Posted on: May 12, 2009 11:04 pm

Magic pull rodent out of hat

I've seen enough of the Orlando Magic to last me a lifetime.

I don't want to hear about Ray Allen's 3-pointer that should've been a 2-pointer in the second quarter. I don't want to hear about the ball that didn't touch the rim that was ruled to have touched the rim.

This wasn't about inches or centimeters or bad breaks or bad calls.

This was about one team having the desire to stay alive in the playoffs and another team possessing nothing but a violent allergic reaction to that.

Possession after possession down the stretch, the Magic did the opposite of what you're supposed to do. The Celtics did exactly what you'd expect them to do. They did the right thing. They made the winning play. They didn't throw the ball wildly off the side of the backboard -- as a skittish Hedo Turkoglu did -- or toss it desperately in the general direction of the rim -- as a schizophrenic Rafer Alston did. They got the ball to Ray Allen, who'd shot the ball like Ray Barrone all series, off a screen in a clutch spot. And bang, of course, he knocked it down. They got a tap-out offensive rebound to keep a crucial possession alive. They inbounded the ball to Allen, a 95 percent foul shooter -- as opposed to Orlando, which inbounded the ball to Dwight Howard, a 55 percent foul shooter. And then they panicked and ordered Howard to miss the second free throw. Why? Because that's what the Magic do. They panic and vomit in their own mouths.

Anyway, that wasn't even the point. As the TNT crew correctly pointed out, it was the first time Howard had touched the ball in ages. How delicious is that? How apropos? How perfect? The Magic have the most unstoppable low-post force in the game, and they're so weak, so cowardly, so insignificant that they're reduced to having that unstoppable force standing 15 feet from the rim and deliberately chucking a ball off the backboard in the final seconds.

The Magic, my friends, get what they deserve.

I don't know if the Celtics close this out Thursday night or not. In my mind, it doesn't matter. Can anyone in their right mind imagine a team with so little heart winning a Game 7 in Boston?  

I will leave you with this. A man with whom I have not always gotten along, Stephon Marbury, gave the Celtics several quality, effective, borderline clutch and spectacular minutes in this game. I have nothing whatsoever against Stephon Marbury and wish to congratulate him. If only the Magic had a point guard that good.

Category: NBA
Tags: Celtics, Magic
Posted on: May 7, 2009 6:18 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2009 6:21 pm

Comic relief aside, Alston, Fisher judged alike

You whack somebody in the head, you get whacked for a game. Pretty simple, right?

At first I thought Rafer Alston's Three Stooges routine on Eddie House might elicit more laughter than punishment from the NBA. After all, it was sort of funny. But Stu Jackson doesn't have much of a sense of humor this time of year. The letter of the law is the letter of the law.

Alston swung and made contact with House's head, and that was enough for the league to park him at home with a one-game suspension to be served Friday night in Game 3 of the Magic-Celtics series.

This is awful news for Orlando, which blew a 28-point lead in Game 1 and got blown out in Game 2. Backup point guard Anthony Johnson was brutal in Game 1, which I witnessed in person. Alston has been no Celtic-killer, either. Advantage Celtics in this one.

Derek Fisher's full-body check on the Rockets' Luis Scola was a much easier call. Fisher looked back to locate Scola, sized him up like a hockey goon at the blue line, and leveled him. Fisher also will serve his one-game suspension Friday night in Game 3, which I will be attending and reporting from my ringside seat. I never miss a cage match.

Category: NBA
Posted on: December 12, 2008 12:33 pm

Kobe to debut new shoe vs. Celtics

Sports Business Daily has a nice roundup of opinions on Kobe Bryant's new low-cut Nike shoe, which he'll debut against the Cetics in a nationally televised Christmas Day game.

Kobe had a hand in designing the Nike Zoom Kobe IV, telling Nike to create "the lowest, lightest basketball shoe ever." Some are calling it a gamble, although Gilbert Arenas and Steve Nash have long been proponents of low-tops.

"It's always good to come with something that's not caught up in the sea of sameness, something that brings a little bit more change, a little bit more energy to the game," Kobe said. "So from the business side of it, I feel like it can't come at a better time."

Category: NBA
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