The Moonball Blog

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Feels Good to Be Home

21 Years.

Been a real long time.

I am somewhat at a loss for words.

KG did not sleep for 4 or 5 days going into Game 6. 4 or 5 days. Kobe: We are coming for you.

Thanks to the Pistons for a great series. Rip and Billups are hell to guard. Sheed is always a star in my heart. McDiggityDyess, Stuckey, Prince, Maxiell, Hunter and the rest of ya: Ballers. Respect.

I will have more to say in the coming days, including how the C's beat the LA Scoring Machine, why Sheed has never been a great rebounder, what we now know about the East vs West, and all sorts of other fun.

Thursday, May 29, 2008



Whew! That was a close one. Outstanding 3 point shooting by the Pistons throughout the contest. Lucky for the Celts, Ray finally found his range. Allen was outstanding with his shot tonight. If he gets on a roll, only good thing will happen for the team in green. KG and Pauly were their usually great selves, Rondo was more good than bad, and Perk went beserk. And how 'bout Mr. Perkins? Straight beastin' in the lane. That hook is beginning to look real, and that turn around was straight stupid--not unlike the turn around Maxiell in the 1st half. Perk is just 23 and coming into his own. Nice night for Playoff career highs. Despite the close end, the win puts Boston in the drivers seat.

This has been a real back and forth series, both overall and within games. Big runs and swings of momentum. The hustle and energy has been incredible, but the ability to execute has been dictated by both defenses in every key stretch of the series thus far. Detroit is a bit beat up. Billups was better tonight, though he still looks like he is playing with some physical limits. And Rip looked like he might of hurt his elbow at the end of the game. Funny that Sheed was bent outta shape about the officiating; for while there I thought Kenny Mauer was trying to hand the game to the Pistons. Guess when you have two teams so closely matched, factors as small as referee error always seem so magnified.

Boston is winning this in 6. I am sure I could be wrong about the depth of the Piston resiliency. Detroit has been tremendous, most especially with the contributions from McDyess, Stuckey, Maxiell and Hunter. Frickin Lindsey Hunter. My point is that this is more about the Celtics emerging post-season identity than any deficiency of the Pistons. All of the travails of these first three rounds have made Boston stronger. On Friday, Boston is going to close Detroit because they are finally ready to close a team out on the road.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Well, so much for Celtics in 5. Let's hope Weedie is wrong about everything else.

A good win by the Pistons. If for no other reason, I'm glad they won so I will seem a little less petty when writing this:

Q. What worries a Piston fan more than Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett?
A. Danny Crawford reffing a playoff game.

Those free throws almost killed me but it's all good now.

A few notes before heading to bed:

  • I'll remember that Max block on KG on the break for a very long time.
  • Man, Dyess just keeps doin' it and he was the best player on the floor tonight. Last year, he took the loss to Cleveland so hard, it's just great to see him giving everything to get that ring.
  • Tay, we need more from you, let's go.
  • Chauncey--interesting game. You shot it like hell but made maybe the biggest shot of the night, the 3 to push it to 10 late. A decent floor game and more aggressive. Keep getting better.
  • Sheed--much better, keep on comin'.
  • Rip exposed Ray Allen late, a good sign as the series gets long.
Celtics had a weird game shooting so poorly, I suspect they'll be much better in Game 5. I think this is going seven.

And for those who are interested, it was another very impressive performance in downtown Detroit again tonight. I watched the Wings game first. More lock-down defense and a few great plays for goals. Pens got chippy at the end, a sign of a loser team. De-Troit Hockey-town.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I missed the game to attend the joyous occasion of my friend Travis' wedding.

What bliss it was to discover the crush job had been properly applied to the Piston foe. Hard to tell from the box score exactly how it all went down, but limiting Detroit to 80 points in MoTown is serious. The solid contributions from six guys in the scoring column looked good as well.

If Boston can win Monday, the series is over cause the Celts are taking Game 5 no matter what.


Many thanks to Mrs. Smith's hospitality.

Takes me back to a 72 win season and watching Phil give his team a rest.

Sad to say it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Great win last night in the Red Wings.

I actually split my time between the two sports, recording them both. I watched the second half of the hoops game afterwards, which totally took the thrill out of the Wings' impressive Game 1 triumph. The Celtics looked great last night, props to them. Just a few thoughts about the game:

  • In a statement meant to win friends among this blog's readers, let me state the obvious: Kevin Garnett is playing like the MVP he is. He's been great on both sides of the ball and I remain in awe of his abilities. He still has some things to prove in this postseason, but he's been just fantastic in this series so far.
  • Am worried about the Chauncellor. The second game of three in which he was totally ineffective. Maybe it's the hamstring, but it's disconcerting when you consider how poorly he played in the Pistons final series in last few seasons. He's gotta get it going, he got outplayed badly by Rondo last night.
  • Still lovin' Stuckey and Dyess, the only players playing up to potential.
  • Favorite play of the game was when Maxiell stuffed KG. Too bad it was negated by a rushed crazy shot on the other end and then KG completely outsmarting him the next time around.
  • Yo Sheed--no one expects you to outplay Garnett, just be somewhere in the range. You CANNOT be outplayed by Kendrick Perkins, though. Let's get it together.
In all, a disappointing game, but I expect Detroit to play much better on Monday, they should win, making this a deep series.

And because I know you all care, I think the Wings will have a tough game on Monday, too. They kind of embarrassed the Pens, who are too good not to respond.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Much Better

Well, how about that? A complete effort by the Pistons and a very good game over all. Will Pierce ever miss one of those turn-arounds? Will KG ever miss a non-3 spot-up? Pistons D was really good but almost not good enough. Respect to the C's, although I thought it was really telling that Ray Allen had that big smile after hitting that 3 at the end, even though it was pretty clear the game was done by that point. Rondo had an up and down game, but I'm amazed at that guy's hands, so damned quick and strong. The bench gave 'em nothin, will we see Cassell in Motown?

As for the Pistons:

  • Loved Stuckey's game tonight.
  • Great to have something like the real Chauncey back. Hope his hammy is okay, it looked like he tweaked it.
  • Rip was tough as nails.
  • Tayshaun, very solid all around game.
  • Sheed was better, but we haven't seen his best yet--Beanies gotta be worried about that.
  • McDyess was great, especially in the first.
And so it goes back to Detroit. I think the Pistons will get at least one there and have a good shot at two. I hope they know they are in a dog fight and play with tonight's intensity. They say a series doesn't really start until the home team loses--it's on now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who to root for among the NBA's Final Four?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Last Night a PJ Saved My Life

Last night a PJ saved my life

Last night a PJ saved my life
with an open shot

Okay, maybe PP&J would be more accurate. But goddamn did ole PJ Brown come through with his veteran self last night. The tip ins, the two frozen rope jumpers. Cool, calm, collected.

And as for Paul: His best game as a pro, after the best 7 game defensive stretch of his life. The series came down to the two small forwards who are anything but small. The strength and tenacity of the match up was breath taking, even with the relatively poor offensive play of both teams through the first six games. Counting on your guy to go toe to toe with the game's brightest young star is a tall order. Pauly P delivered. Bron may be King, but the Truth is eternal.

I think these two seven game series hardened a Celtics team sorely in need of Playoff experience. Doc figured out the relative values of his bench players (House is outperforming Cassell, Brown can shoot while Perk, Powe and Big Baby just bang, etc). The C's also survived with Ray Allen contributing not much more than decoy work. That ain't gonna last. And Boston finally identified what needs to happen at money time: Give the ball to the Captain, #34. KG anchors the D. Paul fuels the O. Everybody else plays a role.

I will go further and say that Detroit does not pose the match up problems that ATL and Cleveland did. Hey, they play better ball in MoTown--no argument. But the Playoffs is about match ups, and Boston is fittin to go off on their sorry Detroit counter-parts. Once you have handled a King, beating a Prince is nuthin.

Boston in six. Five if Chauncey is not entirely better. Pistons are tired suckers that had the nice and easy Mousekeeters in Round 2. Now they will be a footnote to the Celtics march to 17. The Leprechaun will be in full effect mode come Finals time.

(p.s. as for my absence from the Moonball blog, Lori and I have just welcomed a family of six from Togo to live with us as they move to the US. This is the family that hosted us over the summer. Great folks. Dad, Mom, and kids of 21, 13, 10 and 7. Crazy town in Che Lori and Mike)

Oh Boy

Such a high-risk/high-reward series coming up. A team of virtue versus a franchise of scum and villainy. How sweet it would be to ruin the great Boston season; how painful to see Detroit knocked out by the evil leprechauns. So many little time. And to top it off, I have to worry about the Wings all of a sudden. Crazy days.

Peace to my Celtic fan friends for tonight, wherever you've been. Tomorrow it's on.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Piston Pride

Six straight trips to the Eastern Conference finals after beating a kind of tough Orlando team in 5 without a heart and soul player. Not too shabby. To this point, things are working out about how I expected, with Detroit having a relatively easy ride while Boston is involved in a tough series with Cleveland. Best only to have to beat one of those teams to get to the Finals.

By the way, that Cleveland/Boston series is eerily similar to the Detroit/Cleveland series last year. Look out Celtics, you better hope LeBron doesn't go off tomorrow night.

However it goes, Detroit will be waiting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Spring is as good as it gets - everything shows its true colors. Walking into a club, I saw Luke Walton and among the crowd, many back pockets matched their shoes. What? How does Luke Walton get to be on national tv?