February 22, 2012 Game 32: Boston Celtics (15-17) at Oklahoma City Thunder (26-7)
The Boston Celtics took one in the chops Wednesday night, dropping a 119-104 semi-stinker to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Through 2011, the longest losing streak of the Garnett era was four games. After Wednesday’s loss, the Celtics have lost five in a row twice this year.
We say semi-stinker because it’s hard to describe a loss in a game that you have a razor-thin chance of winning as a full-fledged stinker. Keeping in tune with the theme of the season, Boston faced the best team in the Western Conference absent four key contributors: star of Newsies Rajon Rondo (suspension), maker of anthems Brandon Bass (right knee), Cutty from The Wire (right adductor), and Dick Tracy villain Jermaine O’Neal (left wrist).
The Jam: Extras is a collection of Krucial Kuts that fall outside of our usual lines of classification. You’re listening to side one/track three: “When You’re Young”, in which we speak with Jeff Mann-Stock, who went to grade school with Stephen Curry and to high school with Jeremy Lin.
K. Are you from North Carolina, originally?
J. I was born in the Chicago area, and I lived there until I was four. Then I lived in Jacksonville, FL for about a year and a half after that, then I moved to Charlotte, NC. I lived there from Kindergarten until the end of second grade or the beginning of third grade. That’s when I went to school with Steph.
I moved to Palo Alto when I was about 12 or 13. I wound up going to Palo Alto High School and just happened to be in the same graduating class as Jeremy Lin.
February 19, 2012 Game 30: Boston Celtics (15-15) at Detroit Pistons (11-22)
Last night, we dreamt that master of disguise Rajon Rondo caught an inbounding pass, turned, and hurled a baseball-style rocket toward the basket at the opposite end of the court. As he released the ball, he sprinted forward, building up a full head of steam before leaping high into the air, soaring majestically above the players below. As the buzzer sounded, Rondo dropped through the net, just inches behind the ball.
This seemed a portent of good things to come for the C’s in their Sunday afternoon matchup against the Detroit Pistons. Unfortunately, that would not be the case.
The Jam: Extras is a collection of Krucial Kuts that fall outside of our usual lines of classification. You’re listening to side one/track two: “Shopping”, the Unimpeachable Guide to Danny Ainge and the NBA Draft (2003-2011).
Friend of the Kuts Nigel recently asked for our take on the Celtics’ draft evaluation acumen and strategy under the iron-fisted rule of former Blue Jays infielder Danny Ainge. Along with his question, Nigel expressed two ideas. The first: when it comes to the draft, Ainge has placed an out-sized emphasis on defensive specialists at the expense of capable scorers (Kendrick Perkins, Avery Bradley, and Tony Allen). The second: Ainge has demonstrated an inability to properly evaluate offensive skill (Gerald Green).
February 15, 2012 Game 28: Boston Celtics (15-13) vs. Detroit Pistons (9-22)
For the second time in three games, the Boston Celtics found themselves on the wrong end of a piss-poor team’s ninth win of the season, falling to the Detroit Pistons, 98-88. In the immortal words of Old Man K, “ah! That cut deep.”
Boston was without living Terminator endoskeleton Kevin Garnett (hip flexor), whose absence resulted in a huge deficiency on the defensive end. How huge? We made a graph to describe it:
Game 26: Boston Celtics (14-12) at Toronto Raptors (9-19)
The Boston Celtics followed up Thursday’s tough-to-swallow overtime loss to their most hated rival with a bona fide stink bomb against their favorite punching bag, losing 86-74 to the Toronto Raptors. Including Friday’s loss, the Celtics are 42-22 all-time against Toronto, with a 16-3 record against them during the Garnett era.
The Raptors offense is not very good. To illustrate this, we made a graph.
February 7, 2012 Game 24: Boston Celtics (14-10) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (3-22)
“Take this down: my name is Shaquille O’Neal and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth. Quote me on that and don’t take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth.” –Shaquille O’Neal, 2001
The Boston Celtics idly toyed with the short-staffed Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday night before growing bored and tossing them down the incinerator chute on their way out to split an extra-large ice cream sundae 12 ways. The game was not nearly as close as the 94-84 final score would suggest. The Celtics out-shot, out-rebounded and out-defended their opponent, building a 17-point fourth quarter lead that Charlotte would impotently chip away at in garbage time.
February 3, 2012 Game 22: Boston Celtics (12-10) vs. New York Knicks (8-15)
The Boston Celtics followed up Wednesday night’s wire-to-wire thrashing of the Toronto Raptors with a gripping fourth-quarter comeback win against the punch-drunk New York Knicks. Rumors of a return to glory, fueled by the off-season acquisitions of center Tyson Chandler and (to a lesser extent) point guard Baron Davis (who has yet to play a game), have been fully debunked, as the Knicks have dropped a staggering 11 of their last 13 games. Somewhere, Scottie Pippen is smiling contentedly.
Avery Bradley, second-year reserve guard for the Boston Celtics, is primarily known as a quick and tenacious on-the-ball defender. He is also the King of the Free Throw Bomb. The Free Throw Bomb is first cousin to the Photobomb. If you are not familiar with Photobombing, please refer to Michael Cera’s distinguished work in the field.
January 31, 2012 Game 20: Boston Celtics (10-10) at Cleveland Cavaliers (8-12
Despite spending the final thirteen-and-a-half minutes of the game handing the bulk of their 21-point lead back to their opponent, the Boston Celtics escaped Cleveland with a 93-90 win Tuesday night. As discussed in “Chronicles” #7, this year’s Celtics have tended to be slow starters, averaging 21.05 and 21.95 points in the first and second quarters of games. We at the Kuts are in the process of preparing a league-wide quarter-by-quarter scoring analysis, which will put these numbers in the appropriate context. In lieu of details, let’s just say for now that the preliminary findings tell us that those marks aren’t very good.