Watching Dick Stockton call the game last night immediately after watching him call Game 1 of the 1986 NBA finals was a tad bit surreal. A couple of years ago, when Stockton reemerged from broadcaster oblivion, I was anxious to see if he still had game. My first thought was, no, this guy sounds like they found him in a nursing home. But two years on, he has regained his chops, and routinely holds his own with the Czar in their playful banter. On the other hand, did anyone else hear Stockton refer to the Hawk’s number 15 as Tito, as in Tito Horford, Al’s Dad?
Coverage of last night's game starts in the locker-room with Doc giving the Green his best Lombardi. “We haven’t peaked yet. We haven’t played our best basketball. We can still improve.” I’m encouraged to see that Doc is still prodding along the 68-16 Celtics. Whaddya say we make it 70-16? In a future piece, I plan to discuss what makes great teams great, and one answer seems obvious: They win big games against other great teams. So while Doc continues to exhort, the real tests lay ahead.
KG, Rondo, and Sam
Watching KG take the time to coach Rondo while the two are on the bench is a kick. Not as good as watching the KG and Cassell get reunited and work together in tandem, but still pretty cool. The other week Pacer Coach Jim O”Brien winced when asked whether Rondo might be as good as Deron Williams and Chris Paul. He probably isn’t. But the question is getting less far fetched. Meanwhile, Cassell had 6 points in his first minute of the game. As I said yesterday, it does appear he is assuming the role not only of floor general for the second unit, but also undertaking the role and responsibilities once carried out by Eddie House, namely second-unit gunner. I’m cool with this, but remain surprised by Eddie’s sparse playing time.
Speaking of sparse PT, yesterday I opined that TA might start seeing some guaranteed minutes in preparation for coming off the bench to guard LeBron, Kobe, and the Piston wings. Yet he only played 2 minutes last night. I guess he’ll be well rested whenever Doc does step up his minutes.
Powe on Joe
Well, I must confess this one was not something I would have predicted. I suppose Doc may be trying to see whether Powe is a viable defensive option against the LeBron’s of the world. Personally, I don’t see it, and am not sure what’s accomplished by sticking Powe on Joe Johnson. But I guess we have no choice but to watch and see what happens.
Number 10 still looks like he could play if called into action. He must be 60ish, but could pass for 40ish.
Nothing but Net
Is there a sweeter sound than a Paul Pierce shot that catches nothing but the twine? No other made basket sounds like his.
KG doing his Best DJ Impersonation
Man, I think KG must have been playing with ice cubes in his shorts because I certainly don’t recall him ever having a night like he did last night, at least not since he’s been wearing the GREEN. After about the fourth or fifth brick in a row, I just started laughing out loud. He’s got DJ Disease, clanking shots off the rim during irrelevant stretches of games. When the game is on the line, I’d still put my money on both of them, though for different reasons.