Monday, May 4, 2009

Celtics Defeat Bulls in Game 7 & C's/Orlando Preview

I'm a little delayed on a recap of Game 7 of the Celtics/Bulls series because I am still recovering from my bachelor party this past weekend.  It was nice to be able to celebrate a Celtics win instead of drinking away my sorrows.  Either way, I was getting drunk so I guess it all would have worked out regardless.  

Right from the beginning it seemed like the refs were doing their best to screw the Celtics in every way.  There were at least 5-6 extremely questionable calls in this game.  Two in particular were so suspect that I thought that maybe there was another fix in place like the 2002 Kings/Lakers Game 6.

For some reason, the refs absolutely loved Kirk Hinrich and let him get away with murder.  He was molesting Paul Pierce on defense constantly and he only got a technical for starting with Rondo after he was the one that initiated the drama in Game 6.  But nothing beat the play where Pierce and Hinrich got caught up in a loose ball near half court.  There may have been brief contact going for the ball but that is almost always allowed since no one had possession of the ball.  Hinrich gathered the ball cleanly took a good 3 or 4 steps over half court and then tripped over his own feet.  Pierce was a good 5 yards away yet they called him for the foul.  It was one of the more ridiculous calls I have ever seen in an NBA game. 

The other sketchy foul came with a technical foul called on Kendrick Perkins after he got tangled up with the hated Brad Miller.  Miller initiated the contact and Perkins' arm got caught up caught up going for the ball.  It might have been a foul on him but they gave him a technical even though he didn't even say a thing and just turned around in pain because it was his bad shoulder that popped out.  I wish I had replays of these two incidents because they were absolutely absurd.  I hope someone puts them up on YouTube because they were ridiculous.

Luckily the Celtics were still able to pull off the win even with all of that garbage.  Now we are on our way to Game 1 of Round 2 against the Orlando Magic.  I am a little worried about the legs of the Celtics since they almost played an entire extra game due to all of the Overtimes in Round 1.  Hopefully staying at home allowed them to get some extra rest and be ready for the start of this series.

I think the C's actually match up well against the Magic a most positions.  Rondo is definitely better than Rafer Alston although Alston can get hot and distribute the ball after he gets to the hoop.  Rashard Lewis will be matching up against Glen Davis and Pierce at times.  I think he has the offensive advantage since he is much taller and can also shoot from deep.  This could be a closer matchup if Davis can stay hot with his shooting and play some aggressive D on Lewis and use his wide body to his advantage.

Turkgolu has been looking pretty good in the playoffs from what I've seen and he will be a tough matchup for Pierce because of his slight height advantage but I really think Pierce will come up big and on offense and defense against Turkgolu.  Ray Allen will completely OWN Reddick while Courtney Lee is out and he will still win the matchup when he returns.  He has been on absolute fire and has been playing some great defense.  I think he will continue his great shooting and could even have a couple more 40+ point games. 

The matchup I am most worried about is Dwight Howard vs. Perkins.  Perk has actually been playing really well for the past few months and had a great series against the Bulls even though he went back to his bad habits of bringing the ball down low on a rebound or dribbling when it wasn't necessary or turning the wrong way into the offense for an awful hook shot.  I think Howard is still overrated as a player and has yet to step up in big game situations or carry his team when it was needed.  I'm not sure he can really take over a game just yet and I think Perkins can body him up nicely down low on any of his limited post moves.  He will be difficult when he gets a pick for a back door alley oop and he is quick as hell getting down the floor so he will definitely beat Perkins on fast breaks quite a bit.  Overall, I would almost call this matchup a wash although I will give it to Howard because he is just a freak and will probably have a few 5+ block games.

I am looking forward to this series but I don't think it will be as nuts as Round 1.  I don't think anything could ever compare to that.  I am predicting the Celtics will win in 6 games.  LET"S GO CELTICS!!!

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