One of the most promising things about the Celtics this season is the team's ability to win despite staggering statistical anomalies, almost all of which would seem to point to a dreadful loss. Last night, for example, in Miami, they were outrebounded on the offensive glass 17-5, outshot from the field 98-67, and they turned the ball over 25 times. This will give Doc Rivers some agita when he looks at the game films, but he will also see a very, very tough team in the making, and much of that is coming from his young point guard and his even younger center.
(It should be noted, by the way, that the inbound-lob play with which Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo tied the game in regulation is exactly the same play concocted by Soapy Smith with which he and Chip Hilton won the NCAA championship for State University in Comeback Cagers. This concludes the saddest parenthetical aside in the history of sportswriting. Thank you.)
Other observations off the game:
- If there ever is a mass murder at the Miami practice facility, somebody better look for Dwyane Wade's prints. The look he flashed at Quentin Richardson after the latter committed that stupid technical foul said, "I am tired of hauling these morons around for 82 games, dammit." Unless Miami goes out and lands him some help, I'd say Dwyane's headed anywhere in the non-Q universe the first chance he gets.
- Michael Beasley is going to have to get busy of he's going to be the NBA-dominant player that Dick Vitale kept saying he was going to be. Right now, I'd settle for his becoming Udonis Haslem.
- There is rapidly becoming no excuse whatsoever for watching any NBA game officiated by Joey Crawford. A 48-minute seminar on what constitutes a moving screen is not my idea of a good time.
- It was about 9:45 last night when the carpal-tunnel syndrome began to take hold. The Celtics were coming back. Meanwhile, Cornell had Kansas on the ropes in Allen -- and thanks, ESPN, for staying with that game instead of getting us back to that vital Duke-Iowa State clash. I know it was hard for you. -- and Central Michigan and Troy were banging each other around in a very entertaining GMAC Bowl, even though the ESPN crew doing that game apparently once saw Dan LeFevour, the CMU quarterback, make the sun spin or something. And I'm assuming that the referees doing the Cornell game have been found by now. They way they disappeared in the last minute of that game, I kept waiting to see their pants running down the court alone, the way Claude Rains's did in The Invisible Man.