Two games tonight that played a pivotal part on how the Celtics post-season will go. First off the Miami-Philadelphia game:
The entire 2nd and 3rd quarters of this contest consisted of the Sixers TV guys (Marc Zumoff and Ed Pinckney) 3rd-degreeing Senior Vice President & Assistant General Manager Tony Dileo (this was the same Dileo who coached Philly last year, challenging Jay Triano for top NBA coach that doesn't look like a coach. For the record, this distinction unanimously belongs to this man.)
These segments never cease to amaze me. The guy NEVER reveals anything. He can't talk about college underclassmen. He can't talk about position needs. He can't say a thing. Yet for 2 entire quarters Zumoff and Pinckney did their best to try and alter the way questions were asked. "Well Tony we know you can't comment on specifics.." No shit. So stop asking the fucking questions. [Tangent time: Ernie Grunfeldwhile with the Knicks was best with these. Mike and the Mad Dog would have him on the air and he wouldn't give any straight answers. You'd have a 15-20 minute interview with not one question replied with any semblance of a straight answer. Seriously what's the point?] Interview the Sixers mascot, which I included a picture of above because I have no clue what that is or how it's affiliated with the 76ers.
To expound on this horrendous segment, Zumoff continued to refer to him at every instance by his complete title "Senior Vice President & Assistant General Manager Tony Dileo." This made this excruciating process that much more painful. Thanks Marc and Easy Ed for ruining my night lol.
Jason Kapono can only do one thing, but he strokes the ball as well as anyone.
Jodie Meeks played out of his mind for the 76ers tonight, going 8-12 including 5-9 on 3s. Maybe he had a conversation with Earl Barron and Sony Weems from last week.
Wade returned to the game with just under 6 minutes to go in the game, imposed his will, the way superstars do, and basically made sure the Heat wouldn't lose. He has the ability to do that, which Boston fans may learn the hard way over the next 2 weeks.
As for the Bucks-Hawks, well:
The Bucks are really a much different team now without Bogut. Because of the watered-down NBA you lose one low-post player (and in this case their only one) and their entire offense changes dynamically. You're now banking on an all-perimeter team with Salmons, Stackhouse, Ilyasova, and Jennings chucking from the outside pretty much every trip. You can't dump the ball inside anymore and hope for 2 points.
Hawks toyed with them for most of this one, wound up winning by 8.
It's not even close right now how much easier a matchup with the Bucks would be in comparison to the Heat for the Celtics. And as the season comes down to it's final 48 hours, it's looking more and more like Boston will be facing the Heat.
As Karl aptly explained the other day, it'd behoove the Celtics for themto avoid Dwyane Wade at all costs. Well that isn't looking very likely now at all. Right now we'd have to either hope for the Celtics to win their final 2 games (asking a lot considering Chicago's going to be playing their ass off tomorrow night) or banking on the Nets to beat Miami and the Bucks to beat the Celtics on the final night. I can't count on anything from the Nets. Of course there's always the chance Boston can slide up to number 3, but that would mean the Celts would have to win their final 2 games and get help from Cleveland to beat Atlanta in the final night. Considering the Cavs are likely to rest their key guys, and since they contributed to the Celtics facing the Bulls in last season's playoffs, I wouldn't expect it.
With losses to the Nets, Wizards and Rockets at home, and "stellar" performances on the road against the Knicks, Clippers, and Warriors, the Celtics don't deserve to have an easy first round opponent. In fact if they face Miami, their summer may be starting a lot sooner than anyone,including yours truly, ever would've thought.
This is becoming a Celtics Fan's absolute worst nightmare. Sigh...