Pregame Banter: San Antonio at Boston


Brendan Jackson of Celtics Hub sent me some questions. I sent him some questions. We talked.  His half of the conversation is below, my half is at Celtics Hub.

If that isn’t enough of a pregame meal, the Heat Index asked me to try my hand at John Peel, Henry Abbott talks Popovich, Zach Lowe talks Popovich, Tim Griffin has bullets from the mugging in NY, and greyberger is optimistic about the Spurs’ numbers. It’s a good day to be a Spurs fan, minus the beating that was last night.

And, Graydon, I had to Google ‘Jersey Shore’. And, uh, no.

Brendan Jackson after the jump.

TV: Which team do you want to see least in the ECF and Finals, respectively. And why?

BJ: In the ECF, the answer has to be the Orlando Magic. Despite their recent success, Boston has beaten the Miami Heat twice this season and have the depth and experience to take four out of seven games if they have to. No one knows how effective Kendrick Perkins will be when he returns and his ability to play will be a huge factor in how the Celtics will defend Dwight Howard. Hedo Turkoglu has also been a Godsend to the Magic and has always presented matchup problems for the Cs.

For the Finals, as much as it pains me to say it, the Celtics do not want to play the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers present the worst matchup problems for the Celtics with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol having a clear advantage over the Celtics’ frontcourt. San Antonio and Boston seem to be the most evenly matched teams as evidenced by their 2-2 record against one another the past two seasons which leaves me ambivalent towards a Finals matchup. I think for basketball purests, a Cs v. Spurs Finals would be the most desired and hardest to predict.

TV:  Health. How concerned are you that the Celtics are even less healthy than they’re letting on?

BJ: Kevin Garnett and mysterious lower leg injuries are always a cause for concern. That said, Celtics’ fans can’t start worrying until Garnett’s projected return date has come and gone and he’s still in street clothes. Garnett’s injury aside, the Celtic centers are all injury timebombs waiting to go off and their production, specifically Shaquille O’Neal’s, have dripped pretty dramatically as of late. Rajon Rondo is the true wild card. He is the young player the Celtics need to lean on when their age catches up with them. If he is hobbled in any way the Celtics are looking at an early round exit. Since returning from his severe ankle sprain, Rondo’s scoring is undoubtedly down but he looks good directing traffic and is making the correct passes. From here, we can only expect that he is going to get better and healthier (barring unforeseen setbacks, of course).

TV: What is Boston’s biggest weakness? How could a team like San Antonio exploit them?

BJ: The Celtics may have bolstered their frontcourt this offseason but without Kevin Garnett the Spurs would be wise to go downlow early and often. The Celtics get completely owned on the glass game-in and game-out. It’s weirdly surprising that this Celtics team has been so successful despite being so average at hitting the glass, specifically the offensive glass. So far, the Celtics have been completely outplayed by guys like Kevin Love, Reggie Evans, and Elton Brand. DeJuan Blair and Tim Duncan should feast on the glass tonight.

TV: If there is a lockout, we may be watching Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O’Neal for the last time. Weird, huh?

BJ: So weird, sad, and almost soul-crushing. I was born in the 80s so this will have much more significance than seeing Jordan, Bird, Magic, Ewing, or Barkley hang them up. These recent and impending retirees have been the first wave of players of which I have had the pleasure of seeing their entire careers. Declining is one thing, but an NBA without two of the best power forwards and arguably the most dominant center to ever play the game? Doesn’t seem right to see them go out on a wasted year.

  • Graydon Gordian

    Tim: By “Google Jersey Shore,” I believe you meant, “pull myself away from the all day marathon on MTV.” Don’t deny your lifelong love of the Guido.

  • Wes

    I love these writeups, very respectful and intellectual dialogue. STOKED for the game tonight. Graydon <3 loves <3 Snooki.

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  • Jacques

    I. Hate. Celtics.
    That last play should have been reviewed

  • r.l.manuel

    damn ,
    good game celtics
    again we play no defense???
    better tighten up boys
    go spurs go

  • r.l.manuel

    quote the celtics announcers
    ”these officials are bogus”

  • The Beat Counselor

    Well that was a preview of my dream Finals matchup.

    Thoroughly entertaining game.

    Can’t believe how many open looks Jesus Shuttlesworth got (13-16). Big Baby was pure from 18 ft. Rondo did whatever he damn pleased. He had more assists than our entire team! (22-20) I’m surprised this game was as close as it was.

    I know we just came off a back-to-back, but they were without Garnett.

    No moral victories here, but at least we know how we measure up now.

    TD’s shot looked nice tonight. And I guess you gotta love our scrappiness in that last minute…

    So was it me or was their announcer actually a bigger homer than most NBA announcers (which is saying a lot)? Criminy, I must be blind cuz this guy was screaming bloody murder on the no-calls at the end of the game and I couldn’t see anything on the slow-mo replays (but then again I’m biased).

    Hindsight’s 20-20/Monday morning quarterback and all that, but it would have been nice to have Neal hit the game winner tonight. I know Manu’s our closer, but doesn’t everybody else know that too?

    Our first back-to-back loss this season. Right after we claimed the top spot on everyone’s power rankings too.

    I need to take a deep breath and calm down.

    I’m guessing this game will provide Pop with plenty of teachable moments.

  • The Beat Counselor

    From the Associated Press:

    “We’re not satisfied with where we are, and honestly I don’t really care what our record is,” San Antonio forward Tim Duncan said. “(With) the kind of defense we’re playing, we’re definitely not satisfied with where we are right now.”

    That’s why he’s the GOAT.

  • Jimbo

    The killer tonight was the endless open looks Glen Davis got. It’s not like he’s running off screens (like Allen) or is a threat to take people of the dribble much. But he was just given wide open 17 footers all game.

  • spursfanbayarea

    The celtics announcer is either the biggest homer or the most retarded guy out there. His call of the game was so dam annoying. Even when the calls were obviously against the celtics, he couldn’t see them. He is even worse than the rockets announcers. Hope I never have to watch another celtic feed again.

  • Jimbo

    I don’t know if the Boston announcer in question was TV or radio, but I watched the game on and the Boston announcer was a huge homer. He also sounded like Peter from Family Guy.

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