Remember when everybody looked at the Celtics’ roster last summer and realized that between KG, ‘Sheed, Pierce, Perk, Eddie House, Scalabrine and Rondo, this could be the most unlikeable NBA team of all-time? As it turns out, those guys have been fine; if anything, the main reason Boston is hard to root for remains good ol’ Tommy Heinsohn … If you turned to NBA TV last night hoping to catch a simple Celtics/Hawks game between two of the best teams in the League, we’re sorry you had to be subjected to Heinsohn’s act. Late in the third, after Doc Rivers had been ejected (stemming from an admittedly weak flagrant call on Big Baby) and the Hawks had cut a double-digit lead down to three, Heinsohn growled, “The officials have officially given this Atlanta team the game.” Never mind that Boston kept leaving Jamal Crawford wide open, they couldn’t do a thing with Joe Johnson (36 pts, 5 threes), and they couldn’t stop turning the ball over. A minute later Tommy shouted, “The Celtics are getting JOBBED!” after a foul where the replay showed Pierce clearly got a lot of Josh Smith‘s wrist. If you began the game as a neutral fan, by the end it was impossible not to root for the Hawks just to deny Tommy the satisfaction … It looked like the Celtics were gonna roll early on, as Rondo (26 pts, 7 asts) was just throwing stuff up at the rim that went in, and Scalabrine was shooting like a broke-down Larry Bird. (If 53-year-old Bird played Scal right now, who would win?) After Atlanta grabbed the lead midway through the fourth, Crawford (17 pts, 6 asts) took over down the stretch and destroyed Rondo on a series of pick-and-rolls with Al Horford to close it out … Sometimes you wonder why Warriors fans think their coach has gone senile, and then you see what happened at the end of Monday’s loss to the Cavs. Doing the orange shoe/blue shoe thing again, LeBron (37 pts, 8 rebs, 11 asts, 4 blks) had Cleveland up 10 with two minutes to go before G-State put together a blink-and-you-missed-it comeback. Stephen Curry (21 pts, 7 rebs, 5 asts) cut the lead to three with 30 seconds left when he buckled Mo Williams‘ knees on a crossover and went in for a layup. After LeBron milked the clock and bricked what would have been a dagger three from almost the same exact spot where he hit his memorable game-winner at Oracle Arena last year, Monta Ellis (30 pts, 5 asts, 5 stls) got the rebound with five seconds left. He started to call timeout, but Nellie waved it off; so a hesitant Monta went downcourt and didn’t really know what to do, handing it off to Curry who launched a 30-footer that missed. Why not call a timeout and set something up? Nellie probably would have had Andris Biedrins run a clear-out or something, but still … Early in the second quarter of Bulls/Pistons, the Detroit broadcast showed an interview where Joe Dumars talked frankly about this never-ending losing streak. At that point, the Pistons were down by one. Next thing you know, they’re down 15 and Derrick Rose and Tyrus Thomas are hooking up for alley-oops like Sik Wid It and Main Event. From there it was just a matter of time — Chicago pulled away and won by 33, extending Detroit’s streak to 13 L’s … It didn’t take Sundiata Gaines long to make “SportsCenter” after his D-League call-up to the Jazz, only it wasn’t for the reason he’d envisioned. ‘Yatta just happened to be the guy Dwyane Wade ran into when he sprained his right wrist in the first quarter of Jazz/Heat, which slowed Wade down (13 pts) the rest of the way and paved the way for Utah to rout Miami easily … Other stat lines from Monday: Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points (9-17 FG) in his return to the lineup as the Nuggets knocked off the Wolves; Steve Nash had 30 and 11 dimes to beat the Bucks; Kevin Durant dropped 30 points (13-16 FT) to beat the Knicks; Troy Murphy posted 20 points and 16 boards as the Pacers edged the Raptors; and Chris Paul put up 13 points and 13 dimes, but N.O. lost to the Sixers … A few notes from college ball: Texas is the new #1 following Kansas’ loss to Tennessee over the weekend; Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds dropped 36 on Louisville in a huge comeback win; and DePaul fired coach Jerry Wainwright. We kinda saw that last one coming. A few weeks ago DePaul played Mississippi State, and ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes spent the entire game trying to find nice ways to say “DePaul is tragically awful” without actually saying it. Since hiring ex-Pistons is the thing to do these days, how about bringing in Mark Aguirre to lead the Blue Demons? … We’re out like Doc …
Smack / Jan 12, 2010 / 6:33 am
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