven't looked as dominant in the playoffs as they were in the regular season but I have to believe that they can still turn, whatever it is that's going on, around and no other team in the east can make me think otherwise considering that it isn't just the Celtics that haven't looked like themselves on the road. Look at every team in the playoffs and it's exactly the same thing, problems on the road but the Celtics are still ahead in wins against the Cavs and the Cavs are the ones that have their backs against the wall. Why is it that just because the Celtics are having the same problem as everyone else in the playoffs on the road, they're the ones that everyone is worried about? I get that it may be a mental thing but considering that the Celtics have themselves some great players on their roster, someone like KG needs to step up to the plate and lead this team to VICTORY, as Johnny Drama would put it.

posted by BornIcon at 09:45 AM on May 16, 2008

yerf, that linux joke was awesome. Cool. It felt like a longshot, but it had to be done.

posted by yerfatma at 10:19 AM on May 16, 2008

Road Records for teams remaining in the playoffs: Utah Jazz: 3-3 Detroit Pistons: 2-2 Los Angeles Lakers: 2-2 Cleveland Cavaliers: 1-3 New Orleans: 1-4 San Antonio Spurs: 1-4 Boston Celtics: 0-5 It's not that other teams are having a hard time on the road it's that the Celtics are having a horrible time on the road and as the playoffs progress it should be harder to win away from home, not easier. And isn't one of the biggest criticisms of KG is that he never steps up when it counts?

posted by apoch at 10:42 AM on May 16, 2008

The thing about the playoffs is that 82, or 162 games, really defines how good a team is; but anything can happen in a 7 game series. The key for the Celtics is to not lose a series before they remember the play that got them 66 wins this year. In 2001 the Seattle Mariners had a rough divisional series against the Indians, were thus weakened for a rising Yankees team, and didn't make the World Series. I have to believe that a team that wins 116 games can- and did- beat any team, but they had a poorly timed slump and never got that chance to rebound and find their form in the playoffs. If the Celtics win tonight they get a few days, and a fresh series, where hopefully they will become the 66 win team that also went 2-1 against the Pistons (and that one loss by only 2 points). Nothing is given to you on a silver platter, but the Celtics are simply having some rough patches which if they can get through might rediscover their form as the dominant team in time for Detroit.

posted by hincandenza at 05:57 PM on May 16, 2008

Looks like there will be a game seven. Unfortunately for the Celtics, LeBron James is much better than Joe Johnson. I'm not saying they can't win this game, but I doubt it will be as easy as their last game seven was.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:21 AM on May 17, 2008

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