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Crunch Time Baby

10.08.08 at 6:07 pm ET
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We’ve got 9 minutes to go and a three-point game. Does preseason get any better than this? I think not.

The Sixers Just Got Rondo’d

10.08.08 at 5:46 pm ET
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I was about to post about how the second half looked like it was going to be a long slog, and then… Rajon Rondo did his thing: An alley-oop for O’Bryant, and then a clean steal and a dunk with a fast-charging Sam Delambert trailing.

Interesting backstory to how the Celtics got Rondo in the draft. Danny Ainge liked the kid a lot, but the Celtics made their move earlier, getting Sebastian Telfair in the Randy Foye deal. Ah, memories.

At any rate, as the draft was unfolding and Rondo was still sitting there, Wyc Grousbeck told Danny, “You like Rondo so much, why don’t you go buy a draft pick.” Phoenix, which sells draft picks like girl scouts sell cookies, was willing at No. 21, but the C’s still had to hold their breath with the Knicks, who were picking at 20. The Knicks, of course, took the immortal Renaldo Balkman.

If you’re scoring at home, the Suns could have had Rondo, Luol Deng and Sergio Rodriguez, but they kept selling picks so they wouldn’t go over the cap. One of these days, Steve Nash is going to get mad about this: in that taciturn Canadian kind of way.

Bill Walker is a Baaaaaaad Man

10.08.08 at 5:15 pm ET
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Bill Walker, the second-round pick out of Kansas State has to be in the slam dunk contest. Has to. First he took a 3/4 court alley-oop from Gabe Pruitt and threw down a mesmerizing jam. Then he went baseline and dunked on Theo Ratliff. That’s 6-foot-10 two-time All Defensive Team Theo Ratliff.

By the way, Manhattan, Kansas? Underrated little town.

Scal-a-bri-ne!

10.08.08 at 5:06 pm ET
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It must be awesome to have a crowd chanting your name, but that’s not how you want to respond. People have been cheering like mad for Scalabrine since the opening tip, which has got to be a little weird for Scal.

Anyway, he got a great look at a 3 and missed, and then with the crowd chanting Scal-a-bri-ne he fumbled a pass out of bounds. Tough go there.

UMass Media Relations

10.08.08 at 4:58 pm ET
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Sorry for the lack of posts, but a nice gentleman from the Mullins Center event staff just informed me that I, and a few of my media colleagues had to vacate our seats on press row because UMass awesomely sold them. Now, no one likes to hear the press complain about these things, but yeesh, this is incredibly bush league. Way to go UMass. Ok, we’ll get back to the game here in a minute.

Rotations

10.08.08 at 4:39 pm ET
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With 2:30 or so left in the first quarter, the Celtics have a completely new five on the floor. The lineup: Eddie House, Tony Allen, Darius Mles, Leon Powe and Baby Davis. Take it for what it’s worth, but that would seem to be the likely second unit for Doc Rivers this season.

Play was ragged on the offensive end, but Allen just blocked Wilie Green’s 3-pointer at the buzzer. That is exactly what the Celtics need from Allen this season.

First Impressions: Patrick O’Bryant

10.08.08 at 4:31 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo just pulled out his show the ball make the other guy look silly move to finish off a layup and a 16-4 run. The Celtics look ridiculously good right now. Of particular interest is Patrick O’Bryant who is in the starting lineup for Kendrick Perkins.

O’Bryant has generated some buzz during training camp, and at first glance he’s athletic and active, which is exactly what the C’s need coming off the bench. He’s an interesting kid. He was largely unknown before a strong NCAA Tournament run at Bradley put him on the radar screen. The Warriors took him in the lottery and then never played him, which happens a lot with players like that.

Before the game, Armond Hill was talking about how O’Bryant is working with Clifford Ray and getting a feel for how the Celtics want their big men to play. You get the sense that he’s got a long way to go, but he’s getting there. File O’Bryant under: intriguing.

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