Scott Cordischi On Sports: 7th Heaven Or The End Of An Era?
Thursday, May 24, 2012
It all comes down to a game 7 in Boston Saturday night. The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers will meet at the TD Garden that night for a berth in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals and a likely match-up with LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Conventional wisdom would tell us that the Celtics should win this game. They are the home team which means that the officiating will likely be in their favor. And they are (11-2) at home in game 7’s.
But nothing will come easy for this team. We have learned that their best defender – guard Avery Bradley – is out for the remainder of the playoffs. Paul Pierce appears to be operating somewhere between 50-70 percent and Ray Allen has essentially been rendered useless on both ends of the floor due to the bone spurs in his ankle.
For those reasons, it is paramount that Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett have great games on Saturday. For Rondo, the formula is simple: do a good enough job defending your man on the perimeter and DO NOT turn the ball over with careless passes on the offensive end.
For KG it is a matter of establishing his presence down low on both ends of the floor which is something that he did not go in their game 6 loss Wednesday night. While Garnett is a very good perimeter shooter for a man his size, the Celtics need him to establish a low post presence in game 7.
In addition, Paul Pierce needs to take the ball to the basket and either score at the rim or get to the free throw line for somewhere around 10 attempts.
Because of all of the injuries, Boston has a very thin bench which it cannot count on in moments like this so it is up to the starting five to shoulder the load. This also means that a contribution will be necessary from Brandon Bass. While the C’s don’t necessarily need a 27-point performance from Bass like they received in game 5, they do need something significantly better than they received last night.
If any or all of these things happen, Boston will win game 7 setting up a tantalizing match-up with the hated Heat in the conference finals. If not, it may very well be the last time we see the “Big Three” together on the floor in Celtics’ uniforms.
-Congratulations to Brown’s Kyle Newhall-Caballero who signed a free agent contract with the Oakland Raiders. The former Bears’ quarterback joins former teammate Alexander Tounkara-Kone who signed a free agent deal as a wide receiver with the Buffalo Bills.
-The Sports Hub’s Michael Felger needs to get off the Celtics and give the team a little credit. This team is old and it is banged up so they deserve praise for the way that they have played this postseason.
-It looks like LeBron James took all of the criticism he received earlier in this series to heart as he is now playing like the dominant player everyone thinks he is.
-Who cares if David Ortiz is whining about getting a new contract? As long as Big Papi continues to mash tings will take care of themselves.
-There used to be a time when athletes would never disrespect their head coaches like Dwayne Wade did to Eric Spoelstra in game 3 of their series against the Pacers. I miss those days.
-Wes Welker is my favorite Patriots but I am not a fan of all of the talking and changing of stories he is doing regarding his contract situation.
-Speaking of that, I laugh every time I hear someone say that the way the Patriots do business with their high profile free agents will eventually hurt them in signing other free agent players. It hasn’t yet and won’t anytime soon in my opinion.
-Welcome back Kevin Youkilis! Maybe the Sox never should have moved your from first base in the first place.
-I have seen a lot of “bad losses” in my day, but none as bad as the Celtics’ game-4 loss at Philadelphia.
-While I am not a big fan of Roger Goodell, I would like to see all of the details of the “Bountygate” investigation released to the public in hopes that it will support his tough stance on the issue.
-Metta World Peace will always be Ron Artest to me.
-Same for Chad Ocho Cinco who is apparently changing his name back to Chad Johnson.
-Speaking of Ocho Cinco, leave it to him to mourn the loss of his Starbucks gold card which, along with his wallet and credit cards, was stolen from his SUV on Wednesday.
-Did you see Tom Brady’s new slick hairdo? I miss the days of the young kid from Michigan who wore a buzz cut and acted like he always had something to prove to his doubters.
-Speaking of TB12, apparently he and his supermodel wife “G” have another bun in the oven, if you know what I mean?
-Shaquille O’Neal the GM of the Magic? Seriously?
-That would be ironic if he were to be Orlando’s choice. They would be asking a guy who left Orlando for Los Angeles to try to convince Dwight Howard to do something that he didn’t which is remain with the Magic.
-Congratulations for former Friar Marshon Brooks who was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team this week.
-And kudos to PC men’s ice hockey coach Nate Leaman who landed a big-time recruit in goaltender Jon Gilles. Gilles had committed to Northeastern but was released from his commitment when the Huskies’ starting goalie announced that he would be returning to school next year. Expect him to start between the pipes for PC this fall.
-The next person I find who cares that the Los Angeles Kings are in the Stanley Cup Finals will be the first.
-The NCAA men’s lacrosse Final Four at Gillette Stadium this weekend just won’t be the same without Syracuse and a sea of orange there.
-Last spring was a lot more fun with the Boston Bruins making a run to the Stanley Cup.
-Word is that PC’s Ricky Ledo felt good about his last SAT test. Cross your fingers Friar fans.
-Even after Rusty Hardin’s grueling cross examination, I still believe Brian McNamee.
-Curt Schilling doesn’t believe in “big government” but he was more than willing to have the state of Rhode Island assume all of the risk with the $75 million loan his 38 Studios received.
-Then again, shame on our politicians for giving it to him. Meanwhile, we have hundreds of small businesses trying to get much smaller loans from the state to no avail.
-TNT’s studio crew for NBA games blows away ESPN’s studio analysts.
-Don’t worry Curt! If your company defaults on the $75 million loan, working-class schmucks like me will pay for it through tax increases while you live it up in your multi-million dollar Massachusetts home.