I never & I repeat never want to see the letters DNP-CD after Austin Croshere's name again after tonight during the playoffs.
I don't care how, but they have to find some min. for the man. Where Al Harrington turned game one around for us last night Austin Croshere got it going. The rest of the bench kicked in as well, but it was Cro that got it going.
His physical play will never show up on the stat board but the picks he put on Atkins, the body he put on Blount & his driving without the ball all turned what was sort of a timid outing by the team into a hell bent for leather *** kicking. His three was just icing on the cake, but his driving to the basket forced Boston out of their zone.
I asked after game one, how do you tell a player like him he is not needed. Tonight I say it again.
Rick is a great coach & I trust him implicantly. But I also know he understands what Austin brings to the floor. The man must play, because like Reggie said in his post game comments that he was a lot like him because he showed up early & left late from practice. I will add that he is like Reggie in another way as well. He is clutch. He knows when a game is big & that he elevates his play to match the game. He is a product of our old team after all.
Which brings us to Al Harrington. Is anybody else proud of Al? Does anybody rememeber when he was baby Al & he was our beloved rookie who never touched the floor on our old vet. team? Our boy has grown into a man. Second double double in a row.
He started off with that turnaround fade away & missed it. I started to get worried. But then he drove the rest of the night & he hit the boards. Al has been a consistant pain in the *** to the Celtics & I love him for it. He has been outstanding throughout this playoff series. Let's hope he continues to understand that whenever he grabs double figure rebounds he is at his most valuable.
Jon Bender. The condor. Man he swooped in & picked up rebounds & all I could do is sit there & think that Walsh has to be the happiest man in the world. Marcus Camby revisited. He didn't box anybody out but he just got the boards.
Was anybody else so happy with him because he didn't hang his *** out at the three point line all night? Keep playing like this & it's going to be harder & harder for teams to beat us. He scared Ricky Davis out of a dunk with his shot blocking ability.
On a side note, when he hit the shot & got fouled did anybody else cringe when Al came up & playfully bumped him? I was freaking out that he might dislocate his shoulder .
Fred Jones. I've found our starting two guard of the future. I wish I had more to say but what can be said about a player who only gets better & better with each playoff game. The only problem this is going to cause is what the heck do you do with Al Harrington because Ron Artest probably won't be moving to the two spot.
Oh well, that's for next year. But for now let's just say dunk of the playoffs so far. Not to mention the defense he lays down.
Anthony Johnson. I know this guy has been getting beat up on here for months now & even I have questioned his playmaking abilities. But the defense he puts on Atkins is just great & even his playmaking has not been horrid. I'd still like to see Anderson get a shot, but I'm willing to let Rick make the call without complaining.
Jermaine O'Neal had another strong effort & had another "T" for his troubles. BTW, I hate Joey Crawford. Benet Salvatore is the worst ref. in the NBA but Crawford has overtaken Javie as being king ***. BTW, yes I know that it was not Crawford that gave O'Neal the "T" but I hate him anyway.
Jamaal Tinsley. Mixed. I've been pissed pissed pissed at his defense on Atkins & his entry passes have driven me up a wall. However he did score some badly needed offense in the fourth. I've not been happy with his playoff performance so far, I'll just leave it at that.
Scot Pollard. 10 seconds 1 foul. It was a good foul though.
Rick Carlisle. Let me echo brother Uncle Buck. Game ball to the man with the plan. The team defense on Pierce was outstanding. I counted Harrington, Jones, Miller, Croshere, Bender, Johnson & Foster all on Ricky during the game. All gave him differant looks & gave him differant problems. Letting the bench go from the third to the fourth was gutsy & in the end paid huge dividens. I had some problems in the early part of the game with the offense but I'm not sure that the team was following his plans.
Great great coaching job by Rick Carlisle.
The fieldhouse rocked. The crowd, although not sold out, was definately into this game & was very very loud. I had to yell just to talk to my wife or son during the game. The fans behind the Celt. bench was on fire.
M-V-P chant for O'Neal. Of course he blows the free throw, but it's the thought that counts.
Here is something we all can be proud of. When the bench was kicking *** the starters were cheering louder & harder than any fan in the fieldhouse. Harrington turned to the crowd several times to help cheer on the bench bunch.
Funny, but it was easy to connect with this team tonight. It's not just the win, although that does help, but it was the selflessness that in the past has so epitamized pacers basketball that I could see.
I hope to not go back to the fieldhouse till game one of round two. But I wouldn't be suprised to see Boston take one, but that's all they'll take if they take that.