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My drunken game journal: Lakers vs. Celtics
The Lakers rolled into Boston winning their last three games. Pao Gasol was sidelined yet again with an injury, and Dwight Howard was questionable heading into the game. Boston had won six in a row since their point guard Rajon Rondo got knocked out of the season with an ACL tear. One of these streaks had to snap with the Lakers still three games back from playoff contention, and Boston trying to solidify their playoff standing in a tie with Milwaukee at the seventh spot.
I recorded the game on my DVR and waited for the children to go to bed. Then I made some “daddy juice” pouring copious amounts of vodka into Bloody Mary mix with several dashes of pepper. I sampled the Bloody Mary while surfing YouTube. Eventually I wound up playing “Arthur’s Theme” while singing along to it a little too loudly. This was when I realized it was time to start watching the game before I woke up face down in puke covering my keyboard.
11:59 Courtney Lee is starting the game in place of Rondo. Lee has the distinction of being the only NBA player whose name leads you to believe he’s an Asian woman.
11:18 Meta World Peace takes his first shot of the game. He’s wide open for a three pointer. The ball barely grazes the rim and then hits the bottom corner of the backboard. The Celtics grab the board as Mike D’Antoni starts yelling at the referee that there should not have been a 24 second violation. I’m pretty sure this is the first of many times tonight D’Antoni will be yelling about things that doesn’t make sense.
10:56 Dwight Howard makes a beautiful shot from the low block over Kevin Garnett to start the game. I notice that Howard is wearing what looks like a wet suit under his jersey.
9:52 The announcer, Steve Kerr, notes that Howard’s wet suit is called a “Postural Shell”, and was approved by the NBA moments before the game. It’s supposed to help his lower back.
9:38 I notice that there are Laker jerseys all over the Boston Garden. If Laker fans aren’t repressed in Boston, what hope is there for the rest of the league?
9:00 Paul Pierce hits a sweet jumper from the corner of the free throw line. LA looks asleep on defense, and Pierce looks like he’s headed for a big game with six points.
8:38 Pierce comes off a screen and hits a long two. Absolutely no help on him from the Laker defense again.
7:58 Kobe Bryant gets doubled just inside the three point line and gets stripped of the ball. He’s swipes his hand at the ball barely grazing a Celtic’s nose. He flinches backward, and then a full second and a half later falls flat on his back. The ref calls the foul. The flop is alive and well folks, and even Bryant is subjected to it.
4:45 Coming out of a commercial break TNT shows an interview with Bryant asking him about how he told Dwight Howard he needed to play through his pain. Kobe bristles and says, “I never said that. I said that if I was injured and they told me it wasn’t getting better or worse I’d play through it.” He gives the camera a look like he’s going to throttle the interviewer. This makes me he had the same look as he told this to Howard.
4:40 Steve Kerr points out that Bryant and Howard deny talking to each other about their problems, yet they both seem comfortable airing out their grievances to the media. It reminded me of a story Shaquille O’ Neil was telling about when he and Bryant had some differences, and Bryant kept telling reporters about it. They talked to Phil Jackson, and the three agreed that they would not bring it up outside of the locker room anymore. Then Bryant was on the news complaining again that night. It makes me giggle when I realize that Shaq is now part of the media, and Kobe’s stress outlet just got a little smaller.
4:26 Bryant goes up for a spectacular spin move and then gets brutally knocked down by Jason Collins. He gives a scowl and takes a step forward like he’s going to do something about it. Then a look of clarity seems to wash over his face as he realizes how big Collins is. He turns around and walks up to the free throw line.
3:55 Howard gets fouled hard by Pierce on his way to the rim. Two years ago no one could have stopped him from getting that dunk. Now he just looks like an old codger in an exoskeleton suit.
2:00 Jeff Green hits a long two and the crowd gets fired up. Steve Nash runs right back down and hits a shot, getting the same reaction. This is messed up, Boston.
1:37 Twice in a row Pierce gets a rebound and puts up a shot. The Lakers were playing tough defense –twice—only to take a nap once the ball was off the rim. These are NBA players. Amazing.
1:00 Steve Blake checks into the game. He always shaves his head, and leaves a little stubble on top. On a white guy this always seems to scream, “Hey, I’m a neo-Nazi! Come at me twice as hard!” You would think that with the amount of time Blake has been schooled he would catch on by now.
End of the 1st quarter Lakers 23, Celtics 27
11:13 Garnett hits a long two. They show a close up on his head, and I notice the top of his head is shaved, but he has a beard on the bottom of his jaw. It looks like his hair grows out of his head the wrong direction. I love it. I also love the third Bloody Mary I poured at halftime.
10:26 Jeff Green misses a three, and Kevin Garnett muscles the rebound away and puts it back up to the crowd going wild. I’m not noticing the Laker fans as much as Boston lead builds.
9:49 Marv Albert and Steve Kerr struggle as they try to remember how many titles the Lakers had in the late sixties and early seventies. It’s as if they are unaware that Wikipedia exists.
9:35 Albert refers to the seventies as, “The Days before the three point line existed.” The ABA was around, and they had a three point line. It’s called Wikipedia, Marv.
8:41 Jodie Meeks checks in for LA. I love that a second round Milwaukee pick gets significant minutes for the Lakers.
8:08 Garnett hits a turnaround jumper to net 25,000 career points. He is the sixteenth player to do so. I try to figure out who the other fifteen guys are, but I quit after a minute and vow to look it up on Wikipedia later.
5:41 Doc Rivers starts yelling at his team, “The pace! Mind the pace!” I picture him with a mustache and imagine that he’s yelling, “Come on Stallion!” I realize he is a dead ringer for Apollo Creed. This makes me very happy.
2:01 Howard grabs two rebounds on one possession, and nearly grabs a third. I look at his teammates and realize he is the only Laker who’s not in his thirties. What do you think he learns from these guys, how to apply for an AARP card?
1:29 Kobe Bryant can’t find an open look and passes the ball to…Paul Pierce. I can instantly tell by his look he’s not going to play the facilitator role for the rest of tonight.
36.7 Meta World Peace argues with…the referee? There seems to be no one on camera that he’s yelling at. I realize that World Peace will one day be the world’s scariest homeless man.
End of the 2nd quarter Lakers 44, Celtics 58
12:00 A clip is shown of Bryant at half time with a heat pad wrapped around his elbow. He said that aggravated his elbow by passing too much. Now Kobe has props to excuse his selfishness!
10:17 Marv Albert starts talking about how different people thresh hold for pain can be. I think back to his biting incident and realize that Albert is an expert when it comes to people and their thresh hold for pain.
7:55 Steve Nash drives the lane and scoops a pass a foot ahead of Meta World Peace. World Peace should have reached out and gotten a wide open layup. Instead he bobbled the catch, hesitated, and got his shot blocked. Nothing is falling for LA.
6:52 Dwight Howard picks up his fourth foul by slamming his exoskeleton into Avery Bradley.
6:10 Kevin Garnet shakes and bakes and then hits another turnaround jumper on the high block. If this were NBA jam, KG would be on fire.
4:51 Pierce gets a three point play off a Bryant foul. Kobe is stunned that the referee called two fouls on him in a game.
3:59 Four quick possessions are scored by Pierce or Bryant. Both players are carving up the defense right now.
2:28 Coming out of commercial, TNT cuts to Bryant’s earlier interview where he says that he could have been happy as a Celtic if they had drafted him. Albert is about to talk about the story more—right as Kobe goes to pass the ball right to Avery Bradley, who immediately dunks it. The crowd goes wild and Albert has to swallow the story for a minute, as Kobe Bryant then takes a long jumper...his ugliest yet.
End of 3rd Quarter Lakers 69, Boston 95
10:15 Howard gets stripped by Garnett. Why is Howard, his five fouls, and his exoskeleton still in this game?
8:56 A teenager is shown wearing a Kobe Bryant jersey and wearing a Red Sox hat. I want to slap that kid for all the fans in Boston, but I’m sure it will happen on his way out.
7:57 Howard turns over the ball as Pierce rotates in to double him. Why is he still in this game? Come to think of it, why is he in the All-Star game?
5:07 Howard fouls out. As he sits at the bench, Steve Kerr comments, “That is one unhappy man.” Just as he finishes that observation, Dwight lets out a huge smile. I’ve never seen someone down thirty so happy.
3:18 Steve Kerr calls for an end to trade rumors involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He says, “Can you imagine what this team would be like without them?” Younger? Faster? Possessing a real future?
2:00 Bradley dishes to Fab Melo to get his first NBA field goal. That’s right, his first. Great job, Laker D.
End of 4th Quarter Lakers 95, Celtics 116. Kobe Bryant has no assists for the game. Craig Seger actually dresses like a sane man, and gets a thoughtful interview from KG about his 25, 000 points. He ends with, “You need to color coordinate more often.”