We are live from the Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics  and the Portland Trail Blazers, and I have to tell you, I’ve been looking forward to this one since the schedule came out. It’s always fun to catch up-and-coming NBA teams before they hit their peak, and for the Blazers their time might not be all that far off.
So, what will it be tonight? Will the champs teach the kids a few lessons? Will the youngsters put on a show? Will Greg Oden  get booed? (Actually, we already know that one: yes). Come one come all, for tonight’s live-ish blogging extravaganza…
— FIRST QUARTER WRAP: After a slow start, the action picked up in the last few minutes. How slow was it? Against Indiana, the teams combined for 46 shots in the first quarter. Tonight? 35.
On the positive side, Ray Allen  has 10 points. On the negative side, the Celtics have five turnovers. Honestly, this game hasn’t really started yet. Let’s see if it’s any better for Jess…
— There was some real buzz in the building to start the game tonight and Kevin Garnett  looked particularly jazzed. NBA players get up for all kinds of reasons (national TV, a beef, a personal rivalry), but here’s the theory on KG tonight: He doesn’t want anyone to think the Celtics would have been better off with Greg Oden. Silly, right? That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
By the way the buzz is gone. It’s quiet in here.
— Really sluggish start for the Celtics tonight. Bad passes, lot of one-on-one play (Hero Ball is what Doc Rivers  calls it).
— So much for the statement dunk: Oden just got banged for a T for hanging on the rim. Actually hanging on the rim doesn’t do it justice. It was more like a triple Salco. (Dick Button gave it a 9.8, but the Romanian judge screwed him over.)
— That’s Nicolas Batum, pronounced Bah-tomb. Can we please call him the Pharaoh? Has anyone looked into this?
— OK, I looked into it. I saw two nicknames for Batum and they’re both terrible: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom which I have no comment on, and The Disruptor, which is OK, I guess.
— Still waiting for this game to start, by the way. No flow, no rhythm, no nothing.
— Now that’s more like it. Now we’ve got a ball game going friends.