They said it in the broadcast but I’ll repeat it here. Can you say, “perfect start to the season”? That’s exactly what it was today for Doc Rivers and his Big 3 as Boston completely steamrolled the helpless Wizards and left a flailing Gilbert Arenas in their wake. KG goes for the 20-20, Pierce and Allen combine for 45 while shooting over 50%, and Rajon Rondo looked like a point guard. Fairytale stuff. I admit, I was sceptical coming into the season of how well the Celtics would gel, and just how debilitating it would be to have a roster that is barely five players deep. It’s only one game, but my doubts went flying out the window as I watched Pierce dance around the perimeter like he was 25 again, as I watched Rondo accelerate at an almost Parker-like speed to beat his opponents at will, and as I watched KG play like a man possessed. For an opening game of the season, for a seemingly meaningless game that is still half a year away from making a playoff difference, this game seemed to matter a LOT for the Celtics.

Sure it was helped by the fact that Arenas did his best efforts to make his shooting percentage as close to the number in his nickname as possible, but I still couldn’t help walking away from this game being in awe of the Celtics – and I have not said that for.. oh, eighteen years? KG is insane. Did you see the footage of him on the bench after he’d been subbed off with two mins to play? He was hunched over, clapping, screaming at his team mates who were just happy to play around in garbage time. You couldn’t tell it was garbage time from watching KG though. He looked like he’d bet his house on the outcome of the last two minutes. He looked like Mel Gibson in Ransom screaming on the phone to the kidnappers who stole his son. I don’t know what KG was so pumped about. But hearing stories about how he organised a team outing to a Patriots game, and how he bought suits for all the Celtics rookies, and watching him walk off the court with his arm slung around Paul Pierce … maybe he just cares a lot?

I just hope he can keep a lid on it, that this whole Boston franchise can keep a lid on it, until they really achieve something. With the excitement of game 1 over and the fairytale opening to the season complete, I’ll be watching the next few Celtics games very intently.

Other observations from Friday’s action..

  • The Detroit Pistons’ bench outscored Orlando’s 45-17. Read that again, the Detroit Pistons bench – a complete oxymoron in recent years – not only outscored another team’s bench, but scored 45 points in total. The Pistons will go 82-0 if their bench produces 45 points every game.
  • Dallas lost to the Hawks. Would have been the most ridiculous upset of the day if the Bulls hadn’t lost to the Sixers. An 0-2 start is not what you’re looking for when rumours of a Kobe trade are swirling around the Chicago camp and Bulls fans themselves are chanting “Kobe! Kobe!” in the dying seconds of a loss.
  • Can there be a happier sight for Nuggets fans than these two sets of stat lines? They are the points, rebounds and assist leaders from games 1 and 2 and as long as they’re showing Melo, Camby and AI respectively the Nuggets will go every inch of the way to matching Melo’s 60-win prediction for the season. Statistically speaking, there’s no reason Denver can’t have the leading scorer, leading rebounder, and leading assist-getter this season. Has that ever happened for one team before?
  • Hope no one was pinning their hopes on Shaq leading a Wade-less Heat through the early stages of the season. Two games in and the big fella is averaging less than I do on my Thursday night team with a measly 8.5 points, 7 rebounds, 5.5 personal fouls (yikes) and 1-7 from the charity stripe. Question: does an entire season of this warrant stripping Shaq of the MDE title? I know it’s harsh, but I kinda have that same feeling as when I saw Britney Spears stumbling around awkwardly in a hooker outfit in her “comeback” at the MTV music awards in September: she’s past her prime, way past, and the only enjoyment I get out of watching her is from five-year old videos. It’s getting that way with Shaq (just don’t get any ideas of a hooker outfit Big Daddy)
  • Sorry Cavs fans. Lebron came close to saving the dolphins but he was still a rebound and a steal shy. Oh it was a good game sure, but it was no dolphin-saver
  • The Lakers just dismantled the Suns. I didn’t get to see it, but I’m sure Lakers fans at the Kickz101 store would have enjoyed watching that one. I wonder if Kobe had a realisation in this game? A realisation that on their day, when Radmanovic is shooting threes out of his backside and when Bynum goes for 14-13 in 23 minutes (that’s pretty insane) that he might actually have enough help to beat the best teams in the league? I’m sure Kobe would happily go for 16 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals if his team gets the W. I don’t wanna read too much into this game, but when a team who I thought was rock-bottom slaughters a team I thought was unbeatable (Suns are still my title favourites now) it makes me reassess things. I wonder if Kobe is doing any reassessing himself?

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