|Last Word From UMass||10.08.08 at 7:32 pm ET|
The word from the locker room is that there was some good, there was some bad, and there was some fatigue, which is about what you would expect from the first preseason game.
Tom Thibodeau had praise for Bill Walker, who drew a crowd after his 8-point performance that included two serious dunks. Tibs noted that Walker “moved well without the ball,” which, while not as exciting as dunking on Theo Ratliff, is a good sign for the rookie. But, who are we kidding, everyone wanted to talk about the dunk on Ratliff.
“I just went up as strong as I could and if he was going to block it, he was going to have to block a dunk,” Walker said. “I’m a smaller guy in the land of the giants. I can’t go up there with any kind of floaters.”
Aside from Walker, Thibodeau noted that Patrick O’Bryant (10 points and 8 rebounds) was good in the first half, but may have gotten a little tired in the second. Same for Darius Miles.
Other things to consider: Look for Gabe Pruitt to get a little more time this weekend… Everyone expects Philly to be good this year. The addition of Elton Brand would seem to be exactly what was missing from the Sixers. “He’s similar to Kevin (Garnett) because he can hurt you with the jump shot and he can hurt you with the face up game,” Thibodeau said. “He poses a number of different problems.”
That’s all from here. We’ll have more on Walker later in the week.
|Final Score, and Stuff||10.08.08 at 6:44 pm ET|
That was a remarkably intense fourth quarter, but the Sixers, who didn’t go that deeply into their bench and had starter Thaddeus Young in there at the end, pulled it out 98-92.
There were a lot of good things for the Celtics tonight. Patrick O’Bryant and Bill Walker, particularly showed some good signs. Brian Scalabrine, however, had a tough night. We’ll have more in a bit.
|The Things You See||10.08.08 at 6:22 pm ET|
Some things mean something. Some things mean nothing. What does this mean? I have no idea, I’ve been awake for approximately 42 of the last 48 hours, but here’s what I just saw: Patrick O’Bryant made a fine defensive play, and then threw a completely ill-advised home run pass that was picked off. He got an earful from Tom Thibodeau, of course, but what was most interesting was the reaction of Ray Allen who gave him a very stern, ‘you just disappointed me’ look.
On the next possession, Darius Miles threw down a dunk and Kevin Garnett came out of his seat like it was the most important play he’d seen all night.
The point is: it’s preseason. None of this matters, really. But these are the kinds of things the Celtics do regularly. At the end of Game 6 against the Lakers, Garnett was screaming at the players on the floor to play defense and the C’s were up by 40 at the time. The whole block the shot after the whistle thing? Same principle.
Of course, in the time it took me to write this, they gave up the lead and now trail by three. I hate it when actual events overtake my crazy theories.
|Crunch Time Baby||10.08.08 at 6:07 pm ET|
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|
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|
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|
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.