|Irish Coffee: ‘The Association’ observations||01.24.11 at 11:36 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Episode 2 of “The Association: Boston Celtics” aired on Friday night, and like the first episode, it was a must-watch for any Celtics fan. Once again, there was a lot to take from the behind-the-scenes documentary. Here’s a rundown of the highlights:
- Even in early December, Jermaine O’Neal was rubbing some serious ointment on his knee.
- Doc Rivers‘ leash on Rajon Rondo can wrap around the TD Garden. With Rondo on the floor stretching his hamstring during game action, Rivers was asking him if he needed a blow.
- Paul Pierce plays defense on Kevin Garnett like Mike Tyson played defense against Peter McNeeley — by knocking his head around.
- Ray Allen: “At some point, somebody’s going to say, ‘Well, you guys are too old, and it’s time for you to go.’ But we all have too much competitve nature and fierceness to even show any weakness.”
- Pierce’s leadership during the eight-man practice was great to see. Rivers called the Celtics captain “more focused” as opposed to more vocal. And Pierce believes the C’s can still “whoop some ass” despite all the injuries.
- Rivers: “We’ve got a group of guys who lost in a Game 7, and they understand that it’s going to be hard to get back to that. We’re dealing with a ton of injuries, so we’re going to need all hands on deck.”
- This episode really personalizes Luke Harangody’s season with the Celtics, and the portion where he compares joining this C’s team to fitting in on the first day of high school is probably the best portion of the show.
- Earlier this season, Kendrick Perkins claimed to be working on a mid-range jumper, and he was indeed working on it during filming.
- Shaquille O’Neal broke out a portion of my all-time favorite line of his: “A hero ain’t nothing but a sandwich.” The original quote — which he delivered after a 2004 game-winning dunk against the Rockets in the playoffs — ended with, “and I’m trying to give up carbohydrates.”
- Glen Davis‘ pregame meal? Spaghetti and pancakes, of course.
- Allen arrives at the gym four hours before tipoff to work on his shooting. A friend pointed out over the weekend that, based on his production in games and his work ethic around them, Allen may have made more 3-pointers in his lifetime than any other human being alive. As for the official NBA record? He’s 23 shy of Reggie Miller‘s record.
- The shot Shaq made while he was sitting on the bench was fairly ridiculous.
- Sam Jones: “They have a sense of playing like the Celtics of old. They know they have a chance of getting that NBA championship, but they must do it together.”
- Was that Rondo in the background at Allen’s family Christmas? And was he wearing his warmups? I’m pretty sure he was.
- Pierce: “We know we’re a great team, but we can’t win a championship without Kevin Garnett. He’s the one most important piece to the puzzle.”
That final statement from Pierce is something I hadn’t heard officially from any player before. And that really stresses how impressive the C’s effort was against the Magic during the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals. To take that team to a Game 7 without Garnett was remarkable.
KEVIN GARNETT: THE WEEK THAT WAS
On the blog he writes for the shoe company (Anta) that sponsors him, Kevin Garnett broke down the week prior to the Celtics’ loss to the Wizards on Saturday night. Here are the highlights:
- On the Magic: “Good to beat them, since they beat us on Christmas in Orlando. Feel like the guys were up for it.”
- On Tuesday’s practice: “[Kendrick Perkins] was going without a sub, [Jermaine O'Neal] was working out, [Delonte West] was biking (can’t wait for him to be back) and guys were energized.”
- On the Pistons: “We owed them one. We lost to them in Detroit, so glad we came out quick and made it a short night. We had the game from the start and came out in the third and laid the wood on them.”
- On Thursday’s practice: “We had practice, but it was quick. Feeling good (knock on wood). Feel like I still have my bounce and running up and down has been good for me.”
- On the Jazz: “You could see the guys focus. We got on them early and it was never a game. I felt like I could’ve played another two halves. Felt real good and felt like I could go through my Rolodex of moves without any hesitation.”
The blog was obviously written prior to the C’s game against the Wizards, although it was published afterward. Still, Garnett foreshadowed the loss. Apparently, some donors took the plane trip with the team, and Garnett was none too happy about it. Here’s what he had to say prior to the game:
“Flight to D.C. was quick, and there were people on the plane that were donors, so the energy was a little lower. That reminds me. One piece of advice, when you are visitors on a team plane, DO NOT TAKE PICTURES and then LIE ABOUT IT. One of the guys started to video us and take pictures, and then tried to lie about it. Can you believe that?”
Whoever that donor was, I’m sure he won’t be boarding a team flight ever again.
JERRY WEST: CELTICS BETTER THAN LAKERS
As the keynote speaker at the annual Orange County Automobile Dealers Association luncheon, Jerry West didn’t come right out and say the Celtics will beat the Lakers, but the former Lakers legend and general manager might as well have:
“I don’t think the Lakers will be good for much longer. You can keep a car running for a long time by changing the tires, etc. You can’t change a player’s tires. … I think Boston is a very dangerous team. I would not want to play them every other night.”
During the speech, West really harped on the Lakers’ inability to play defense:
“If there’s a loose ball now, how often do they get it? The reason you ‘can’t play defense’ is because you can’t!”
Not only that, but the Lakers head coach Phil Jackson actually agreed with the man who originally hired him, according to The Los Angeles Times:
“He’s right. We have to do a lot of things right to play defense the way we want to. Most of it is about controlling the tempo of the game. Some of it is about speed and outright speed. We’re not the fastest team on the boards. We can do it if we control things the right way.”
This would essentially be the equivalent of Bill Russell predicting the Celtics demise and saying he wouldn’t want to face the Lakers in a seven-game series, and then Doc Rivers (in part) agreeing with him. Would that ever happen?