Wednesday, June 11, 2008

8 of 35 = Optimism

And, for our contest, 81 = 836.

Odd sort of a game. The Celtics lost, 87 - 81. They still hold a 2 - 1 advantage in the series. While I would have rather had them win the game - and they had a chance to, right up until the final two minutes - I find myself feeling quite confident concerning the series overall.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for one of the ugliest offensive displays of the season. They shot a combined 8 of 35 (Pierce going 2 of 14, Garnett 6 of 21.) Kevin Garnett blew two dunks, for goodness' sakes. On a night when the Lakers were given something like 14 or 15 more free throws (big surprise) the Celtics almost stole one.

I would never guarantee a victory, but last night proved to me that the Celtics have the better team. They are stronger defensively. They have a better and deeper bench. They have more weapons than the Lakers. Even in the one area almost unanimously conceded as a Laker advantage - head coach - the C's are proving better.

Yes, Doc Rivers is outcoaching Phil Jackson. I might end up eating those words later, but that's what's happening now. Aside from a maddening tendency to go to Sam Cassell too much (and even that was lessened last night, as Doc gave Eddie House some significant playing time) Doc has made the right moves at the right time. Jeff Van Gundy (God help us) pointed out something last night that I sort of instinctively knew, but hadn't verbalized. Coming out of a timeout, Doc is magnificent. He has called wonderful plays, leading to good scoring chances, way more often than should be the case against the certified hall-of-fame coach Phil Jackson. Here's to you, Doc!

I'm looking forward to Thursday. I expect a game played in the 96 - 104 range by both teams. Kobe will continue to be Kobe, and he won't miss as many free throws as he did last night. If the C's keep up the tremendous overall defensive intensity they brought last night - and either Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett has a normal shooting night - then the Celtics will be on the winning side of the score. If both of them have a good night, it could be a walk in the park by the fourth quarter. I'm not predicting that, by any means, but it's a distinct possibility.

For our contest, the average has dropped to just a shade under 93 a game. With at least two games remaining, and a max of four, low score would now be 1022 and high would be 1208. The most likely winners right now are Pete Mittell or Burning Sky for a 5 or 7 game series. Since Pete has no desire to actually own the 10 (crummy) CDs, that means somebody else would be saddled with them. For a six-gamer, it would be 1113. Closest to that is my cousin, David Sullivan, which would keep the 10 (crummy) CDs in the family. As you might imagine, I'm ambivalent concerning that possibility.

By the way, if it goes 7, and the averages hold, my original guess would be ONE point off the total. I'm just saying.



Stu said...

All this talk of crummy CDs is getting me psyched for the next contest. Couldn't have done this one because of the math, but maybe the next one will involve vocabulary or history or something.

Go Celtics!

lime said...

lol, so if you win you're keeping your own crummy CDs?

John-Michael said...

Methinks the CD gods are frowning on Ya, Jim. They do not relish being dissed, Ya know, even when involving the lesser of their creations. Perhaps a reconciliation with those 10 is in the offing for you. (Though I fear my guest listees will be sorely disappointed and their tux rentals for the concert will go wanting.)[sigh]

Rooster said...

Sul, I agree - Celtics looked like the better team last night, and I was so frustrated that they could not get on a little tear right at the end to grab the win. It was right there for the taking! But, seeing that game made me feel they can win one in LA, which is all they really need.

I thought Brown was in way too much, but with Pierce in foul trouble, what can you do? Pierce was as cold as he had been hot! Allen was in fine form though.

A few 130 point games, and maybe I can still steal those CD's away!

SandraRee said...

CDs? I thought the winner was getting a $25 gift certificate! I'm sorry the Celtics didn't win this last game...honest.

Go Celtics!

Buck said...

I know that "better team" feeling pretty well, Jim. I watched the last quarter and most of the comment on SportsCenter last night, and a couple of the Talking Heads agree with you.

Suldog said...

Hi, Sandra:

If you hit it EXACT you get the $25 gift certificate. Maybe you knew that, and you're just playing with me, but I want to make sure you aren't operating under under misconception.


Chris Stone said...

It looks like I'm out of the running for the crummy CDs! Yeah!

uh, that's a cheer for the Celtics...? ;)

Janet said...

This is fun to "watch." I am actually looking forward to someone winning so we can find out if these CDs are as crummy as you think. (And if it turns out I already own any or all of them, you will never, ever know about it.)