|Competition among friends||03.18.09 at 10:47 pm ET|
Bill Walker and Michael Beasley were more than roommates at Kansas State. They were each other’s toughest competition.
“Oh man, we competed at everything,” Walker recalled earlier this season. “On the basketball side, out of basketball, video games, we competed in every thing. Everything was a competition.”
On Wednesday night the rookies faced off as Walker and the Boston Celtics took on Beasley and the Miami Heat. (RECAP HERE) Just like their friendship, the game was a back and forth battle. But it still doesn’t compare to their one-on-one games back in college.
“That’s probably the most intense basketball I’ve played in my life,” Beasley said. “When he won, I didn’t want to leave. And I when I won, he’s not leaving. So sometimes you could win three or four straight and he just won’t quit, or vice versa. I remember there were times we were in the gym until four or five o’clock in the morning just playing one-on-one.”
Walker dubbed Beasley, “The Beast from the East,” and the two saw everything has a chance to win. Little things walking to the car became a race. Game days were another opportunity to one up each other.
“Honestly, we prepared for a game by bringing our Xbox into the locker room and then playing games until pregame stuff,” Beasley said. “We’d always play as ourselves and be Kansas State versus Kansas State.”
Their must-win mentalities pushed one another to become better than they were before.
“It teaches you a lot about yourself,” said Walker. “Especially when you go up against somebody that’s just as competitive as you are and he’s skilled in the same manner you are, that really challenges you.”
|Not over yet||03.18.09 at 9:38 pm ET|
The stage was set for Paul Pierce to be the hero. But after running down the clock, his last second shot circled off the rim. It’s overtime for the Celtics and Heat, tied at 100 apiece.
|Heated words||03.18.09 at 9:10 pm ET|
When Paul Pierce saw Rajon Rondo lying on the ground after a foul by James Jones, he had words for the Heat. The Heat spat back, and Pierce and Luther Head were called for double technical fouls with 12 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
|Of comebacks and fouls||03.18.09 at 8:39 pm ET|
The Celtics have two key objectives in the third quarter. Get the lead back and don’t foul. It’s tough to play that way, obviously, but that’s the situation they are in right now. Big Baby, Kendrick Perkins and Mikki Moore have exactly seven fouls to play with for the next 24 minutes and the way this game is going that’s not going to be enough.
Give the Heat credit for attacking this obvious weakness. Michael Beasley and Jermaine O’Neal did work in the second quarter against the depleted bigs and Udonis Haslem has picked up on their lead.
|A happy KG?||03.18.09 at 8:21 pm ET|
There was a Kevin Garnett sighting before the game in the locker room and the injured big man seemed–dare we say it–happy? Wearing workout clothes, KG bounced around the locker room giving Gabe Pruitt a playful hello and making small talk with a few others. (Not media types, of course.)
One way or another Garnett is getting close to a return but Doc Rivers played it cautious when asked about his prospects. Garnett will apparently accompany the team on their upcoming road trip to San Antonio and Memphis, but as he has yet to get back on the court his return is still up in the air. “We’ll see,” Rivers said. “But I wouldn’t count on this weekend.”
One thing is certain. The Celtics are not going to rush his comeback.
|A foul first half||03.18.09 at 8:14 pm ET|
The Celtics were already shorthanded before the whistles started blowing. But their bench became depleted when their big man could not stay out of foul trouble in the first half. The Celtics are in tough shape at the end of the second quarter:
Mikki Moore: 4 fouls in 8 minutes
Glen Davis: 4 fouls in 14 minutes
Kendrick Perkins: 3 fouls in 17 minutes
|He couldn’t wait til next month||03.18.09 at 7:40 pm ET|
March really isn’t the best time of the year to see Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers hit a three against the Boston Celtics. Just brings back all sorts of bad memories …