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Celtics-Thunder Live Blog

11.05.08 at 6:00 pm ET
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We are live from my Ikea chair for tonight’s game between the Celtics and Thunder. So many questions will be answered tonight: Was Ray Allen’s revival a one-night deal, can the C’s win back-to-back games on the road, are the Thunder any good?

Check back early and often for continuous live-blogging goodness.

Final: 96-83

So, in addition to playing in the wrong city (and I use that term loosely), having ugly uniforms, a terrible logo, and scheming miserable cretins as owners, the Robber Barons aren’t very good.

But still, a very good win for the C’s considering the circumstances: Second game of a back-to-back, last game of a road trip. The Celtics were awful in the first quarter, much better in the second, good enough in the third and held serve in the fourth. The bench was strong, particularly when they got their lead and they had five players in double figures

Thanks for checking in. Jess and I will be back Friday night at the Garden when the Bucks come to town.

Fourth Quarter

10:40: Donny’s giving Durant the business, and rightfully so I might add. But as discussed when this one tipped off, Durant just isn’t that good right now. His game is entirely one-dimensional and that dimension–outside shooting–isn’t that unqiue/interesting/vital

10:33: Ray? Was that you? Nick Collison has now been Rondo’d and Ray-Ray’d.

10:30: Offensive rebounds galore for the Celtics. Which team played last night again? Hustle is free, as my old youth league coach told us. He also made us run the flex. I hated the flex.

10:22: Does Bill Walker get in this game?

10:18: Tony Allen giveth and Tony Allen taketh away. I’m a little surprised at the amount of vitriol flung in TA’s general direction (and as I type he bounces the ball off his knee). Truth is, the only guy on this team who gets to the rim better than him is Pierce. I maintain that by the end of the year, TA will make people forget all about James Posey.

Third Quarter (70-55, Boston)

Meh. The C’s push their lead to 15, but I’ve seen better hoops at the Cambridge Athletic Club. Again, what is that Oklahoma City is supposed to be doing? They have zero identity.

Deep Thought II: When you’re down 15, why do you hold the ball?

10:10: Perk just took a 3. I know it was shot-clock induced, but that rim is going to have nightmares about that shot for weeks.

10:05: Bill Walker is in uniform again tonight, which means that Patrick O’Bryant is inactive. Doc is obviously sending the kid a message, but I guess we’re finding out why Golden State gave up on him so quickly. I also suppose it would just be generally too negative to wonder why the first-round pick, JR Giddens isn’t even a consideration at this point.

10:01: This game has set offensive basketball back to the Paeleolithic age, a time when Anthony Mason and John Starks inhabited the Earth.

9:55: PJ always looks miserable doesn’t he? It’s hard to remember now, but he did one of the all-time great coaching jobs turning Seton Hall into a major college player. Yet another guy who never should have left school. Who was the last really successful college coach in the NBA? And no, Larry Brown doesn’t count. Lon Kruger either.

9:52: Nick Collison just got Rondo’d and Rondo almost got Rondo’d by the slippery floor. (I hate the everybody clap your hands crap, by the way).

9:50 Johan Petro dominates the beginning of halves. The other 44 minutes? Not so much

Eventually…

Second Quarter (51-44, Boston)

Much, much better quarter for the Celtics and it must be said, this was due to the bench’s effort, particularly Leon Powe. OKC shot 6-for-25 in the second quarter and was 1-for-14 at one point.

Here are your halftime leaders:

Powe (11 points, 4 rebounds), Pierce (10 points, 6 rebounds), Garnett (10 points, 5 rebounds).

Jeff Green (9 points, 3 rebounds), Watson (7 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) Kevin Durant ( 8 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists) aka the Kevin Durant special.

Taking a quick break. Be back for the third…

9:26: PJ called a timeout for that? I don’t get coaches sometimes.

9:20: So, I was supposed to do a radio spot on 90.3, which I think is the station for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but I got bumped, which begs the question: Who did they line up in my place? Tom Osborne? The guy who sells programs at Memorial Stadium?

9:17: So, is anyone going to make a shot?

9:16: U-G-L-Y Hey you ain’t got no alibi, you ugly, hey-hey, you ugly–Wildcats. So good.

Delay II: This is too easy. What a low-rent operation in Oklahoma City. This never would have happened in Seattle. Just sayin’. Now Delaney is telling the operation people to get towels. Ya think?

5:58 timeout, 40-33 Celtics: You have to love what they’re getting from Leon. He is completely out-working the Thunder bigs and getting second chance after second chance.

We’re a quarter and a half in and I have no feel for OKC, by the way. Are they a running team? Are they perimeter-oriented? It would seem to me that since they have no viable inside threat, and a lot of youth, they should be running. But that might leave them open to getting blown out, and you can be sure PJ Carlesimo is from the school that says it’s better to lose 88-82 than say, 114-103.

9:02: Big block by Baby. (Alliteration is a seductive beast). Anyway, he is really bringing it defensively in the second quarter.

Doc is letting the bench play, which seems wise, considering last night’s game was so physical. very solid effort from the second unit.

8:54: Love that Bob Delaney was once a Jersey state trooper who infiltrated organized crime.

8:53: They are getting killed on the boards right now. Which seems like a good time to bring up the Antonio McDyess rumors. In a word: Yes, please. McDyess would be exactly what the second unit needs: another big body, a good shooter, a veteran, and a tough one at that.

8:50: Mike just made a very good point. Doc is bringing Pierce back earlier to play with the second unit, which is where Posey would have played last year. The Captain looks like he wants to take over.

First Quarter 29-21, OKC

Brutal quarter for the Celtics. No movement on offense, slow to react on D, no box out on a free throw. I know it’s the second game of a back-to-back, but just not a good effort so far.

8:44: Desmond Mason is 31 years old?

8:41: Second bail-out call the Celtics have gotten so far tonight. File it away for when the inevitable complaining about the refs begins.

8:34: Rondo’s free throw troubles are reaching crisis levels.

Good to see Joe Smith still sporting the Phantom of the Opera look. Wow, Gorman just referenced Smith playing in the Boston Shootout. Best collection of high school talent I ever saw was the California team in the 97 shootout that had Baron Davis, the Collins twins, Chris Burgess, Ray Young and a name I’m completely forgetting. They lost in the finals to a team from Atlanta that featured Dion Glover and Jumaine Jones. That takes me back.

8:31: The Thunder have no one who can guard Pierce. They’re all going for his pump fakes.

PJ has gone well into the bench with everyone out except for Durant.

First timeout (15-12, OKC): In case there was any doubt that every team in the league was going to come at the Celtics like it was the seventh game of a playoff series… OKC is active tonight, Durant especially.

8:26: Tough call against Watson there. Did Ray just miss a free throw? This is going to be a strange one tonight. Just a hunch.

8:23: Ah, so there’s the Petro we know. “That’s what Petro lacks, lateral movement,” Donny says. I will concur. KG went around him like he was standing still.

Shot-clock violation. I haven;t seen the Celtics vaunted ball movement very much this year.

8:20: The immortal Johan Petro for two! Not a good start for the C’s down 4-0 and a force by Pierce.

Jeez, Petro is killing them. The guy really is immortal

KG with the dunk, 6-2.

8:17: The key matchup is Kevin Garnett vs. Nick Collison. Bodes well for the C’s I would say.

So, let me get this straight, OKC can have fireworks and pyro but they can’t do it at the Garden? Doesn’t seem right.

8:10: Deep thought: Did the Thunder pick up those uniforms from a Pistons garage sale after their unfortunate teel era? Man those things are ugly. What time is this game starting anyway?

A-ha, Tanguay just said that they are fixing one of the nets. Good to see they’re prepared in Oklahoma City. I am no fan of this arrangement, as I have written before. Seattle is one of my all-time favorite cities and what happened to that franchise was criminal. OK, let’s get on with it.

Your starters:

Boston

Rajon Rondo

Ray Allen

Paul Pierce

Kevin Garnett

Kendrick Perkins

OKC

Earl Watson

Kevin Durant

Jeff Green

Nick Collison

The Immortal Johan Petro

8:01: OK, so Mike just said Kevin Durant might be one of the best young players in the game. I find that statement to be dubious. I know he won Rookie of the Year but that was based on one thing and one thing only: his scoring average. To me, the best rookie last year, and by a wide margin, was Al Horford.

I have high hopes for Durant. Like a lot of people I fell in love with his game when he was at Texas but he was an absolute disappointment last year and there’s no way to get around it.

7:55: Fired up and ready to go for this little experiment. In my life I have live-blogged exactly one thing and that was the Red Sox opener in Japan, a decision that proved to be more than a little dubious after I dozed off during the fourth inning. But not tonight.

Thanks for hanging out tonight. Let’s get it on.

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