Posted by Bob Ryan, Globe Staff April 22, 2009 12:31 PM
We're two games into the 2009 Celtics' playoff run. Here are a few random thoughts:
- Rajon Rondo needs to be on the floor for at least 40 minutes a night, and perhaps 45, and, hey, what's wrong with 48? The Celtics can't play without him.
- Aren't we veryveryvery close to declaring Stephon Marbury as being useless? It just ain't happenin'. Either he passes up obvious shots or he clangs 'em, but he is contributing zero to the effort, except, perhaps, a little effort.
- Don't forget the Bulls are playing without Luol Deng, who is long and athletic and just plain pretty good.
- Derrick Rose looks like somebody, right? Please tell me who.
- Tyrus Thomas may be better than I thought.
- Big Baby sure isn't bashful. And I love his footwork and his left hand.
- It's one thing to get an offensive rebound, and it's quite another to do something useful with it other than pitch it back out. Kendrick Perkins does both. He is that rarity of rarities, a big man who doesn't have to dribble before going back up for his follow-up attempt. And he is totally unique in that very often he puts it up without leaving his feet. I've never seen anyone at this level do that. He just catches it and shoves it back without jumping.
- Paul Pierce is being humbled. Can't recall the last time I've seen a great player get so many shots blocked, not even Larry. And the refs aren't giving him much love when he takes it to the hoop, either. He needs to figure something out before Game 3.
- But how wonderful is Ray Allen? That was one of the all-time clutch playoff performances in Game 2. They'd be 0-2 if he hadn't gone off in the fourth quarter, capped off by a very difficult shot with a 7-footer flying at him.
- Speaking of that 7-footer, you've got to admit that Joakim Noah is both fun and efficient. He has no face-up shot, and may never have a reliable face-up shot, but he has many other attributes, starting with the fact that he is a tough-minded, and surprisingly rugged, rebounder at both ends. He and Cleveland's Anderson Varejao each have the knack of being around the ball so often that it makes up for some other things they can't do, like shoot. Noah will be with us for a long, long time.
- Wouldn't you love to have Brad Miller? I stumbled upon this undrafted gem back in 1998, when he was a member of the Team USA crew that played in the World Championships in Athens the summer of the NBA strike. He was one of those guys around whom things just always seemed to happen. He then made himself into an All-Star, and now he is a very important core member of this Bulls team that is giving the Celtics so much trouble.
- Losing Leon Powe is huge. Must amend my confident prediction the Celtics would win this series to 50-50 at best. Scal's a wonderful guy, but if he does play he's no savior. Now perhaps Mikki Moore is about to channel his big Nets' season. That would help.
- If Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff aren't there to remind Vinnie Del Negro to save a timeout, why are they there? Or is it possible they told him and he ignored them? Nah.
- If it gets to a Game 7, I promise you the Bulls won't wee-wee in their shorts the way Atlanta did last year.