Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus notes that Nate Robinson provided a nice jolt for the Celtics during his stints off the bench in Game 1: "While Robinson was not a major factor statistically (he was scoreless and missed all three of his shot attempts, though he did hand out four assists), the Celtics were +10 with him on the floor. He was at the helm for Boston's run to start the fourth quarter and also successfully teamed with Rondo in a small backcourt during the first half."
Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub takes a peek through the kaleidoscope of troubling stats that came out of Game 1 for the Celtics. A sampling: "... the C’s have played 304 games since KG and Ray Allen arrived in Boston. In a totally unscientific data dive, I decided to see how often in those 304 games a Boston opponent has hit at least 48 percent from the floor and collected 10 or more offensive rebounds. Here’s what I found: It has happened 17 times in the regular season, according to Basketball-Reference.Boston’s record: 5-12. And it has happened seven times in the playoffs. Boston’s record: 1-6." Lowe also looked at Kevin Garnett's miserable night. How can the C's get Garnett on track? "... look for Boston to work KG into more screen/rolls in Game 2. It may represent his best chance to be an offensive threat in this series."
Due to foul trouble, Ray Allen logged only 27 minutes in Game 1. Neil Paine of Basketball Reference discovers that there isn't a player in the NBA who benefits more from exceeding 30 minutes in a game than Allen.
Should we really be surprised by Pau Gasol's outing in Game 1? Kelly Dwyer writes that the days of marveling at Gasol's individual performances are long over: "Pau is just this good, now. On most nights, he's just as good as Kobe, and on quite a few nights, he's clearly better. This is the best power forward in the NBA, you must remember. Be glad his teammates, every so often, do."
Ben Polk of A Wolf Among Wolves follows up on Phil Jackson's comments about the pleasure of immersion: "This idea of 'immersion' really grabs me. We’ve probably all experienced this at some point: we lose ourselves in the task at hand; time evaporates; the world pleasantly falls away. And we’ve also, in the past twenty years of watching Phil Jackson-coached teams, gotten pretty used to seeing this phenomenon at play on the basketball court. We know what it looks like. The ball flows freely. The players’ faces take on a cool intensity. Their movements become both calmer and more dynamic and the game suddenly looks easy. As far as I’m concerned, these things–engagement, immersion, focus, joy–come pretty close to defining the best sense of both 'work' and 'play,' which, as anybody whose ever seriously practiced art or sports or music can tell you, aren’t all that far apart."
This John Krolik post has a lot of great stuff in it about the absurdities of certain discussions surrounding LeBron James -- but nothing better than an embed of the courtroom scene from Woody Allen's "Bananas."
ESPN.com's Chad Ford reports that a second potential Top 10 European prospect has dropped out of the 2010 NBA Draft: "The withdrawl of [Donatas] Motiejunas comes roughly a month after the top international prospect in the draft, Jan Vesely decided to not enter. Vesely was projected as a top 10 pick by some NBA general managers."
Baylor big man Ekpe Udoh: Tim Duncan on the left block ... John Koncak on the right block.
Philly stalwart Rasual Butler is homehunting in the west San Fernando Valley. A winter in Southern California can do that to an east coaster.