Tonight's game is not just another game. The Cavs don't feel that way. The Celtics shouldn't feel that way and the fans of both teams definitely don't feel that is. The Celtics are half a game behind the Cavs. The Magic are half a game behind the Celtics. Every game becomes very important for these three teams hoping for home court advantage in the playoffs. Considering the slide that the Celtics have been on and the fact that they have lost 6 straight regular season games along with 3 playoff games in Cleveland, not many are giving the Celtics any chance to win this game. The Cavs are 18-0 at home and the Celtics have not exactly been a good road team this season. But, I believe that the Celtics will win tonight. The koolaid in me won't let me believe otherwise. This is, after all, the same team that won 19 in a row and 27 of their first 29. Yes, maybe they are a little tired. Yes, they have been slumping lately. But, they are the same team and I have to believe they are going to be up for this game and we will see the Celtics back to their old selves again.
How more classless can the Portland Trailblazers get? They have been completely void of class in the way they have dealt with the Darius Miles situation and every team in the league knows it now. They leaked the suspension information, they gave out confidential medical information. They sat on the information that the pre-season games counted toward the 10 he has to play for them to be back on the hook for his contract. And now that the magic number is down to 2 games, they are reaching new lows by threatening to sue any team who signs Miles to let him play those 2 games. I really, really, really hope some team signs him, even if it is a 10 day contract and gives him the chance to play. The Blazers signed Miles to that contract. They jumped the gun on declaring the career ending injury and now they need to do the right thing and stop trying to keep this kid from doing something he very much wants to do.
Every time I think about this whole thing I get mad at David Stern and the league all over again. When Reggie Lewis died, the Celtics petitioned the league for cap relief and they were denied any relief. But, they gave the Blazers cap relief for a knee injury. I mean, does it get any more career ending than death? Stern's refusal to give the Celtics any kind of break when they were still reeling from the death of Len Bias and then lost their captain showed me all I needed to know about David Stern. He has always done what he could to hinder the Celtics. Was it really the luck of the draw that kept the Celtics from getting the #1 pick in '97 and '07? It defied all odds. Makes you wonder.
The Celtics have recalled Giddens and Walker. I think this is a good move. If nothing else, hopefully it will push guys like Tony and Eddie who haven't been producing lately. I think Walker, especially can help this team since we don't have a back up small forward with size who can defend to fill the Posey role. Both should give the team an infusion of energy. I would love to see a Pruitt, Giddens, and Walker trio on the second unit.
Speaking of Gabe. I like what I have seen from him when Doc gives him the minutes. He is playing great defense. He is hitting his shots. He is not flustered by pressure and I really want to see this kid as the back up PG. It's time, Doc. Free Gabe.
CelticsBlog had a chart that came from ESPN that showed that after a long winning streak, it isn't unusual for a team to have a let down. Of the top 5 win streaks, 4 of those teams had a losing streak right after. Couple this with the great find of one of my favorite bloggers on Lex Nihil Novi that the '85-'86 team went through a slump in December as well. We remember that team as one of the greatest of all time, but after starting 17-2, they lost 5 of their next 9 games and blew a 25 point lead on national TV on Christmas Day to one of the league's worst teams. There were doubters popping up then as there are now. But, it didn't end so badly for that team. And, it won't end badly for this team either. They are the same team that won 27 of their first 29. They will right the ship and get back on track.
Red's Army has a great idea! Vote for Yi for the All Star game. Many point to fatigue as the reason for the Celtics slide. KG needs rest more than he needs another All Star start. Give the guy some rest and vote for Yi.