The Live Feed: What to make of the Celtics

A running diary of Celtics-Mavericks

So, C's fans want to return to the days of 2006-07 huh?

Tanking should suddenly be a priority, eh?

Dump KG, trade Ray for a mediocre draft pick, trade Pierce for 70 cents on the dollar?

BLOW. IT. UP.

Sound good?

Well, sorry, but it’s the worst thing the franchise could do right now. The easiest route for the Green to get back to title contender status is to simply stay relevant. Take a stab at Dwight Howard this summer. Why not?

If that doesn’t work out, just wait a little longer. Stay relevant and then pitch your case to Al Jefferson and/or Josh Smith and the underrated free agent class of 2013.

That’s the broad outlook. As for the present, the Celtics played the defending champion Mavericks last night.



A Live Feed of the proceedings:

 

7:59: The TNT teaser labels the Celtics as “resurgent.” I suppose that’s one way to describe them. Personally, I would have gone with “rickety.”



8:00: Cee Lo Green sleepwalks through a “Happy Birthday wish” segment to Sir Charles. Is it just me or is TNT losing its Midas touch?

Don’t get me wrong, I would never swap Chuck, Kenny, EJ and Shaq for ESPN’s lifeless crew but things seem a lot more contrived than they did, say, three years ago.



8:09: Chuck getting a pedicure in studio … just when I thought I was out …



8:10: … they pull me back in. Marv Albert on the call tonight. Wait, why am I bashing TNT again?



8:13: Shaq smells Chuck’s bare feet on National TV.



8:14: Two ambulances are called to the Ryan household in East Rutherford, NJ.



8:18: Oh ya, we’re playing basketball tonight. Aaaand we’re underway. Rondo out. KG out. Mavs coming off a loss to the Knicks. Celtics on the road on the back-to-back. Hard to remember a game over the past four years in which the Celtics were more outclassed on paper. Chris Wilcox and Avery Bradley with the start.



8:22: Things already ugly for the Celtics. Wilcox fires a PASS off the backboard. Jermaine O’Neal abused down low by Brendan Haywood. Pierce picks up his dribble and travels.



8:29: Wilcox with a dumb foul on a shooting Dirk. 3 points. 13-6 Mavs with 5:32 left in the first quarter.



8:30: Avery Bradley certainly showing that he has a better outside touch than Rondo in the early going. Then again, there are times when you’d rather have Gheorghe Muresan taking an 18-footer than Employee No. 9, so no great feat.



8:39: Pierce with a nice runner, And-1 with the bounce. In yet another low-scoring and ugly opening quarter for the C’s, they trail Dallas 20-15.



8:45: Craig Sager interviews Doc Rivers wearing a purple suit and tie. Very low-key for Sager. I’ve said this before but Sager’s been far overexposed as the cooky sideline guy for five years now. The schtick has just lost its luster. Why not go with the Nucky Thompson greys at this point if you’re Sager, just to throw everyone off?



9:00: Jason Kidd moves up to second on the all-time steals list by passing Michael Jordan. Truly a great career for Kidd. 33-21 Mavs as the Celtics offense looks dreadful.



9:15: Celtics pull within 10 as they hit their last five shots. 44-34 Mavs at the half as Dirk already has a double-double with 21 and 10. Pierce with 11. Avery Bradley with eight points as well.



9:32: Aaand we’re back. Dirk simply abusing Jermaine O’Neal. Was there really a stretch early this season where people were trying to say O’Neal was a solid defender? Just haven’t seen it … at all. Not once.



9:39: Vince Carter, who is thriving in his new, no pressure, we’ll-take-what-we-can-get role hits a fall-away. Dirk drills another jumper. 54-36 and this is starting to get ugly in a hurry. Not surprising but you thought the Celtics might give it the type of effort we saw at home against Orlando earlier this season under similar circumstances. No dice.



9:44: Avery Bradley giving the Celts a slow pulse with his outside shooting. They’ll need a lot more than that if they’re to mount any type of comeback.



9:45: Jermaine O’Neal. Out with a beat-up wrist. Not good. In a related story, the Celtics cannot grab a rebound.



9:48: Kidd’s 3-pointer in the corner puts Dallas up 20. The suits at TNT are officially rip sh—that they scheduled the Celtics on the night of a road back-to-back. Gotta know better.



9:55: Wilcox now out with a groin … wow. If you haven’t mailed it in yet, your name might be Avery Bradley.

 

10:14: Celtics attempt to mount a comeback but it ain’t happening. For all intents and purposes, this one was over in the early third quarter.

 

10:32: Aaaand mercifully it’s over. 89-73 the final damage for the Celtics in a completely underwhelming but predictable effort. This loss won’t do anything in telling us what path the C’s will or should take, but however you slice it, a 16-point loss ain’t good. Without Rondo, they’ll look to re-group against Oklahoma City and head into the All-Star break at .500.

 

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