Friday, April 2, 2010

Game Night

Wednesday night was Celtics night. This was the game I got beautiful tickets for during the Make A Wish charity auction a few weeks ago.

In fact, here was our view:



Not bad, eh? So let’s break this down old school.

PRO: Our seats! In addition to the view above, we had full service waitresses to get our drinks and plush EXTREMELY comfortable chairs. The system for ordering is great, as well. The waitresses take our orders and send it wirelessly to the bar who then send someone down with our drinks. On average it took less than 2 minutes from the time we placed our order until our drinks arrived. That, my friends, is efficient.

CON: The tip process. When I placed our first beer order, I wasn’t sure if I tipped the waitress (who didn’t leave our section or deliver anything to us the entire night) or the dude that delivered our drinks. I tipped the delivery guy the first time and he was very appreciative, but the girl that took our order seemed a bit pissy about that. So next order I tipped the girl, but the delivery guy seemed a bit put off. Well, what the fuck! I’m not double tipping for every order. I decided to just tip the girl and let them fight it out. That shit should be cleared up before we order.

PRO: Our pre-game meal which was a cheeseburger and fries at Hurricane O’Rielly’s. I was so hungry I destroyed the thing in about 15 seconds. Since I don’t eat meat very often, when I do it can wreak havoc with my digestive system. Not this one, which means it was quality beef for a change.

CON: The friggin’ cost of beer at the New Garden. Two Amstel Lights (I’m estimating 12 ounce cup) were $18. That’s before tip. Wow! I mean fucking wow!! The concession stands must make a fortune.

PRO: The game itself. Fast paced, high scoring, very entertaining.

CON: Celtics lost in the last few minutes because they keep making the same mistakes every game. They go away from whatever is working and the strengths of the team. I’ll explain more below.

PRO: Kevin Durant. The guy is liquid silk; smooth, slippery and impossible to contain. It’s impressive enough that he ended with 37 points and a handful of assists and rebounds, but he makes it look effortless. During the first half he was destroying the Celtic with midrange jumpers that weren’t even hitting the rim. When he finally missed a shot late in the second quarter, the Boston crowd gave a sarcastic cheer.

CON: The Celtics defense, which seemed a step late and confused most of the game. Although, I’m betting Durant and Russell Westbrook confuse most defenses.

PRO: Rasheed Wallace. No really. In the first half he was abusing Nick Collison in the post. This included three straight baskets during a Celtics second quarter run. He was also involved in the single funniest moment of the night. During a timeout he showed up on the jumbtron trying to get the crowd to make some noise. It was one of those pre-recorded clips with Wallace staring out at the crowd, ‘It’s the fourth quarter. MAKE SOME NOISE!’ Then he got all bug eyed (the way he does with the refs) and says ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU!’ It may be stupid, but I was highly amused.

CON: Rasheed Wallace. After killing the Thunder in the post all game long, he spends the most critical part of the game at the three point line. Why? The game was close and every basket mattered. Get in the post and do your thing. Instead he hangs twenty three feet out and winds up missing two three point shots in the final three minutes to seal the deal.

In a nutshell, this is what the Celtics have been doing all season long. They play well for three and a half quarters then go away from what made them so successful up until that point. Go with what got you there! Maybe this is Doc Rivers’ fault. Maybe this is Rajon Rondo’s fault for not taking more control of the team. Maybe this team just can’t finish the deal. Whatever it is, I’m not holding out much hope for this playoff season. They are the most frustrating Celtics team I have ever watched.

PRO: Rondo, who seems to be not only the Celtics most consistent player, but their best. He is cat quick, sees the floor better than any Celtic since Bird and somehow knows where everyone will be at any given moment. He also had the most exciting play of the game when he flew in over two six foot ten guys to slam home a rebound.

CON: Rondo’s insistence on giving way to his teammates when it matters most. It’s time for Garnett, Pierce and Allen to realize they can no longer win games for the Celtics by themselves. They need to give Rondo the ball and let him get them involved in any way he sees fit. Rondo is the life blood of this team; give him the ball if you want to win.

PRO: Garnett, who finally looks like he’s getting back to his old self. He even dunked a few times and made one sweet behind the back pass off a missed shot.

CON: He still ices his leg down every time he sits down. When he stops doing that I’ll feel much better.

PRO: The Garden itself. Comfortable, relatively easy to get in and out, and more family friendly than ever with historic paraphernalia scattered throughout the halls. This included Marvin Hagler’s boxing gloves, sections of the old Garden and autographed jerseys. It’s almost a Boston Garden museum as well as a stadium.

CON: The constant – as in never ending – barrage of music and announcements and attempts to get the crowd to make noise. Look, we’re at a sporting event. You don’t need to tell us when to make noise. If the game is good we’re making noise regardless. The most ridiculous part was the Celtics scoring the first basket of the game and immediately the jumbotron starts prompting us for a ‘De…FENSE’ chant. It’s fucking 2 – 0, save the defense chant for later. The Celtics aren’t shutting them out.

I appreciate trying to keep kids entertained (they have shots of dancing crowd members) and enjoy the T-Shirt cannons, but give it a rest now and then. I would actually like to talk to some people about – you know – THE GAME that’s happening right in front of us. The music and noise are so loud you can’t do that unless you’re screaming into the person’s ear. Give us some down time, that’s all I’m asking.

PRO: The Celtic dancers who are much hotter than they were the last few seasons. I appreciated the stripper dance moves in the skimpy outfits, as well.

CON: The referees who were atrocious as always. It’s becoming a major problem when refs who do a good job are now a pleasant surprise during an NBA game.

PRO: The affable stoner dude who sat next to me, reeking of pot and commiserating with me about how unstoppable Durant is. That he laughed at nearly everything I said made me appreciate him all the more.

CON: The four douchebags who sat in front of us. They came with each other, but spent the entire game texting and emailing from their iPhones and Blackberries. The entire game! One of them was even texting while placing an order with the waitress who had to wait for him because he kept losing his train of thought. At one point the waitress caught my eye and gave me the ‘Can you believe this asshole?’ look before he finally managed to focus on what he wanted to drink.

I’m still not sure they ever spoke to each other or paid any attention to the game. I was actually trying to figure out if they were texting each other, but I decided the game was more entertaining.

Summary: The Celtics need to get their pecking order lined up very soon if they want to get anywhere in the playoffs. Until then they’re a semi-entertaining team made more accessible by the friendly arena. A fun – if expensive – night.

Enjoy your weekends.


Today’s distraction: Play Red Remover. Right click on the game to turn the sound off if you’re at work.

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