I have to keep repeating this, out of fear my concern for Pierce’s health will come off as me hating him. I don’t think Pierce is injured and therefore isn’t that good. I think Pierce is hurt and he can’t be counted on for 48 minutes.
But in that last 12 minutes, he’s pretty freaking good.
What killed me was that Salmons/VDN should know he can’t drive. If he does drive, you’ve got help. What you can’t do is let him kill you with the drive right, pull-up jumper. That’s what you can’t allow
You especially can’t allow it THREE TIMES.
It wasn’t flagrant. I want it to be. I do. It wasn’t. Rondo went to distract him and got him in the face. It was unfortunate, and likely meant Miller missed the free throw (not that he’s an awesome free throw shooter anyway), but it wasn’t flagrant. Trey’s going to disagree with me, and light me up either here or on Blowtorch or on GMail, and I can’t blame him. Bulls fans, I can’t blame you for thinking it was a flagrant. But for me, it doesn’t get there. If everyone agrees Andrew Bynum putting Gerald Wallace in the hospital was just a hard foul, this was an unfortunate series of events.
And how unfortunate it was. I have blasted Miller since this series began. He makes dumb bounce passes in the lane that are always picked off. He can’t pass cross court. He shoots far too much given how out of rhythm he’s been. But damn, I feel bad for the guy. You can torch him all you want, but remember, you’ve had a day where you sucked at your job, too. Forgot a report. Reprimanded a student too harshly. Didn’t carry the 1. Missed a deadline. And you didn’t have to live with an entire city hating you for it. Brad Miller is an 80% free throw shooter in his career. So if he had ten of those free throws, he’s making eight of them. His two just came at a bad time. Try and remember to have empathy for a guy who’s actually tremendously good at his job (and he does play basketball better than 99.9999% of the planet) and just had a bad time for a miss, bleeding from his mouth.
If I’m VDN, I tell Brad Miller not to stop the bleeding. You tell him to also act concussed. And you get him out of the game. You had a pass to put in Ben Gordon, who would have sank those like they didn’t exist. (Note: Forgot this was only if the foul had been ruled Flagrant.)
The other alternative I immediately brought up to Blog-A-Bull was Tyrus Thomas. My belief? If that was Tyrus Thomas in that play, he immediately soars towards the bucket, dunks it, and one, misses the free throw, overtime. His response? He freaks out, tries to pass, backs up, bricks a fadeaway fifteen footer. We’ll never know. VDN strikes again.
Celtics fans. For all the complaints about officiating, at least try and recognize that tonight is proof that it all evens out in the end. Your guy hits the other guy in the face, knocks his teeth out, and is called for a personal foul, nothing more. So try and keep your teeth gnashing to a minimum, huh?
Bulls fans. If you guys would just hit your freaking free throws, you’d already be booking flights to Orlando. Quit angling for leaning 15 footers with two defenders on you off-balance as time expires and hit the ones with no one defending you.
I wonder if Kendrick Perkins will get this kind of carte blanche against Dwight Howard? I’m still fine with what he’s allowed to get away with, it’s the playoffs, they’re the champs, he’s bigger and more aggressive. I just wonder if he’ll be fouling out in the 2nd quarter next series.
The posteuring by the Celtics has kind of hit a new level, and that of its fans. They come off the floor thumping their chests and popping jerseys when they tie the seventh seed who’s had a ten point lead on them. They run their mouths against a team who’s two decades younger than them. The fans are proud of this team. Really? Look, even without Garnett, this should be a cakewalk. The team relied on Brad Miller and John Salmons in crunch time. Need I say more? Act like you’ve been there before.
“There is a vast NBA conspiracy by David Stern to keep the #3 market and the #2 overall fanbase with 3 of the largest marketable stars OUT of the Finals against the #2 market and #1 fanbase (in terms of value, Boston fans are much better fans).Â This is evident in the fact that a team that prides itself on hyper-physical defense playing against much younger, much quicker players had a lot of fouls.”
Boston’s closing this out in Six, kids. I don’t like it any more than anyone else does, and it has been an incredible series. But Allen and Pierce can smell the sweetness of a six day rest before Round 2 and they’ll do whatever they have to to get it.
Please pour one out for all the possessions Ben Gordon’s single handedly killed.
There, now that I’ve outraged both Chicago and Boston fans, I can call it a wrap.
Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.